“What I did on my Summer Staycation”….by Al Hood

Most of my latest posts have been devoted to moving my website and a hip replacement. While these are not even exciting topics in the first place, I was a bit preoccupied with them and was terribly remiss in not mentioning that we really did have a wonderful summer!

As many of you who are grandparents will appreciate, any time spent with the “young ‘uns” is its own reward. We were doubly blessed this year. Our oldest, Katie, has stayed with us since finishing her first year of college. It’s been an awesome time having her here and as a vegetarian she has done her own cooking exposing us to many new dishes. Well, exposing Patty at least. I’m a die-hard meat and potatoes man and will always be so. For my gravestone I have chosen the phrase¬†“He never met an Hungarian goulash he didn’t like.” We are really going to miss her!

She has worked as a hostess/waitress at a local restaurant called “Anchor Allie’s”. It has a navy/patriotic theme and the girls all have to dress in some form of red, white and blue. Pictured are a few of her work outfits.

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Fluent in Spanish, she has also been tutoring a couple of young children once a week. In between this and work shifts she walks over to the Chesapeake Bay and swims a few miles. I was trying to remember when I had that kind of energy and stamina, but quickly realized I NEVER had that kind! Of course as a still growing teenager, sleep occupies the rest of her time.

Then for a week in June, Katie visited back home and was summarily replaced by her younger sister and three of her good friends. Colette, or Cece , as she likes to be called, usually comes here every summer with a friend for a week, but this is the first time we agreed to this many friends at once. We needn’t have worried a bit about it. These were four of the most delightful 15 year-olds you could imagine. They made all their own plans, fixed their own meals or went out to restaurants on their own. And they were remarkable about cleaning up after themselves!

We are fortunate to have a fresh water lake behind us and the bay only one block in the other direction. In the morning they tended to favor beach time at the bay, then later kayaking across the lake to Patty’s sister’s house which just happens to be on the opposite side of this relatively small lake and has a gorgeous swimming pool. Then back to our place for dinner or to plan the evening’s festivities. A couple of times they asked to be taken down to the Atlantic Ocean part of Virginia Beach for some big waves. Keep in mind this is the east coast we’re talking about so “big waves” is a very relative term.

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One of the highlight days was a party boat lake cruise provided by Cece’s Aunt Robyn and Uncle Curtis.

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On other days, water propulsion was provided by good old American muscle power..

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All this, with a 75th birthday celebration thrown in for good measure. It’s good to be the grandpa!