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Published: November 14th 2008
What is she taking a picture of?
The sky was clear and blue in the morning, so we took another walk on the beach before we had to leave. Daisy investigated a dead horseshoecrab. Jodie had told us that one of the local delights was Tastykakes so we tried some small cinnamon rolls for breakfast. They were tasty. Jodie had told us that they were THE treat in Pennsylvania, and Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovitch books loves them in New Jersey, so we had to try them in Maryland. A pony was walking up the bicycle trail as we left the park, so Nancy posed by it. It took almost no notice of us. On this gorgeous, warm, sunny day, we passed lots of long chicken barns, some maybe 300 feet long and three or four on one farm. Then we came to the Tyson chicken plant where jobs were available for all shifts as advertised by a large sign outside the plant. We had read that work in the chicken plants was nasty and smelly, so no wonder jobs were available. People probably can't take it for very long. Signs on businesses and some churches were in Spanish. We were pretty sure that some of the
chicken workers were Latino. Soon after that, we passed a tomato canning company and then a field of tomatoes, still propped up on stakes. You won't be surprised to hear that we saw CORN and unharvested soybeans, as well as hay. In front of one business with a large yard in front, we saw about an acre of flowers blooming. Nancy thinks they were cosmos.
As we got farther down the DelMarVa Peninsula and closer to the Chesapeake Bay, we saw at least 100 vultures circling above. Dead fish? Then we came to the Bay. The way across the mouth of the Chesapeake is by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. We got to play dolphin. In New York City, last Christmas, we played gopher, poking our heads out of the ground from the subways. Now, we were dolphins going across a bridge, down in a tunnel, across a bridge, down in a tunnel, and across a bridge. The whole system was about 21 miles long and each tunnel was only about a mile long. This way, the ships in the channels don't need to wait for drawbridges, and the bridge construction doesn't have to be designed to be high enough to
accomodate any size ship. And there were any size of ships and boats from kayaks to small fishing boats to sailboats to commercial fishing boats to tugboats to container ships all over the bay. Once on the other side, in the Norfolk area, we began to search for our new RV park. We saw shiny holly trees with bright red berries. Regular gas was down to $1.97. There was road construction with lots of cones, drums and confusing signage. One large readerboard said, Bridge opening - Expect delays. Oh, we thought. All this construction mess is for a new bridge and the mayor and VIPs are having a ribbon-cutting ceremony or something. That's kind of neat! Imagine our laughter when we found out that the sign meant the drawbridge was open! Ha!Ha! Does living in the desert away from water do this to people? Another interesting sign said Hurricane Evacuation Route. At the RV park, there was a handout about preparing for a hurricane. The best advice was the first item - If possible, evacuate before the storm! Duh! After we got set up and took our showers, we called our niece, Erin, to get directions to her new place.
We had to play dolphin again over the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel - only one tunnel and two bridges this time. As we searched for her place, we saw Spanish moss, palmetto plants, and prickly pear cacti. Are we that far south already? Erin had given us very good directions, and when we got to the house, oh, those lucky ducks! Erin and Dina are renting a small two-bedroom house RIGHT ON CHESAPEAKE BAY! I mean, you walk out the back door and ten steps later, you're wet! They told us that they were told that during big storms, the waves crash up against their back porch. Well, we took them to dinner. We're back in barbeque country, yes sirree. All through dinner, we talked about teaching. Erin is in her first year of teaching - 8th grade English and loving it! Dina is in her fourth year of teaching high school psychology and history and also loving it. To two recently retired teachers, it was a joy to see two talented, bright, dedicated young teachers who love their students and their work. We felt as if we handed off our two jobs into the capable hands of two others to
Rich and Daisy
Daisy is the blur.
take our places. Rich told them about a couple of his favorite lessons and they were enthusiastically thinking of how they would apply them in their classes right away. It was a delight to see Erin again and to meet Dina. We're looking forward to seeing them again at Thanksgiving.
On the way back across the James river, the lights from Norfolk and from all the boats on the water were a beautiful sight. We thought about our connections to Norfolk. Nancy's dad left for D-Day from Norfolk on the U.S.S. New York. Our Uncle Dick and Aunt Jean were there when he was in the Navy. In about 1970, Rich got a "hop" on a military flight from El Toro Marine base in California to Norfolk to spend a weekend with his Navy buddy, Buck Fite and his wife Debby. Now, many of the Navy ships are in mothballs.
Obviously, we dreamed about our days of being teachers.
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