I have sometimes joked, albeit quite seriously, that I am not saving for retirement. My plan is to live one month at a time at each of my childrens’ homes, rotating from one to the next like clockwork. This seems to be the most reasonable course of action for retirement given that my 401-K has been turned into a 401-Pray. Well, I am joking, of course!
If this really was my plan it would be nice if my children all lived in some exotic or super cool and fun places to visit! Obviously, like any mother, I really don’t want my kids to move far from home, but these things have a way of happening. In fact, the whole purpose of our east coast tour this summer is to visit with our daughter, Jasmine and her husband Tristan. They moved to rural Maryland last summer for a tenured-track teaching job for Tristan. I have missed them like crazy!
It wasn’t long after they moved that these resourceful young people purchased a little cottage and started a huge addition and renovation project. I guess they had hoped it would a lot farther along by the time of our visit. They are apologetic, but I love a good construction project. To me it is invigorating and inspiring. It represents hope and plans and trust in the future, an element of optimism and faith.
I know it’s going to be lovely when they are done. I am going to have a fantastic retirement home in Maryland! Tristan is an artist, and has an eye for design. I love the smell of the timber, and it makes me itch to start a project of our own again.
We sort of move right into the construction zone.
What I didn’t tell you is that their home sits on the banks of the Patuxent River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. It’s so peaceful here after all the hubbub in Boston and New York City and Washington DC.
I love it here. This home is just about an hour drive from D.C. There’s tons of things to see and do, but yet it’s so laid back and quiet. It’s a little slice of paradise in a world gone quite mad.
The new homeowners have a lovely dock.
The neighbors dock is much longer.
There’s a long flight of wooden steps to the shore.
Looking down the river reveals many docks.
For some reason Aundrea can’t wait to mow the lawn. There is a big problem this year with ticks, though, so Aundrea wears pants and boots while she is cutting the grass.
In the evening Tristan insists on treating us at his favorite dinner spot in nearby Leonardtown. The restaurant is inside this gorgeous historic Sterling House, which was once home to a prominent family with 17 children.
When we sit down to dine it’s as though I can hear the Sterling sisters giggling upstairs, perhaps one sister is brushing the others’ hair. They must have been getting ready for a big celebration! Of course, it’s just a figment of my imagination, but I do find myself thinking of how alive this home must have been when the Sterling family lived here.
Tristan is right, though. This restaurant serves unbelievably delicious crab cakes!! Wow! That’s all I can say!
The next morning dawns bright and beautiful. You do know that a person should never miss a sunrise when they are staying riverside!
Mr. Handsome made it out of bed to admire the sunrise as well.
Today Tristan is giving us a tour of St. Mary’s College, where he is a professor. The architecture is awesome.
Tristan is an artist, as I said earlier. He is teaching photography here at St. Mary’s College. We get a tour of the dark room. I haven’t been in a dark room since going to Jämsä Opisto for school eons ago.
The city of St. Mary’s is not really much more than the school itself, but there is a historic village that you can tour. We don’t pay the entrance fee, but as we walk past we poke our noses inside the courtroom. David would have made a good judge. Judge not lest ye be judged.
We are headed to the Potomac River for a quick dip. We ignore the no swimming sign.
Our final expedition for today is to go to a local crab festival. I can’t say I have done this before.
We buy ourselves a large paper bag full of crabs for $40 and find a picnic table. The tables are covered with thick brown paper. I see some people get up from a table, and they leave behind a huge mess of crushed crabs which annoys me. Such pigs! Well, it didn’t take me long to figure out why the tables had thick paper on them, and why those people left such a huge mess.
Kristoff has a bunch of wooden mallets for some reason that I am about to find out.
Wow! Look at the mess we make on the table!! That’s why the tables are covered in thick paper. I have noticed there are workers who come around and tear the used paper off the tables after the diners are done, and replace it with new paper from a large roll for the next diner.
Wow, that was unbelievably delicious, although difficult to eat. When we are finished we walk around the festival a little.
Pretty soon the kids talk us into snow cones.
This is the happy new Maryland couple. They love living here.
On the way back home the twins fall asleep on top of each other.
Once we are at home, Jasmine prepares some dinner. I bet they can’t wait until their construction project is over!
David and Kristoff sneak in one last fishing expedition. While David is down on the dock he sees some sharks swimming around in the river. Who knew they come this far up the river! I guess swimming is not really recommended here!
My grandpuppy is so darling. Obviously she can’t read the sign upon which she sits!
That’s it, folks. David and I leave home tomorrow. We have to go back to work. The kids are staying here with Jasmine a little while longer, after which they will fly to Minnesota. I love this place. It’s so peaceful. So beautiful. It’s a wonderful place for my daughter to make her home, and for me to retire……. if I can ever retire…..
I hate that they are so far away, though….. who knows when I will be back again…… I love you kids…… and yes, I could retire here….. right here on the banks of the Patuxent River…..