Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oysters with Diner and Lights

On Saturday, immediately after finishing my shift at the house building, I went down to DC with Barb for Tim's Oyster Fest. He had last had one 2 years ago and had been so impressed with the farm from which he'd got the oysters, he had decided to grow his own. So this year was the first harvest of his homegrown oysters.
It was on the same pontoon as the last time but the weather was much warmer. Even though we were all dressed up snuggly, there wasn't the cold biting wind that had buffeted us before. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Barb and Tim chatting to a very interesting guy called Roger, who abhors modern technology and owns a collection of rotary phones, still uses them, and also uses an old typewriter rather than a computer. I was impressed.
Gene and his friend shucking the oysters. This is an acquired skill and not one I want to attempt.
Another new friend, Dale.
Barb not looking too impressed with the oysters but she did comment later that she loved the cooked ones. I ate them however they came, they were delicious.
Cara and I staging a fight over the last oyster. We'd been standing at Gene's elbow waiting patiently for the shucked oysters , politely taking it in turns to take the offered readied morsels, and were quite alarmed when we discovered the supply was rapidly diminishing. We ended up having a final oyster each, happy that fists didn't need to fly.
It was announced that the oysters were finished and we were very proud that we had managed to gobble down over 700 of the delectable shellfish. There were a lot of sad faces as we took in the bad news but the sun was setting, the temperatures dropping and so we had a final beer before leaving.
Gene brought his little feline friend from his boat to meet everyone, she was so cute tucked up in his bag. It got dark quickly and people drifted off so after lots of hugs, a few of us agreed to meet up at the beginning of December for the Parade of Lights. A fun evening to look forward to.
On Sunday, the Sterling crew came down to Marshall as we had not got together for Jim's or Kim's birthdays so I'd thought it would be fun if we met at the diner to see Mike. He hadn't seen the others for years since the Sterling diner days and I was excited for us all to be together again.
He looked after us really well, impressing us how he remembered everyone's names. But even though we were together for a social event, it was for me a sad reflection of today's times to see all the kids looking at phones or iPads and getting annoyed if they were told to put them away.
But Scott and I were happy to get another Chocolate Buddy event in and had two pieces each since we couldn't decide on one. but my eyes were bigger than my belly and it was a fail for me, I couldn't eat it all.
Max having a meltdown after I turned off his iPad. I couldn't make him laugh either when I slipped an ice cube down his neck, but strangely enough he decided he liked the feeling of ice down his back and started dropping them down the back of his shirt himself!
Luke equally dismayed when iPads were removed from the table. Thank God these kids have an active and busy sports schedule so they still learn social skills by mixing with their peers. You hear of so many of them closing themselves off from society and focusing only on a flickering screen in front of them. I know Jim and Debbie won't let this happen to their children but sometimes I think our lives were better before computer days.
They both resumed their cheeky dispositions when we left as they were happy to be going on to a birthday party. They both posed wonderfully for one final photo and then we all parted after lots of hugs, hoping it won't be such a long time before we all meet up again.
I later met up with Barb again to visit Bull Run Park where the yearly Festival of Lights was allowing people to walk through the display for the first time. I've driven through this a few times before, the lights are usually the same every year but they try to add something new each time. I hadn't been for about 5 years so was happy to do the walk.
About 500 people were present including this brightly lit woofer. He didn't want to look at the camera but was happy to show off his jacket. As darkness fell the lights glowed vibrantly and at 5:30 we were allowed to set off on the 2.5 mile walk for The Snowflake Stampede as the park had called the event.
I recognized a lot of the displays but there were a few new ones also. The old lights run by noisy generators are being replaced by LED lights so it was lovely to see some moving displays. Nothing could induce me to go, "aaaah" though until we came across this new light show. All white lights very cleverly representing snow, and lovely enough to capture on video.
We got to the end where hot chocolate was being handed out by staff and buses stood by to shuttle us back to the parking lot. It was nice to take part in a 'first' but I think I'll leave it a few more years before returning.

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