Well, if you’ve got to be in a conference and you can’t get outside to the beach, it might as well be an overcast, windy, chilly day with an awesome view of the Atlantic every time you look outside.
For those of you, dear 2.5 readers, who have never been “Down de oh-shun” in Merlin, Ocean City is one long strip of land – a long SKINNY strip of land – its length running North and South. It is a very built up piece of land with real estate values running high, I’m sure. It’s been the resort town of all of Merlin for as long as I’ve known. Like the beaches in Florida, it hosts any number of college and high school students for a week of fun for Spring Vacation or post-graduation fun – and for summer jobs. There are a gazillion restaurants, hotels and myriad condos, time-shares and shops, all angling for the best view of the beach or the bay. As you can see above, the view from the 12th floor of the Clarion Hotel afforded me a view of the Atlantic and the Assowoman Bay. The Chesapeake is on the other side of that shared peninsula, known as the DelMarVa (for Delaware, Maryland and Virgina). Seeing the Ocean so near made me just a little homesick for Lawn Guy Land where I grew up – at various times near the Atlantic on the South Shaw or Lawn Guy Land Sound on the Nawth Shaw. Ocean City is a double whammy, although there was a lot more green where I grew up:)
Thursday at the Conference was the “Multi-D” day. Oy. On the suggestions section of our evaluation, I suggested that perhaps we all – Bench, Bar, and Social Workers – get a realistic glimpse of the tasks of the other side instead of trying to do “activities” that were somewhat elementary in nature. On the plus side, we had a WONDERFUL Keynote speaker – a woman I had seen previously on Tavis Smiley’s show a few years back. Regina Louise wrote the book, Somebody’s Someone which chronicles the abusive and often soul-numbing years she spent in various foster care systems in Amurikka. Irrepressible? This lady defines the word! Connie R and I spoke with her afterwards. We thanked her effusively. Later, a group of former foster care youth spoke with the participants in the form of a panel discussion. As we were leaving for lunch, Ms. Louise was sitting with them, chatting. There was an almost tangible electric connection between her and them. It so did my heart good to see them talking! I cannot begin to describe it! If we did nothing else during this conference, Regina Louise and the former foster youth made it worth the trip:)
The rest of the day was spent trying to hold my own and stay on task. I brought my knitting and actually got a bit done – but endless stockinette hurts my heart. What can I say? I mentioned indulging in some guilty (political) pleasures the night before. One guilty pleasure I was unable to have was getting a walk in with Nancy – and she actually called thursday morning! I had to remind her I was out of town and would not only be missing a walk, but kwar prax that evening. Believe me, there are only four things that keep me from that: family obligation, work obligation (this time), serious illness or death, the last not necessarily being a deal breaker, LOL.
Thursday evening, we went out to an Italian restaurant. Here are (left to right) Priya, Ellen, Connie R, Connie D and I. The food was good, although I finally realized I REALLY don’t like goat cheese, LOL. I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all.
Next morning, it was not more of the same. The “touchy feely” stuff was over (thank you, G*D!) and we hunkered down with Ann Haralambie with “Red Book” training. The Red Book, pictured below, is an excellent reference source for practitioners in Child Welfare law. Ms. Haralambie, who was instrumental in the book’s creation, had a herculean task: a day of lecturing about 700 pages of material. And she did it well. She was very matter of fact in her presentation, certainly not flashy, but she held our interest, with good humor and intelligence. Finally! Some meat to this conference! I was fascinated, and stayed until the very end. I am determined to plow through that book, and I have set myself a new goal, to be qualified by NACC in my area of practice. Wish me luck – it’ll take a while, LOL! But I’m going to do it!
We were allowed out for lunch in the same restaurant we’d had dinner in on Wednesday (and lunch on Thursday also). I took another picture of the “two Connies” with whom I ate and the darkly beautiful, brooding ocean view provided with our window backdrop.
After the last section of the lecture was over, I had to take a picture to show myself (and you, dear 2.5 readers) how much paying attention I had done whilst knitting away at what would have otherwise been mind-numbing stockinette in the round.
And guess what? Knitting in public is gaining respect or at least is getting to be more tolerated! I used to think it was in the same league as nursing one’s baby in public back when I had babies and the you-know-whats to nurse them with. I even saw a member of the bench who brought her knitting along too! Plus, I figure at my age if I still need to “look professional” I’ve got a bigger problem. For me, “looking professional” is in the same batch of cookies as “acting natural.” Ain’t gonna happen:)
Conference over, I took a brief journey to the north just to see what the Delaware end of OC looks like – not so built up:) Then I was on my merry way home without incident except for the brief foray into locking my keys in the trunk of my car near Panera and borrowing my daughter’s car to go home, get another set of keys and get the car unpacked before John left for work. It’s all good…:)
This morning, I was up relatively early to babysit the grand ladies:) It was still rainy and windy, but not too cold. Heaven forbid we should really have an autumn around here! A couple of geraniums rescued from a hanging plant that became a bird’s nest (don’t ask about the time I thought I was watering the plants – oy!) are beginning to bloom again! Who knew? I wouldn’t believe this picture myself if it weren’t for the obviously turning leaves in the background.
The “clickety-click” part of the Daily Sweater is starting to get on my nerves. I’m thinking of cabled ribbing like the left and right twists in the raglan shaping, but then I’d be impinging on the flap thingies that give this sweater it’s panache, so…. I have to think about this. But I’ve got three more inches to go – about 5,544 stitches – to make up my mind, so believe me, I’ve got time!
Tomorrow, I was going to go see Casie’s play, but it’s sold out! And I turned down a chance to see Bernstein’s Mass in Baltimore with a friend!! But then, the grand ladies and their parental units are going to Baughers in Westminster for pumpkins and Halloween fun, so what grandma wouldn’t go along? Decisions, decisions!OY!!!
Well, I will leave you, dear 2.5 readers, as I sit here, glass of Saturday vino in hand, perched on the sharp points of a thorny dilemna. May God be with you ’til we meet again.