Delights: October 8 to October 14

October 8: Quoin, adze, mortise and tenon. Fine Scrabble words all. Today, though, they comprised a tidy lesson in barn building, the 19th century “double-level bank” kind, stone-walled, white-washed and awesome. My friend Lee and I stumbled upon it quite by accident and marveled at the barn’s beauty and ingenuity. I love Nature’s fields and woods and oceans. And I love the incidental beauty scattered across the world by us humans.

The barn at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, Montgomery County, Maryland

October 9: I sneaked a bite of the chocolate cake I’d brought home yesterday for Kevin. After savoring that magnificent barn, my friend Lee and I popped in for lunch at the house of our friends Steve and Lisa. We had expected jolly conversation and a light salad. Instead, the day sparkled with extraordinary hospitality of the most inventive (and delicious) kind. Striped and colorful, the Cobb salad resembled a stand of world flags. The shimmering flutes of apple cider mimosas bubbled under a rim of cinnamon sugar. And oh, that cake, snuggled next to coconut ice cream. Our three-hour visit awed us again with incidental beauty, this time constructed with the tools of caring and kindness.

October 10: Perhaps it was the fog settling heavily over the Sound. Or the private deck and waiting Adirondack chairs. Perhaps it was simply the paisley-swirled bedspreads on the cozy bunk beds. Whatever the reason, I chose the “girls” room — and the top bunk. I made up the bed so that I could awaken with a water view. Yes, of course I’ll spend joyful  hours with my friends. And I’ll spend a few joyful hours in my snuggery too.

October 11: This week, I appear to be collecting history and hospitality like four-leaf clovers. My friend Kathy welcomed our friend Cindy and me to her house at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. With gray and drizzle dampening our first day, the new Currituck Maritime Museum beckoned. Small but mighty, the museum displayed juniper-wood skiffs and hand-made push poles to navigate the shallows. It talked about Gilded Age hunt clubs (the town name “Duck” is no accident) and used videos to crack history wide open. I tried my hand at tying a bowline knot (and learned to pronounce it: “bo-lin”). Dare I root for rain again?

October 12: Wandering around the 19th century homestead of the Currituck Lighthouse keeper, Cindy noted that family’s evident hospitality: a two-hole privy. Cindy said her father had grown up with one out in the Ohio countryside. Why end a perfectly lovely conversation with your guest just because Nature calls?

Not the privy, but next door.

October 13: At last, at last. The gray skies melted into shimmering blue. Yesterday, the ocean had churned green and angry and threatened to devour the dunes. Today, we ambled along the beach in waves up to our knees and ducked amiably under fishing lines fringing the sand. By evening, we toasted our luck with cocktails and a cloud-gloried sunset. And, of course, we raised a glass to friendship.

High school friends forever: right to left, Kathy, Cindy and me
Sunset from the restaurant NC Coast.

October 14: On the beach this morning, I saw the Australian Shepherd puppy we’d greeted yesterday. Today, the hard sand was her sidewalk and the sea breeze her caress. Her young man sprinted down the beach, inviting the puppy to follow. He ran 40 yards; she ran 35, stopped, plopped down, and awaited her reward. He applied a vigorous skritch behind the ear, and she was off again running for joy. 

Currituck Sound “cactus”

Bonus: This week I received a copy of Exhale, a literary journal that published my piece Birth Amid the Noise. (Yay!) You can read it here. And you’ll find links to my other three published pieces on my Welcome page.

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!

If you’d like to browse my past essays, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. I’m glad you’re here!

Progress on the St. George’s Episcopal Church organ. I carried one of those right angle pieces.

17 thoughts on “Delights: October 8 to October 14

  1. I love small, local museums. That barn looks really interesting.


    1. So true! I was in raptures over each joint and bit of hardware. The barn was built in 1832 in the Pennsylvania style (one State removed from Maryland). Honestly, I can’t wait to go back. Thanks for sharing the experience with me.


  2. Ryan, Anne M - (anneryan) October 14, 2021 — 8:47 pm

    Congratulations on your excellent publication!

    Get Outlook for Android ________________________________


    1. Thank you, Anne. I am indeed super excited!


  3. Congrats, congrats! And what a magnificent barn. We don’t have barns of that sort in Maine.


    1. Thank you, Laurie. As a published author, you know the grateful surprise of getting a piece accepted. Thanks for sharing my delight with me. Thanks also for appreciating the barn. You noted its rarity: I think there are only three in the whole state of Maryland. They’re modeled on a Pennsylvania style, which might even be rare there. If you visit Maine barns, post photos!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had to look them all up: quoin, adze, mortise, tenon. I wouldn’t have known how to pronounce the 1st two; although the latter 2 are also speculated soundings! Fabulous! And I just love “snuggery” – such a delicious word!


    1. Thank you, Ju-Lyn. Yes, we writers love the feel of words in our mouths and under our fingertips! And a dictionary is one of our best friends. I hope you share some fun words you encounter (or invent?) on your blog!


  5. I love those old buildings, and that is such a gorgeous photo of you and your friends. Nothing like a girls’ getaway is there. A lovely post to read 😊


    1. Thank you, Alison, for expressing how you like the same things I do! I’ll certainly find more old building to share (and I hope you have your own girls getaway soon). I’m really glad you’re part of this lovely community.


      1. Me too Carol, I do have a big family holiday coming up though

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Alison, that sounds pretty darn fun too!


  6. Here’s to friendship and sunsets! And that is one amazing barn. Now, if I could just have a morsel of the cake? Have a great week!


  7. Thank you, Jo, for your joy! Yes, the barn was incredible. I can’t wait to go back. I’m glad you liked it too. (And maybe I can mosey over to my friend’s house for more of that cake.) Truly a perfect day!


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