The other morning, I did something embarrassing. It wasn’t a big thing, just a little thing — but I did it in front of my husband who found it hilarious. For the next couple of days, he teased me mercilessly about it. I retaliated by keeping a tally of each time he brought it up. It became a source of hilarity for the two of us. Then…I mentioned it on Facebook as “the unfortunate incident”. That’s when the true fun began. Friends hinted that they’d like to be included in the joke. Our children sent private messages asking what was going on. Close friends started guessing what had happened. The husband and I sat together laughing over every post.
It made me think about how often the husband and I will share secret looks when an old friend tells the same joke for the 50th time or when one of our daughters says something that brings back a memory. After years of shared experiences (both good and tragic) and daily foibles we have achieved a level of intimacy that’s far above that of our honeymoon stage. We know one another. We have a connection that has taken decades to build and I don’t think I would exchange that for anything in the world.
A few friends and I decided to try Serenity Tea Room not too long ago. Serenity is located across the water in Frederic, Maryland and is owned and run by Blanche Henry who truly loves what she does. It’s apparent in the many details of her service from the amazing homemade scones and sandwiches to the careful selection of teas. The food is truly scrumptious and beautiful. The decor is very nice.
The main problem with this otherwise amazing tea room is that they do “seatings”. This means that your tea experience is going to be longer than necessary and at the whim of other groups. Our tiny group of 4 spent much of our time waiting on slow service while larger tables were served in a quicker manner. Our individual tea pots were not refilled. We were not able to get a server to our table for “small things” like more jam or cream. Jam was served in wasabi servers which meant that there wasn’t much to go around and had to be very thinly spread.
As everyone checked in and out at the same time (due once again to the “seatings”) large lines were created. We were also forced to pay at a single register in the front store. The only restaurant that seems to be able to successfully pull this off is Cracker Barrel.
Making a reservation at Serenity was also very off putting – so much so that we almost cancelled our trip. When I called, I was required to leave a credit card number (very unusual) and was then told that any changes would result in $10 fees. I was also required to pre-order for all our attendees. I was told that we could “size up” our orders for no fee but anyone “sizing down” would be charged for the original order. I, of course, ordered the smallest size for everyone so this wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, it became a different issue as servers didn’t offer anyone the option to “size up” but rather just served the original orders. The two men in our party had definitely wanted to order larger teas.
My father has been writing his own love story since he met my mother in the late 50s. They married at a young age and their lives have been entwined every since. Dad is a natural storyteller and has spent his life telling all four of us stories of the frontier (his childhood obsession) and stories of his job (Secret Service from Presidents Johnson to Reagan.) But his favorite topic has always been the many chapters of his love story with my mother. Even today he recounts his memories to us in stories and in poems (which my mother proudly posts on her refrigerator). A morning love letter is no unusual thing to my mother. We adult children have been privy to so much of their story. -We grew up hearing of their first meeting (she was riding a horse, and when she dismounted the surly animal bit the seat out of her jeans) and their courtship in West Virginia (my uncles would throw stones at my father as he walked up to their house and my grandfather would threaten to shoot him if he caught him anywhere near his home. My grandfather spent time in federal prison, so it was no idle threat). Their love story is as familiar to me as any memory of my own. My father has recounted each of our births, financial hardships that only strengthened the family bonds, his respect for my mother’s contributions to our family and their marriage (she was a stay-at-home wife and mother) and his great love and passion for her. They don’t make many men like my father anymore. Perhaps they never did. He has always been the strongest man I know, but he’s never thought it made him weak to show how much he loves my mother or his children.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you.
For 38 years, we’ve brought together families, neighbors, and colleagues to improve our schools, parks, libraries, and communities.
Help us celebrate our past and support our future!
Your $38 ticket includes two drinks as well as Italian tapas and award winning specialty pizza.
Tickets are limited – purchase yours today to reserve your spot!
Program: Informal, to include heavy hors d’oeuvres and light remarks
- 4 Pack of Tickets to Nationals v Marlins; seating right behind the Nationals Dugout.
- Registration to National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world’s largest convening on volunteer service (happening in DC this June).
Purchase your ticket today to reserve your spot – we’ll see you there!
Registration payment is made through Paypal. You can sign into your Paypal account, or check out as a guest to pay by credit card. Refunds are not available for this event.
“Young Musicians Giving Back” is an informal network of young musicians who enjoy using their musical gifts to benefit others. With organizational help from their parents and supporters, they present concerts and recitals with a purpose. Some performances are held in venues that serve the needs of people who cannot travel easily. Others, in traditional venues, raise funds for worthy causes.
Our current project is the Benefit Concert for the Wounded Warrior Project, to be held on June 1 at 2 p.m. at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia. The performers in this concert recognize that our military preserve our freedom, and want to say thank you.
The Dumfries Police Department will be hosting a self defense class for Dumfries women tomorrow. Tactics, use of pepper-spray and ways to decrease victimization will all be taught. Minors will need to fill out a parental consent form in order to participate.
Space is limited to the first 20 women who register. Contact Penny Shaffer, executive assistant with the police department, by email at email@example.com to register and for more information.
The husband and I are big fans of the Sandals franchise and return whenever we get the chance. This month, we visited one of the Jamaican Sandals — Whitehouse and had a wonderful time.
Whitehouse, Jamaica is a small fishing village that is home to a wildlife preserve and the Sandals backs to that land making it feel like you are in your own private paradise. Like all the other Sandals we’ve enjoyed, this one had the usual restaurants, free activities, tours and entertainment.
Getting to Whitehouse isn’t the most pleasant experience. It’s almost a 2 hour road trip from Mobay Airport — across some of the most awful and winding roads imaginable. The Sandals bus is, however, air-conditioned so the travel stress is kept to an absolute minimum. We hired a private car and driver to return us to the airport and although he got us back about 30 minutes quicker, the drive was nauseating at that speed.
The beach at Whitehouse is nearly beautiful and uncrowded. The staff is attentive and friendly. The mattresses are extra firm. My husband loved that and I hated it. Peacocks, peahens and chicks were everywhere. The scuba diving trips are free and the reefs are beautiful. Water sports are all inclusive as is pretty much everything else. Only the spa, shops, certain extras (such as extra flowers, chocolates and private beach dining) and private tours are not included.
The only real downside to this Sandals is that the rooms were very noisy well into the night. We stayed in the Italian Village which was too close to everything and “rocked with the bands” all night every night. As we stayed 2 weeks, it got old fast. Otherwise, the stay was about as idyllic as they come. Yeah, mon.
Mark your calendar for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s 18th Annual Walk for the Animals on May 11th (rain or shine) at Bluemont Park, Arlington. Leash-up Fido, strap on your walking shoes and join hundreds of animal enthusiasts for a three-mile walk or one-mile stroll through the park followed by a festival of entertainment. Pre-register now for $25 or register event day for $40. All pre-registered walkers will receive a free 2013 Walk t-shirt and participating dogs will receive a free bandanna Demonstrate your devotion to your four-legged companion while helping homeless animals, one step at a time. Be a part of the League’s largest fundraiser and Arlington County’s largest pet-centered event. / Bluemont Park, Arlington; 703-931-9241; awla.kintera.org; $25 pre-registration, $40 day off.
Rat Pack Together Again brings these cperformers to life and make them vibrant. “One of those shows that you simply must see while you’re in town.” — The Times Herald “The vocals and arrangements are complex and rich, filling the room with beautiful music.” — The New York Post.
Please note: there will be no dancing throughout the show. Guests may dance before, during the intermission or after the performance