Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deltaville Christmas Lights

Posts will most likely be a bit sporadic in the coming days as I try to muster some Christmas Spirit, finish shopping, do all the wrapping and start the baking.  
So I leave you with this YouTube video of a light display in Deltaville.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Aqua Lodge- A Rich Man's Shanty Boat

On the docks at Broad Creek floats a small village.  
That's right, I said floats.
Meet the AquaLodge.  
A glorified shanty boat complete with living room, small kitchen and bedroom. 
Some even have a loft area.  
The going price for the one I like (the Cadillac of AquaLodges) is $60,000.
Some even come with little balconies.
I think one of these would look lovely parked on a certain dock in Queen's Creek.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Seabreeze

As you cross over the old swing bridge onto Gwynn's Island, the first place you come to is Seabreeze.  It's a small restaurant right on Milford Haven with an excellent view of the water.
The view is great and so is the food 
(though it seems I didn't take many photos of the view, but trust me, it's nice)
Hush Puppies

Bacon Cheeseburger
Boston Cream Pie

And when you're waddling out of the restaurant
there's fiddler crabs to contend with in the parking lot. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Meditation

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Meditation

"The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Capture the Flag

Where would childhood be without games?  One of the favorites of my cousins and myself was Capture the Flag.  For those unfamiliar with Capture the Flag, the rules are simple.  You have two teams.  Each team has a flag- typically made from some sort of rag (or your Grandmother's brand new pantyhose) tied to a stick.  Each team has a "territory with a defined line of separation/neutral zone.  Each territory has an area designated as a "jail" (could be a tree or a rock) and a place where their "flag" is located.  The object of the game is to steal the other team's flag and bring it across the neutral zone into your territory.  If you are caught by the opposing team while trying to steal the flag you are placed in "jail" until your teammate(s) help you escape by tagging you.

In our little piece of Deltaville, we had ideal Capture the Flag conditions.  Sometimes we chose to use the whole of Jackson Acres and split The Point in half.  Sometimes we only used the properties owned by my grandparents and my Great-Uncle Pepop.  Either way it was always a good time.  My cousins and I would strategize over the best location for the flag.  Then there was strategy for stealing our opponents' flag.  That strategy usually ran along the lines of "run over there, find the flag and don't get caught".  None of us were George S. Patton.

Despite our lack of brilliant war plans, we played all afternoon until the sun went down and we were finally called in for supper.  We were dirty and disheveled and full of dirt.  But we were happy.  Dinner usually lent itself to rehashing the day's battles and jail breaks. 

And in remembering those games: the laughing so hard you're nearly crying, the squeals as we inched away from an outstretched hand, the taunting when we escaped imminent capture, the breathlessness when we managed to cross back into our territory.... I wonder why adults don't take the time to play capture the flag.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

These photos swiped off Midge's new camera.  
For someone who just began the photography hobby, she does have a good eye.

Photos taken at Gettysburg National Battlefield.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 I'm happy to announce that (with the exception of some trim work)
the house is finally done being repaired after the tornado damage
(feast your eyes on the new flooring).
And the neighbor's house is underway as well.
And our new deck chairs in bright colors
(Dad not so thrilled about the colors).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Meditation

“I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.”
~Anna Quidlen 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Today I thought I'd share some photos of my neck of the woods here in northern MD/Southern PA

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Playground

At the end of our private lane there was/is a playground.

My cousins and I would make the excruciatingly long hot walk down the sandy dusty road in order to fly on the swings.  Really the walk wasn't too bad, but 100 yards is a mile when you're only 4 feet tall.  
The swings were the big attraction. 
We would pump our legs back and fourth soaring higher and higher. 
I used to try to go high enough to go up and over the frame. 
I never did though.
Eventually we would dare each other to jump off the swing while in motion. 
The higher you were when you leaped, the cooler you were. 
It always took a few counts to three before I could muster enough nerve to let go and launch myself in the air.  I always relished those first seconds when I was locked in mid-air as if in flight.  But it was inevitable that the ground would eventually rise to meet you.  If you were lucky you landed on your feet and had enough give in the knees to keep your ankles from stinging. 
Sometimes we went and played on the bouncy animal things and pretended to be cowboys and Indians.  Sometimes we climbed. 
Sometimes we rode the merry-go-round and tried to make each other barf. 
Whatever we did, it was always an adventure.

And while the equipment is newer, the fun and adventure is the same.  
Climbing, swinging and a little basketball.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Meditation

Unfortunate Coincidence

By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying-
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.

~Dorothy Parker


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pistol Packin Mama

No, it's not a version of Aerosmith's Jamie's Janie's Got a Gun.  It's a number one song from 1943 composed by Al Dexter and recorded by Tex Ritter.  When I was a kid out on Pepop's boat hauling crab pots, he often broke into song.  There were songs about Popeye the Sailor Man who liked to go swimming with bowlegged women and songs about Rye Whiskey.  Needless to say, most of the songs he sang he told me not to sing in front of my parents because they "might not appreciate it as much as he did".  One of his favorites and mine too was the song Pistol Packin Mama.  I can still hear his deep baritone voice singing the chorus which was always dotted with staccato "Go's!" when he would indicate it was time to thrown the rebaited pot back in the water.
I still remember the words and I even have the song on my iPod.  Not many 30-somethings can say that.  And I sing the song often enough that the Brat Child suggested I put "Pistol Packin Mama" on the back of my tye-dyed T-Shirt I made for Busch Gardens.

BC: You should put that Pistol Mama on your shirt.
ME: I don't think that would be such a good idea.  Someone might think I have a gun.
BC: You should take one and you could shoot the bad guys!
ME: There aren't many bad guys at Busch Gardens.
BC: You could just put Big Mama on your shirt!

Just call me Big Mama.

Pistol Packin' Mama
Drinkin' beer in a cabaret And I was havin' fun!
Until one night she caught me right, And now I'm on the run
Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.
She kicked out my windshield, She hit me over the head,
She cussed and cried, and said I lied, And I wished that I was dead.
Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.
Drinkin' beer in a cabaret, And dancing with a blonde,
Until one night she shot out the light, Bang! That blonde was gone.
Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.
I'll see you every night Babe, I'll woo you every day,
I'll be your regular Daddy, If you'll put that gun away.
Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.
Lay that pistol down Babe, Lay that pistol down,
Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay that pistol down.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

USS Tulip Memorial Service

Each year near the anniversary of the Tulip disaster, the local Naval Base holds a memorial for the men lost and the 8 men buried at the site of the memorial.

These are artifacts from the U.S.S. Tulip presented at one of the memorial services by the archeologist who dove on the wreck.  The slate pictured was one used by James Jackson who was my great-great-great grandfather.  Many years ago while doing some genealogical research, my dad asked my great-great-grandmother about James.  For a while she refused to discuss him and then one time she offered some information.  She said that he had to join the Union Navy because the Confederates didn't want him.  This information was hard to accept as the truth as the Confederacy was desperate for men.  Needless to say, there are some feelings about the Civil War that still run high.  Later there was some information that indicated James may have been forced into service with the Union.  The Union needed men who knew the local waters to pilot their vessels.  It was insinuated that they were encouraged by gunpoint. I can't say how true that is, but it certainly lends to a colorful family story.  I do know that during Union raids on local farms along the water, the Jackson farm was spared because of James Jackson's service and the fact that it was his farm. 

Either way, the memorial offers our family a chance to get together, share stories and remember those who served our country long ago.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blown to Atoms

U.S.S. Tulip- Though this photo is most likely of the Tulip's sister ship the Fuchia as no know photos of the Tulip exist.
November 11, 1864- the U.S.S. Tulip, a Union gun boat, is making it's way up the Potomac headed to the Anacostia Naval Base for much needed repairs to its starboard boiler.  The Tulip and its sister ship the Fuchsia were built in 1862 in New York and were originally intended for use by the Chinese military as light tenders. Originally called the Chi Khang, in 1863 the ship was purchased, given a lower profile, christened the USS Tulip and assigned to the Potomac Flotilla Base.

The Tulip was not initially intended to serve in saltwater and the crew had to constantly clean off salt deposits and scaling from its boilers.  Despite the cleaning efforts, the boiler was damaged.  The order was given to Captain Smith not to fire up the damaged starboard boiler.  Unfortunately, Capt. Smith was too concerned about the Confederate snipers and canons on the shores of the Potomac and he disobeyed orders and fired up the ailing boiler.  When it blew, the Captain, the pilot (and my great-great-great grandfather) James Jackson, the Master's Mate and the Quartermaster were located on the bridge directly above the boiler when it exploded.  It was said that they were "blown to atoms".  All that was left of the Captain was his hat.  The explosion killed 49 men and was heard miles away.  Eight bodies were recovered and buried along the shore of St Inigoes Creek. 
Artist's rendition of the explosion. Part of the memorial.
It's along this creek next to the historic Cross Manor (also home to Ted Koppel) that the Monument to the tragedy and the dead sits.  It's the smallest National Park and the smallest National Cemetery.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Meditation

  Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
~Henry Ford

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I've started and stopped and deleted 5 blog posts this evening.  I seem to be in that in between world of wanting badly to write and not knowing what exactly I want to write, or how to write.  Nothing seems to sound right.  Nothing seems to flow at all.  So, I'm going to share some photos I took from this last Labor Day Weekend.  It was after Hurricane Irene hit and I headed out to Aaron's Beach to survey the changes.  I knew things were different.  I expected my favorite tree to be gone.  I hadn't specifically asked anyone if it was still there and no one has mentioned it directly.  I wanted to discover it's passing on my own.  Walk around the corner and feel the biting pangs of loss- for a tree.  And not just any tree- a dead one.  I like to think of it as living driftwood.  Stuck in the sand like a sculpture from Mother Nature.  Imagine the surprise and (sounding slightly melodramatic I'm sure) the sheer joy of turning the corner and seeing my old friend.  Not that we have been friends all that long.  But what's time in the language of kindred spirits? 

 It's weathered many storms, that tree.  Stood and faced gales, nor'easters, Hurricanes, Hurricane easters.... and it hasn't moved.  It's managed to hang on for another morning.  Still stands straight and strong despite the slapping waves of storm after storm. 

There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Poetry: Because I've Got Nothing Else


There's a stray dog barking.
Searching for a home,
He belongs to no one.
His lone wail his only companion.

Searching for a home,
Like the other wild ones.
His lone wail his only companion.
I know what it is to cry alone in the night.

Like the other wild ones, 
I seek shelter from the rain.
I know what it is to cry alone in the night
To feel the pains of need bite harder than hunger.

I seek shelter from the rain.
I belong to no one.
I feel the pains of need bite harder than hunger.
There's a stray dog barking.

~Jamie L. Jackson

For those interested in the poetry sort of thing, this poetry form is a pantoum.  I'm typically not a form poem aficionado only because I struggle with making things fit (I'm more of a free verse kinda person- when I write-which I haven't in about 10 years).  But the pantoum is easy enough and can really have a meaningful punch if done right.  Not one of my better ones by far, but unfortunately, I am revisiting similar emotions that prompted me to write this all those years ago.  
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Meditation

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
~Victor Kiam

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Tribute

The simplest words don't seem like enough... but Thank You! to all those who have served and are serving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Meditation

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
~Willie Nelson

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


At my window, sad and lonely
Oft times do I think of thee
Sad and lonely and I wonder
Do you ever think of me

Every day is sad and lonely
And every night is sad and blue
Do you ever think of me my darling
As you sail that ocean blue

At my window, sad and lonely
I stand and look across the sea
And I sad and lonely wonder
Do you ever think of me

Will you find another sweetheart
In some far and distant land
Sad and lonely now I wonder
If our boat will ever land

Ships may ply the stormy ocean
And planes may fly the stormy sky
I'm sad and lonely but remember
I'll love you till I die

Lyrics by Woody Guthrie

I stumbled upon a CD titled Mermaid Avenue featuring music written by the late Woody Guthrie and performed by Billy Bragg & Wilco.
I fell in love with it.  I think it speaks to the melancholy writer in me.