Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Late Spring Tour of Rockwell Avenue

I thought I would post one for the gardner types. Spring is virtually over in Maryland and with it comes many things I love. This is my favorite flower. I cannot remember the name of it. About 10 years ago I dug it up along some railroad tracks in South Baltimore. It was a shinning beam of light in a wasted landscape. It has thrived in our yard. It is an annual plant and the seeds move around in the gardens at will. We never know where it will pop up next.

We have been adding edible plants into the flower beds. Blueberries have awesome fall color. The fact you can eat them makes it even better. This is the first year for this Polaris bush.

I generally pick non hybrid plants when I select fruit bearing items. These native Brunswick Blue were chosen for the texture of the plant. The fruit could not taste more like a blueberry should. One berry for the first year.

Ten years ago I planted a dozen asparagus crowns. We eat it from early April until mid june when it starts getting woody. Our patch gives us about 3 pounds every three days. Good thing I love asparagus as I do.

The tomatoes are all with fruit now. Not too much longer and standard lunch in our house will be tomato sandwiches. Dinner will be accompanied by tomato salad. All visitors will go home with tomatoes too.

Ah, the garlic. I was lucky to be given some garlic from Baker's Acres of Chenango. Instead of eating it, I planted it on the shortest day of the year. Harvest day is coming very soon. Never has the garlic crop looked so good.

And finally the peas. This year they were a very short crop. Normally we harvest a few weeks. This year, we picked them twice before they were done. Oh, well. More space to plant fall crops in.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend to SlowMarVa and An Unfortunate Rant.

I have been chastised for being too direct in this blog. If you are a minor or if you are easily offended, please stop reading now. What I am about to present to you just might contain a few strong images. There may be a few bad word seen and written in my text. I just want to be open about this. My intended reader is an adult not a child. I do intend to rant just a little too.

No matter how many times I go over this bridge, I am always amazed by her. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a beautiful structure. The view from the center is simply astounding. By now I must have 200 different photos of Anna, in tow, going over the bridge. I even have a number of photos going under it on the numerous fishing trips I have done on the Bay.

The weather has been very hot this past week. Work has been beyond stressful for me and compounded with the heat, a weekend away from it all was needed. A weekend at the beach had been planned over a year ago, thank God!!! Schools were closing early all week due the heat wave, so we took off a little early. Normal post so far? Well, here it comes...

We learn things from our parents, for better or worst. Beth's Mother cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, go to the Shore without stopping at a farm stand. I think it was her own Mother that instilled this in her. More on Mrs Hardy later, but Beth's Mom cannot resist "The Farm Stand". The word "STAND" is really painted over the word "SHAM". Beth, like her Mother, cannot resist the roadside farm sham. The Farm Sham in the photo above is not the culprit of my rant, but it implores the same tactics. "LOCAL PRODUCE" Hello, it is June... I plant way early for Maryland and my tomatoes are only blossoms at this point. Even though the Eastern Shore is three weeks ahead of us, there are no local tomatoes. The cantaloups, corn, cucumbers Beth felt compelled to buy, were all trucked in from the wholesaler. Beth asked, "are these local?" To be told "yes, I grew em myself". All I heard in my head was "LIAR!!!!" I held my tongue, because like I said, Beth cannot resist. Liar, Lair, old man, I hope your dick catches on fire.
Okay, back to the regular post...

We headed to Milburn Landing. I told you all about this place a few posts back.

What a lovely park it is. The Pocomoke is a beautiful river. The fish were jumping like I have never before seen. Huge fish were jumping at bait fish.

And we had the entire place to ourselves. No one but us. We left the trailer at the park and headed out first thing in the morning to do some sight seeing and some trailer hunting. I love driving back roads and see where we end up. I actually had an appointment to look at some trailers. We found a lot of candidates. Many cards were left on many back doors.

We wandered into Parksley. They have a railroad museum there.

It was too early in the day to go into the museum and there was not too much outside in the yard to see. We wandered around however.

It was kind of groovy.

Things for the kids to climb on. No one around to say, "Hey, get off of that"

The caboose was really cool. They should lock it up like the rest of the stuff.

Surprisingly, both my girls enjoy this stuff. We all liked Parksley very much. It was a surprise in what Ava would describe as "the middle of nowhere interesting." We actually made note of the local realtor.

As I said, I had an appointment. As soon as I turned the corner I knew it was worth while for me to come down here. I am not saying where we are. Sorry, but I just do not want the vultures sweeping in.

Because this is HEAVEN to me.

And this guy is one the coolest dudes I know. (Sorry, Don, you are the deepest. This guy is cool). Ben has a very cool collection of toys. He is a total kid at heart and loves to show his toys off. Many would call Ben a hoarder, and he is, but he has a very distinct taste in things. His yard is not filled with trash, it is filled with objects of beauty. The items he collects are very interesting to me. He has a thing for Cushman' of all sorts. Mini bikes, three wheeled bikes, dump trucks, delivery trucks, anything Cushman was in his yard. Funny thing, it almost all starts right up. Another thing Ben likes; Busses and campers.

In 1947 this bus ran daily between Richmond and Salisbury. It had to take a ferry each way.

With the push of a button it started right up. Within seconds it had the air tank full and was purring like a kitten. Four cylinder diesel motor.

In the 1970's an owner turned it into a house bus.

He retained many of the original items.

It all works. No power steering here. It takes many revolutions of the wheel to make a turn. The air brakes stop her on a dime. I so much want this bus I offered my entire family in trade. Anna too.

Far from trash if you ask me. Before you ask, "You do not have enough money to make it happen" I already tried. My personal line of credit is fairly large. Ben is serious, this rig, NotFuckingforSale!!!

But this was. Or is, we have not exchange the cash yet. Photos to come soon. Probably NFS when you ask me. It is a 1947.

Ben has a number of trailer. A lot of bikes too. Some bikes he has are very cool.

Two Scotty in the yard.

1959 Cardinal.

58 Avion.

I was all over it until I saw this. I think that is a little more "road history" than I care for. If the interior had been more intact, I probably could look past this. Maybe. It's just a little aluminum and a bunch of hours.

Cool ass Cushman patina...

American Pickers would love this place. Mike would be flipping out over the bikes. I have avoided posting most of them. The box of old cans I noticed would have had Frankie covering his crotch so no one would see how aroused he was. Ben is not the least bit interested in Mike and Frankie stopping by.

Do you like motorized bikes? Ben does. How about Harley?

He offered to let Beth take a spin.

Ben, if you read this, thank you so much for showing me your toys. I sure hope we can play together real soon.

Okay, here comes a rant....
Our destination for the weekend was the beach. If you want to camp at the beach in Maryland, you will have to go to Assataegue. Either the State Park or National Park are the choices nothing else. Both are extremely popular.

Many love to come here and see the ponies. Maybe you read Misty of Chincoteague as a kid.

People love to see the ponies. They stop their cars in the middle of the road to take photos. "Whoa, look Brandene, them what be wild horses" Unfortunately I hate the ponies. I would love to eat them. I bet low and slow they would taste great.

Explaining this to Halle was a treat. This was going on a lot this weekend in the campground. Nothing like a little pony sex show. To think I didn't even have to go to Nuevo Laredo to see it. Another thing that goes on is lots of shitting. The ponies love to come visit your campsite with a cloud of flies. They always leave lots of presents when they move on. If your real lucky, your site is where they all congregate. It is so picturesque. "Look Brandene, them horses come ta visit!" They like to shit collectively in one area. They then take turns pissing in the same spot. If you are real lucky, you might have the same site where they choose to do this. The smell of equine urine and salt air is simply relaxing.

We did however muddle through the shit and make it to the beach. Did I mention Ava just turned Thirteen? Well she did. She is no longer my little girl. The beach, Grade A for sure. The water was cool, but not cold.

Halle could not get enough of the water. She was very happy to sit right where the waves ended and take it all in. All three of my girls love the beach. I think it comes from Beth's Grandmothers influence. I mentioned Mrs. Hardy earlier.

Beth's Grandmother began coming to Ocean City for the season back in the late 40's. During those boom years, it was very common for the Wife and Children to "go down the ocean" for the summer. This was a time before air conditioning, the kids were out of school. Either you escaped the heat at the beach, or you had to go to the mountains. Beth's Grandmother never missed a summer until she passed on in 2000. Beth and I would go just about every other weekend and stay with Mrs. Hardy. We enjoyed the free place to stay and she enjoyed having us there. We were her excuse to walk down to English's Chicken and get some fried chicken. In the last few years of her life I was the one to drive her and her two blue suit cases down. The geraniums would fill the back of the truck.

She lived in Ocean City when it was a very different place than it is now. Very little of old Ocean City remains. This incredible survivor is now a head shop. Every thing changes. For many years after Mrs. Hardy died we did not go to Ocean City. Assateague is right down the road, so we thought we would take the kids to ride the rides and see the boardwalk...

... maybe eat some junk like we all did.

Another survivor of old Ocean City is almost at the beginning of the boardwalk. Trimper Rides has been a land mark since before Beth's Grandmother began coming.

I wonder how many generations have laughed in front of these mirrors.

How many times the dog has pranced around this carousel and the horse has galloped around to never reach the end. This is the real deal here. Hand carved, painted in a folk art manor with thousands of little clear glass screw in bulbs. I sure hope this never changes.

Halle loved her rooster.

There are some more modern rides like the Himalaya. Ava loves this ride. There is nothing like good old fashioned centrifugal force. Yeah, that and $3 in tickets...

Ocean City has changed a great deal. Not too many years ago this was all two or three story individual houses. Families rented them for the entire season. Kids had their friends on the beach year after year. Beth grew up doing this at her Grandmothers place. Now it is all commercial spaces on the ground level with weekly rentalsabove. The commercial spaces are full of henna tattoo t shirt hermit crab hooka pipe sunglass discount airbrush license plate your name on a grain of rice all you can eat and drink by the bucket kind of places. It has become seedy too.

Do not misunderstand me, I love seedy. This kind of seedy is not the good kind. Unfortunately just after this photo my battery in the camera died. I really wanted to take photos of our dinner. I am just going to say avoid the Angler on Dorchester Street at all costs. The food is VERY expensive and FUCKING SUCKS!!!!! Our waitress was great though. Thanks Megan. Make sure the boss sees this.

Did I tell you how much I dislike the ponies? If you look at the road you can see the nice presents left. In the grass is one of those collective fecal urine areas. A virtual "shit hole." A few times a day someone came by to spread the shit and scrap the road. Nothing like road side service.

Nothing like crossing back to the Western Shore either.