Taylor’s Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Twenty-nine years ago, four women met while attending the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. Friendships were born during the challenges of graduate school and the process of becoming Nurse Practitioners, and a few times each year, we gather to celebrate our great good fortune in having met. We’ve been together through celebration and devastation, and have shared many a meal, a beverage, and lots and lots of laughter.

We call ourselves the Girls of August – the GOAs – (we WERE girls when we met) because during the first week of August we spend the week together. The only requirement to the location is that there must be water, whether it be ocean, bay, river, lake, or puddle. This year we stayed in a small rural location on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

A hurricane, a surgery, and Covid derailed the 2020 gathering, so this year’s vacation was a gift. A gift of time, friendship, the natural world, minimalism (no TV, no nearby stores), good food and drink, and wonderful friends.

Taylor’s Island proved to be the perfect place for those looking for a break from traffic, TV, and the fear of Covid. It was also the perfect place for the GOAs.


Gratitude: And Then I Met Anne

Lynn from Life After 50 offered us wise words this past week.  Give yourself a gift: read this post, and take the 10 minutes to watch an incredible video.

For those who strive to be grateful, to express gratitude, and to remember the gifts in our lives, please watch.

For those who love photography and nature, please watch.

Thanks Lynn!!

Life After 50

There are people we meet who leave an impact on us.

After a particularly stressful week, I have been feeling overextended & quite honestly, a little sorry for myself.

And then I met Anne.

Anne lives in the same retirement residence as my Mom.  She suffered a stroke 3 years ago, after being left unattended after surgery.  One might think she would be full of anger & resentment, filled with rage at the unfairness of her situation.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Perhaps she has private moments of self-pity, but every time I run into this beautiful person, she is filled with a positive energy that would put most of us to shame.

Grateful for her life, grateful for the sun shining, expressing concern for others & all but brushing aside her limitations as a result of her stroke.

Without the use of her left side, she has…

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Continuing our ride through western Maryland and into southwestern Pennsylvania (see On the Road), we reached Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA with a few minutes to spare before our 10am tour.


Fallingwater, “one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most widely acclaimed works, was designed in 1935 for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann Sr”. (comments taken from Fallingwater literature).


Wright designed and built the house to rise above the waterfall rather than face it.  Fallingwater “exemplifies Wright’s concept of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature”_MG_9080

Constructed between 1936 and 1939, the home was made of sandstone quarried on the property and was built by local artisans.  The stone serves to separate reinforced concrete trays that were cantilevered over the stream.


Our guided tour (no indoor photography allowed) lasted about an hour and while a bit rushed, was fascinating.  We enjoyed hearing about Wright’s architectural themes, the extensive process involved in making this masterpiece, and the occasional design disagreements he had with the Kaufmanns.  New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger called Fallingwater Wright’s “most sublime integration of man and nature”.


Fallingwater was the weekend home of the Kaufmann family from 1937 until 1963 when Edgar Kauffmann, Jr entrusted the house, it’s contents and grounds to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.  The home was opened to the pubic in 1964 and over 5 million people have toured the home since that time.


After our tour we walked the trail to the Visitors Center, Museum Store, and Cafe.

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We enjoyed lunch in the environmentally friendly cafe with food that was healthy and locally sourced.  Reusable dishes and utencils! Recycling! and a relaxing view.

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If you are anywhere near this National Historic Landmark, I urge you to go.  Definitely a highlight to our trip.


Next Stop:  Pittsburgh!

The 4th


You were expecting Fireworks? The Stars and Stripes?  Burgers and Potato Salad?  While I did enjoy all of the traditions of the 4th of July, for some reason, I wasn’t moved to photograph them.


Instead, it was the simple things, on a clear, almost cloudless day, that drew my attention.


It was a day of friendship, laughter, sunshine, and celebration.


What a wonderful way to celebrate the 4th of July.

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Happy Summer Everyone!

Morning Swim


Nothing like a lovely early morning swim … so refreshing! Osprey feeding their young; crabbers checking their pots; and the laughter of friends in the distance.





One More From Deb’s Backyard: Hollyhocks!

If you’ve seen my last two posts, you know that one afternoon in Deb’s backyard led to a wonderful time and some fun photos.  Hopefully, you’ve seen the Calla Lilys and the Sunflowers.  Please enjoy these Hollyhocks, too.

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With all the rain and  flooding we’ve had (photos next post!), it’s hard for me to believe we actually saw the sun a week ago!

Prepping for the Bike Trip

My annual solo trip is just 2 months away and the new bike has been in the shop getting ready for the road!  It was due for it’s first check up at 1400 miles, but I also had the guys add highway pegs and a heat deflector.

 Since I couldn’t be on the bike, I pulled out the camera (ha! when don’t I pull out the camera?)



I loved the shadows of the leaves on the bark of  this weeping cherry tree (is that the playboy bunny I see?)



This one is with flash …


and this one without.  Which do you prefer?


Not a bad way to spend the evening!

Seeking Shelter

It’s been steadily raining for hours here in Southwest Virginia, and it’s anticipated to do so for a few more days.  During a quick break in the clinical day, I went outside and huddled under an umbrella in order to take photos of raindrops on leaves.

I found this little guy seeking shelter from the storm.