Delights: September 3 to September 9

September 3:  Thanks to Washington DC’s active surfer community and the promise of storm-stirred waves at Assateague, I met someone today whom I’ve known only in two dimensions, mediated through a Zoom screen and email. There we were, all hugs and smiles and orchids. We dined in view of fishing boats and concluded with ice cream and hot chocolate. I hope the surf is wonderful another weekend too!

Kevin captured this image at the beach, after the horses moved out of the way.

September 4: Years ago, I taught Nate to understand and respect the ocean, as my father taught me. I took little Nathaniel in my arms and together we read the waves. With me, Nate learned when to jump, dive, or drop like a rock, if the fast-moving wave foreclosed other options. Nate also mastered the timing, skill and confidence of riding a wave to shore. 

Today, as Nate and I bobbed in the ocean, he announced he would teach me to surf. He leashed my ankle to his surfboard and encouraged me, step by step, to lie on on my belly and stabilize the board against the choppy water (“engage your core, Mom!”), paddle the board (“go, Mom!”), and straddle the board (“lots more core, Mom!”). Finally, with my belly firmly planted on the board, he maneuvered me into a cresting wave and gave me a push. I took the “drop” and sliced through the water. Nate was whooping behind me. And then, because my body told me to, I rose from my belly to my hands and knees on the moving board — and kept going. The wave eventually released me and I threw my arms up, unabashedly claiming my ride. Nate flung his arms up joyously too: “You are a surfer now!”

This is the surfboard I rode in on, carried by my patient teacher.

September 5: “Captain John” charmed us with playful selfies, a bright playlist and a few dance moves. He invited us to laugh and to sip orange concoctions, all while navigating us along the Miles River for a “sunset cocktail cruise.” Joined by my old high school friend Cindy and her husband Doug (at the bar, mixing up those orange concoctions), Kevin and I watched Maryland’s historic St. Michaels unfold behind us and the wide river beckon. Cindy and Doug would later delight us with London broil and peaches drizzled in rum. But on the boat, watching Captain John dance, I remembered when Cindy’s dad taught us the Jitterbug and when Cindy’s young brother Johnny offered his arm when we needed partners. Now young Johnny — Captain John — looks exactly like his dad. The hip-swishing might not be a spin, but the delight in giving delight is exactly the same.

September 6: Jeremiah and I are captivated by the U.S. Open. Each day, we settle next to each other on the couch and gape as the players, sliding and lunging to all corners of the court, make impossible returns and deliver cunning shots. We admire their stamina and their heart. Creaky Old Knees, what do you think? Should we find my old aluminum racquet and bounce a few?

A garden surprise

September 7: The other day, I sent a quick email to a friend to confirm logistics for an evening walk. You know how Google offers words and phrases to speed your email drafting? Well, I wrote “I’ll text you when I’m heading home from …” Google promptly suggested “heading home from work” and “heading home from the airport.” Not me. I typed “heading home from the ballpark.” 

September 8: What a bouquet of friends this week. On Monday, Desmond, Karen and I exchanged wisdom and smiles while the Nats fashioned an improbable win. On Tuesday, Janet and I enjoyed a lovely walk in the shade of her neighborhood. And on Wednesday, Lee, Richard and I wandered the tree-lined terraces of Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, amid the crypts and gravestones of Washington DC’s past; we later picnicked by a meadow. All of these blossoms swirled around me, with promise of many more. 

The turf and stone roofs of 19th century crypts and the winding paths of Oak Hill Cemetery

September 9: In early 2020, our local library boxed its books and closed its doors for a long-awaited renovation, just as COVID began its march. Today I sit in a bright, inviting space filled with tables, comfy chairs and all those wonderful books. A neighbor already stopped by my table to say hello. Our face masks can’t hide the joy of being in community again, in such a quiet and happy place.

A cheerful welcome outside our newly renovated library.

Bonus:  In his short essay “Sensualiterature,” essayist Brian Doyle savors the “snap and flap” of a newspaper folded in half and half again by a man in a pub. Doyle writes: “I wanted to shout with delight, partly because I realized of course that he must have done this many thousands of times in his life to have achieved such unconscious skill; but I did not shout or crow, but bent again to my pint, thrilled at the prevalence of pleasures and how the smallest are not small at all.”

Commenter CM Joy said she enjoyed last week’s post about Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, because she’s had a print hanging in her home for years. Here it is!

Readers, to receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, please share the Delight!

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12 thoughts on “Delights: September 3 to September 9

  1. Ryan, Anne M - (anneryan) September 9, 2021 — 10:16 pm

    I love the joy in your posts today. Especially from imagining the thrill of a first surf (really inspiring!) and seeing the smiles on dear faces from your walk with Lee. Thank you my friend!

    Get Outlook for Android ________________________________ From: Fashioned For Joy Sent: Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:59:57 PM To: Ryan, Anne M – (anneryan) Subject: [EXT][New post] Delights: September 3 to September 9

    External Email

    Carol Ann Siciliano posted: ” September 3: Thanks to Washington DC’s active surfer community and the promise of storm-stirred waves at Assateague, I met someone today whom I’ve known only in two dimensions, mediated through a Zoom screen and email. There we were, all hugs and s” Respond to this post by replying above this line New post on Fashioned For Joy [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/cropped-img_2500-e1568253044455.jpg?w=32] [http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/7e24dc15e95d52fbbe7aa1b9a83cdd67?s=50&d=identicon&r=G] Delights: September 3 to September 9 by Carol Ann Siciliano

    September 3: Thanks to Washington DC’s active surfer community and the promise of storm-stirred waves at Assateague, I met someone today whom I’ve known only in two dimensions, mediated through a Zoom screen and email. There we were, all hugs and smiles and orchids. We dined in view of fishing boats and concluded with ice cream and hot chocolate. I hope the surf is wonderful another weekend too!

    [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/img_1884.jpg?w=560]Kevin captured this image at the beach, after the horses moved out of the way.

    September 4: Years ago, I taught Nate to understand and respect the ocean, as my father taught me. I took little Nathaniel in my arms and together we read the waves. With me, Nate learned when to jump, dive, or drop like a rock, if the fast-moving wave foreclosed other options. Nate also mastered the timing, skill and confidence of riding a wave to shore.

    Today, as Nate and I bobbed in the ocean, he announced he would teach me to surf. He leashed my ankle to his surfboard and encouraged me, step by step, to lie on on my belly and stabilize the board against the choppy water (“engage your core, Mom!”), paddle the board (“go, Mom!”), and straddle the board (“lots more core, Mom!”). Finally, with my belly firmly planted on the board, he maneuvered me into a cresting wave and gave me a push. I took the “drop” and sliced through the water. Nate was whooping behind me. And then, because my body told me to, I rose from my belly to my hands and knees on the moving board — and kept going. The wave eventually released me and I threw my arms up, unabashedly claiming my ride. Nate flung his arms up joyously too: “You are a surfer now!”

    [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/627yfqssmqjdy7okx0w.jpg?w=560]This is the surfboard I rode in on, carried by my patient teacher.

    September 5: “Captain John” charmed us with playful selfies, a bright playlist and a few dance moves. He invited us to laugh and to sip orange concoctions, all while navigating us along the Miles River for a “sunset cocktail cruise.” Joined by my old high school friend Cindy and her husband Doug (at the bar, mixing up those orange concoctions), Kevin and I watched Maryland’s historic St. Michaels unfold behind us and the wide river beckon. Cindy and Doug would later delight us with London broil and peaches drizzled in rum. But on the boat, watching Captain John dance, I remembered when Cindy’s dad taught us the Jitterbug and when Cindy’s young brother Johnny offered his arm when we needed partners. Now young Johnny — Captain John — looks exactly like his dad. The hip-swishing might not be a spin, but the delight in giving delight is exactly the same.

    [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/img_1606-1-e1631236975388.jpeg?w=560]

    September 6: Jeremiah and I are captivated by the U.S. Open. Each day, we settle next to each other on the couch and gape as the players, sliding and lunging to all corners of the court, make impossible returns and deliver cunning shots. We admire their stamina and their heart. Creaky Old Knees, what do you think? Should we find my old aluminum racquet and bounce a few?

    [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/2etwbffernktzuciaeslq.jpg?w=560]A garden surprise

    September 7: The other day, I sent a quick email to a friend to confirm logistics for an evening walk. You know how Google offers words and phrases to speed your email drafting? Well, I wrote “I’ll text you when I’m heading home from …” Google promptly suggested “heading home from work” and “heading home from the airport.” Not me. I typed “heading home from the ballpark.”

    September 8: What a bouquet of friends this week. On Monday, Desmond, Karen and I exchanged wisdom and smiles while the Nats fashioned an improbable win. On Tuesday, Janet and I enjoyed a lovely walk in the shade of her neighborhood. And on Wednesday, Lee, Richard and I wandered the tree-lined terraces of Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, amid the crypts and gravestones of Washington DC’s past; we later picnicked by a meadow. All of these blossoms swirled around me, with promise of many more.

    [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/img_1901.jpg?w=560] [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/r37drprtlktn3jyidmaca.jpg?w=560]The turf and stone roofs of 19th century crypts and the winding paths of Oak Hill Cemetery [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/4tyh9msq9eautsyjs7kw.jpg?w=560]

    September 9: In early 2020, our local library boxed its books and closed its doors for a long-awaited renovation, just as COVID began its march. Today I sit in a bright, inviting space filled with tables, comfy chairs and all those wonderful books. A neighbor already stopped by my table to say hello. Our face masks can’t hide the joy of being in community again, in such a quiet and happy place.

    [https://fashionedforjoycom.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/kejg01wismqecuqpdfjhw.jpg?w=560]A cheerful welcome outside our newly renovated library.

    Bonus:

    Like

    1. Dear Anne — I’m thrilled you saw this post and the bits about Lee and Richard. Lee saw your comment too and told me about Roland’s visit a while ago. What a fun way for us all to connect. (And thanks for the surfing cheers. Absolutely thrilling!)

      Like

  2. Gosh! Learning to surf! Good on you! Those chairs outside the library are lovely.

    Like

    1. Thanks for your sending me Good Vibes for my surfing experiment! Regarding the chairs: I was inspired by you, to keep an eye out for the brightly colored unusual shot. These whimsical chairs fit the bill. I am so glad you liked them!

      Like

  3. You are a surfer!
    That is my favourite story from this busy busy week! I can see you rise above the waves! Fabulous!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Ju-Lyn! Writing it down made it even more real, and I greatly appreciate your kind note. I’m delighted that some of the surf and sun splashed up and made you smile!

      Like

      1. The power of the written word: it gives an experience reflection & permanence. Which makes me wonder about many who play fast & loose on social media. But that’s a rant for another day.

        I do love the sea and everything connected to it. Surfing though, is not something I’ve tried. I’ve only been close to big waves on a fishing boat – not the greatest place to be particularly when one gets motion sickness.

        Like

      2. I appreciate your insight about how writing inspires reflection. Sometimes (often?) I develop my thoughts as I bring pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. The art of slowing down: neither fast nor loose. I’ll join you on that rant…. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your story sometime about being on an ocean fishing boat. I’ve never done that!

        Like

      3. One of my favourite things about this community, Carol Ann, encountering kindred souls who really understand what I’m saying and feeling … you have made my morning.

        My love of the sea (and I’ve discovered, all water bodies, including manmade fountains) comes from my Dad. Fortunately (or unfortunately I felt when younger), he took us along on all his sea-faring trips when we were still young enough to be dragged along. Although reluctant & grudging, the perpetually seasick younger me developed a deep and profound appreciation for water.

        We went on boat trips to the outer Singaporean islands where he had visited as a child, on overnight fishing trips on grungy diesel-perfumed fishing boats when we camped onboard, or on some fishing island somewhere, on fancy resort trips where they took us fishing & snorkling on their fancy yachts; we experienced quite a range of experiences.

        So much so, that as young adult, I actually paid money to go on a live aboard diving trip for 5 whole days on a yacht around Phuket. I puked my guts out for the first 24 hours, but thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the trip.

        Like

      4. Dear Ju-Lyn — I love so much about your comment. First, thank you for pausing to acknowledge the joy of finding kindred souls. I continue to be amazed and delighted and grateful that my blog has created that for me. Certainly, I count you very much in that community. Indeed, your Camino SP, among other treasures, allows me to savor your beautiful “backyard” through your eyes, with all your affection, joy and even reverence.

        Second, your fishing boat story gave me such joy. I hope you consider developing it into a short personal essay for submission to a journal. Your story is filled with adventure, love and surprise. I loved it, and others would too. (You’ll definitely need to include the wonderful line about “grungy diesel-perfumed” fishing boats.) And I’m thrilled that you brought some of that into your adult life — adventure & resilience!

        Third, thank you for talking about your Dad. My Dad was special to me too and absolutely refused to bind himself (or me) to gender norms from the 1960s. Your Dad’s adventures with you sound similar in spirit.

        I’m sure we’ll “talk” again soon. I appreciate you very much. Carol Ann

        Like

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