Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the lost summer: part one

Some days I think summer just passed me by this year. Whistled on past while I was unpacking. Waved from the window as I counted the pennies in my bank account, depleted from the move. There were no afternoons spent sunning at the beach, no August ice cream dripping down my wrist, no picnics, no barbecues, and that sin of all sins for a gal with the wanderin' blues, no road trips.

Yet there was a summer spent here, no matter how fleeting-- afternoons under a tree reading with a glass of wine in my hand and the dogs at my feet. Backyard clambakes. A trip-- however brief-- to see Nantasket Beach. An outdoor music festival, a brewery tour, a Sunday afternoon at the vintage market. Ripe tomatoes-- yes, tomatoes-- this was the summer I discovered however I may still loathe the inedible cookie-cutter variety found in the grocery store, a fresh-grown tomato from the farmer's market is indeed a wonderful thing. 

In fact, I went on a culinary tour of New England this summer, sampling mahogany clams, debearding mussels, shucking corn, unshelling husk cherries, gorging on blueberries, and yes-- boiling my own lobster. 

There was a summer spent here. Such a short summer, compared to my April-October summer seasons in Virginia, but there was a summer-- a fleeting, startled summer that was as good as any I've known.

 Scenes from the Lost Summer: Part One-- Before Boston

The Great Janes Island Camping Adventure (more on this later) 

When I first moved to Virginia, I fell in love with two things: a.) the miles of rolling shoreline within walking distance of my new home and b.) she-crab soup. I said goodbye to both of these things at the Virginia Beach She-Crab Soup Classic.
After tasting dozens of local restaurants' she-crab soup varieties, I can safely say I'm an expert on the cuisine-- so much so that Derrick and I made our own batch before leaving the state (complete with our own fresh-caught crabs)

Forget lobsters-- give me a pile of hot steamed blue crabs any day.

Saying goodbye to the my true shellfish love, the blue crab

Gorging ourselves at the Chincoteague Seafood Festival

The house-hunting trip to Massachusetts on a shoestring budget, where we stayed at a dive hotel and shivered through cold, rainy weather-- in the packing whirlwind, we'd forgotten our coats. 

The upside of the trip was falling in love with the South Shore-- and finding our dream single family home with a backyard on our last day of house-hunting for less money than the smaller apartments we were convinced we'd be stuck with. It was the biggest stroke of luck we'd had all year.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert-- complete with AUTOGRAPHED RECORD (and plenty of ridiculous swing dancing)


Memorial Day trip to picnic at my grandparents' house in Delaware-- and to see their brand new, insanely adorable puppy

The very last forbidden cookout on our apartment balcony

 Summer rain window-watching sessions in the old apartment

 Derrick's graduation from med school

 ...and losing our minds in the moving insanity. 


Two Quick Things:

1.) Because of a pesky draft and because I can't count, the last post was #94, not #95. We folks here at the Loaded Handbag sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
2.) I've already received some guest posts and they're fabulous! Remember to send your guest post masterpieces to theloadedhandbag (at) gmail (dot) com. With @ & . instead of (at) and (dot), of course.


  1. Awww!!! I love these pictures! You guys are so cute! (And the pictures of you and Derrick are pretty adorable, too. :))

    Sounds like a good summer, despite the inevitable craziness that accompanies the moving process. At least you're all settled in now, and I'm sure that next summer will be ever so fabulous!

  2. you get used to the shorter summers in the northeast and learn to appreciate the fall-spring months. living in florida i sorely missed the change of seasons. we had 'summer' and 'less summer with a few days of fall'. my summer was too short as well - one cookout, no hammock, no beach trips - but i'm looking forward to my first real fall since 2005.

  3. Great great pictures! Also, we are connecting again. My Sis is a doctor! She's a surgeon and likes to take pictures...it's...interesting. I find it interesting though lol.

  4. I've felt the same way about this summer, too. It was the first one in several years where I didn't really appreciate it, and what's more, where I was okay to see it go. I don't know what bothers me more, that I didn't enjoy the summer, or the fact that I don't care that it's over.

    I LOVE all of the pictures! How in the world did you get Apollo to hold still for the picture of the two of you looking out the window? I think that is my favorite pic (which is a very difficult choice) not only because it's beautiful, but because it's so bloody impressive!

  5. OK, the one picture...and you know the one...

    That is the worst case of crabs EVER.

  6. Candice: Just wait. By the end of my multiple photo-posts, you'll be like NO MORE CUTENESS. NO MORE PICTURES. PLEASE. PICTURE OVERLOAD. I'm...kind of a picturetaking addict...and these were just from May....STOP JUDGING ME I KNOW I HAVE A PROBLEM.

    Steph: Hey, I'm a Pennsylvania gal, remember? I love me some seasons-- I always hated not being able to go outside in July and August. Autumn's actually my favorite season of all, but I'm not ready for it this year...I guess because of the having-no-summer-complex. I think both of us moving at the same time caused a sincere lack-of-summerness for both of us =(

    Miranda: I have so much respect for surgeons, especially ladysurgeons in the surgery boy's club! Your sister ROCKS!

    Kat: I HAD THE TOTAL SAME THING LAST CHRISTMAS. Except it wasn't the same thing because, y'know, the whole happening at opposite times of the year-- but last year the holiday season just passively whisked on by without me taking part...and I didn't care one bit. I felt the exact same "I don't know what bothers me more-- that I didn't enjoy it or that I didn't care that it was over" feeling.

    Danger-- I don't know how I didn't see that coming. I feel like I should drop down and give me 20 as a punishment or something.

  7. Heart melted a little bit.

    How do you spell "poignient"? Not like that, I am sure.Google says it's spelled "poignant".

    This post is. Poignant.

  8. Fun pit'chas, friend! I wish you and I could have dance parties and get crabs together!!!

    ... wait. Uh.

    Anywho, LOOOOVED the photo of you and the pup rain-watching. I got the warm fuzzies in my heart. At least I think I have a heart.

    And your post is on the way, just don't be surprised if it gets to you Saturday morning... longest day ever at work/class and a 12-hr day of fitness conference nonsense tomorrow. WORKIN' FOR THE WEEKEND.

  9. If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.


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