Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Annapolis Adventure

I had two roommates (for two years, each) at Maryville College. They couldn't be more different, but true story: one is Erin Beth, and one is Erin Elizabeth, and--get this!--their birthdays are exactly a week apart. It's been right at twenty years since I met them, and they remain close to my heart.

Erin Elizabeth--whom I tend to call Erin Quigley--sent a message, last week, that her dad had passed away suddenly. I was determined to get to Annapolis for the memorial service, and Jim Dear (God love his heart) got on board right away. He couldn't take off work, he said, but he could work from home and keep the girls.

I called my ex-husband; told him what had happened; and asked what he thought of my pulling Cade out of school as traveling companion, also of rearranging the weekend schedule. My ex-husband--having known and loved Erin for almost as long as Jim--supported all my schemes.

For his part, Cade was excited to surprise Erin and spend time with his dear ol' mom. I love how sweetly easygoing he is.

Please read between all my lines, here; I'm so blessed.

So, Cade and I jumped in the minivan and headed to Annapolis. We talked, laughed, and ate Peanut Buster Parfaits for lunch. It was like old times: only better, because I knew Jim and the girls were waiting for us at home. Cade and I got to Annapolis with plenty of time to spare, so we visited with Erin for a few minutes and checked out Sandy Point State Park.

I don't know that I think anywhere more beautiful than the Chesapeake Bay. My parents, brother, and I spent a lot of time there when we lived in Pennsylvania. I'm a still-water girl to this day; I appreciate rivers and oceans but prefer bays and lakes.

I was moved by the memorial service, especially the flag presentation and playing of "Taps" at the end. I really liked Erin's dad and could tell, always, that he really liked me and felt glad for my friendship with Erin.

After the reception, I made a split-second decision that Cade and I should go to Cantler's for Maryland Blue Crabs. I hadn't eaten any for at least six years, and they're my very favorite food. It was really just the perfect opportunity: Cade's one of few people in my life who loves to eat crabs as much as I, and we were near the bay on a gorgeous afternoon, two days before Mother's Day. We sat outside and picked crabs for 1.5 hours: something we couldn't have done with the girls.

I felt, for just a little while, like my old self. It was a gift.

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