Saturday Market

Finally, some sunshine in Oriental! We got up to a cold 50 degree but sunny day today. The gloomy weather was starting to get on my nerves, and in the proximity effect, on Steve's, too. It's hard for one person to be bored and listless on a 41' boat and not have the other one catch it. Even Adjima is missing her usual cushion in the sun. I actually read the book that came with my camera, 3 1/2 years ago, and found out all kinds of new things. It may not help my photography any, but now I know what all the buttons are supposed to do. As you can see, it has a black and white setting, I never knew.
Oriental has a Farmers Market on Saturdays, so we put on our extra layers and walked up, it's a block away. They were selling the usual good stuff: veggies, breads, spiced cider, jewelry, birdhouses. In the picture, Steve is checking out the boats at the town dock (the free one) which is up the street from the market and across the street from The Bean, the town coffee shop-hangout. The Seafood Market is 2 doors down from The Bean, so we stopped and got some shrimp for a little Surf and Turf for tomorrow. It's great to have all this in walking distance. It's also great to recognize a lot of the people we saw this morning, I think that by April, we'll know just about everyone.


Stop And Smell The Flour

The remnants of the Stromboli, fresh bread and buns

Another rainy day her in Oriental, where the sun shines, according to the brochures, "only 3% less than in San Diego". San Diego must be a gloomy place, indeed. The same brochure also said the population density here was "less than rural"(huh?). We went for a long walk, hit the grocery and bought our turkey and some fixings, in between the rains. Actually, we bought a 6 lb turkey breast to cook. Lots of good sandwich material for leftovers.

STEVE TOOK THE DAY OFF, and I'm delighted to say he spent his time playing the guitar and baking bread. The good part of making the bookshelf of the last post, is that we uncovered the Bread Book. It has great pictures of Stromboli. We happened to have pepperoni and mozzarella. It was a match made in Italy. He also made a loaf for breakfast and some hoagies for the brats in the freezer. I can see a lot of long walks in my future. I'm just now shaking off my SIL (Stromboli Induced Lethargy).


The Domino Effect

We've been working on a series of new projects, upgrades and additions. To all of you who know Steve, you know this is a non-ending list, actually it should be The List. I always think of it that way in my head, with capital letters. The List is Steve's way of staying focused on Work and Important Things. I give him a lot of grief about it, but it's really the only way the boat stays afloat. He is currently working on putting bookshelves behind our settees so we can unpack the last few boxes of things in the v-berth.
We've been exploring Oriental, there's quite a bit going on for a town of 900. The Old Theater has events 2-3 nights a week and we've been to most, so far. You can check it out here. Tomorrow is movie night, they're showing Home For The Holidays.
My latest list (small 'l') included scanning all the recipes I've collected over the last few years. Actually this wasn't on the list and I have to blame Anne Jackson for it even making the list at all. I was going through my pile of papers and came across the recipe for flour tortillas from Anne. I turned around to slide it into my recipe notebook on the shelf behind me. It wouldn't go in. I looked closer. I thought "Ohhh, @#*%, that looks....damp". A zillion thoughts ran through my head during those 3 dots, wet paper always being a bad thing. How did it get wet??? We have another leak??? Are all the books on the shelf wet?? It's full of all the good ones, including my Chris A Jackson autographed copies. One thing always leads to another in boat work, and now we have another leaking chain plate to re caulk, recipes to dry and scan, wood to dry. At one point I wanted to rename the boat The Domino Effect, for the way the things cascade into one another.


Small Town NC… Big Town Jazz

A beauty of staying put for a bit is the chance to get involved in local events. Last night was a real treat as a well known Jazz Quartet played at the Old Town Theater just three blocks from our temporary slip. This event provided an upbeat end to what was for us three full days of steady rain and wind, several books, and numerous games of solitaire below.
The theater, first built in 1945 has been restored to host local civic and cultural events as well as the performing home of the Oriental Repertory Company. The max capacity sign says 170…but that would have to be standing room only. With seats all the way to the rear being just 10-12 paces from the performers it is an intimate venue for the small group, in this case the Gregg Gelb Jazz Quartet.

The music was excellent. Pianist Steve Anderson displayed superb talent from the soft chord progressions supporting the group to fantastic solo improvisation. Gregg Gelb, quartet lead, is masterful on both tenor sax and the clarinet. It is the clarinet however, where true jazz soul came through as he shaped the tone and pitch to match the mood and interplay of the quartet. Gregg’s son Chris Gelb on drums was very impressive as he picked up key riffs and drove every transition forward in a style somewhat like what Buddy Rich did for the big band, but tailored perfectly to the quartet. He is an artist I expect to hear more of down the road. Paul Ingbretsen rounded out the quartet on bass moving so easily through progressions it belied the difficulty and technique required putting down the quartet foundation. Excellent night of Jazz…who’d of thought it would come right to our rail here in Oriental?


Settleing In

We've been back in Oriental for a whole week now and I'm back into my dockside habits. Things unstowed on the cabinets, jars and cans not clink-proofed in the lockers, shoes in the cockpit, lights on recklessly. It sure didn't take long.
We had the rental car for most of the week and did a lot of provisioning. I've had a little bit of panic, as if we're going to be snowed in here all winter and I had to have 4 months worth of food on hand. The beautiful sunny days this week are helping me to relax.
We also did some sight seeing, going back to Seymour-Johnson AFB, our first assignment 25 (!) years ago. Our daughter, Hannah, was born there. It's changed too much for me to recognize. The house we lived in is now a field. We also spent a day in Morehead City and took a walk on the beach. We rode on the car ferry, very odd to be sitting in the car on a boat.
The picture above is the Oriental Marina, where we're staying. We're in the bottom row, just about in the middle. The shrimp docks are on the top right. The boats come and go at all times, day and night. We made a stop at the shrimp store (below) today and got fixings for a shrimp and flounder chowder. This is a great town for walking and we've been walking a lot, no sidewalks but not really any traffic, either.


Home Again

We just returned to Celebration after almost a month and 4200 miles, on the road. We rented a car and went to Minnesota and North Dakota to see our families. It was GREAT to see everyone! All of our nieces and nephews are getting older and TALLER, pretty soon, my mom and I will be the shortest ones in the family. It was really wierd to be coming 'home' and need a map to get here though. Home has always been wherever we are and now home is wherever Celebration is, even if it's in the boonies of North Carolina.
We love road trips and had a good time taking the side and back roads across the country. Steve had never been to West Virginia, so we did a lot of meandering through the hollers. Beautiful country, the leaves are still changing color there.
We had a chance to stop at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Steve had been there years ago and always wanted to go back. It's a wonderful place and rivals the Smithsonian's Air and Space in DC. So much history, we could have spent 2 days there. The photo is from a nose of a B-29 and seemed appropriate, since we've been trying to decide if we should stay here in Oriental for the winter or go south for the winter.

We didn't actually flip a coin, but finally did decide to stay put. We really like it here and the marina is nice and the people are nice... lots of good reasons. We may have to buy another space heater, though.
Steve's Dad is doing well for now, his appetite seems to be getting better. He starts radiation today on some of the tumors in the bones in his back, a way to maybe get the pain under more control. Thanks to everyone for your concern and thoughts.