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Ron bought me a nice easel for my birthday and then we found a really fancy wood one in an antique store for not too much $$, so he bought me that one too.  For Christmas, he got me wonderful water colors from
Germany (you know the Germans; they always make good stuff.)  The only problem is that his guitars are crowding my art studio.  He says my easels are crowding his music studio.  It IS the library.  Cashmere and Tanger like this room when we're in here and say that, since BOF (Bringer of Food) is not an artist and POP (Provider of Play) is not a musician, then we should sit down and make laps.
          A blue heron just flew by, inches above the water.  We have Mersanger ducks, which are considered rare, but there are many here locally.  Last night, we saw 2 deer out in the poquoson, which explains how they get from shore to shore.  I thought their sharp little feet might sink into the swamp mud, but there are enough reeds and roots for them to leap about.

This morning, there is ice on the banks of the creek and a cold wind blowing.  We have a fire in the library.  Today, we’re on our way up to Richmond for art supplies and music stores. 

Last Friday, my nephews [Sam and Jim Kerr] and I went to Norfolk on the trail of art and music.  Norfolk is not a driver friendly town, being built on rivers, lakes and inlets, and we found navigation a nightmare.  First, when we finally got to the art store of Sam’s dreams, it was permanently closed.  We were unable to find a way to come back around to see if they had a note on the door.  Abandoning hope, we decided to have lunch, but when we tried to turn into a Popeye’s chicken place, there was a no-left-turn sign and the road veered to the right and went over a bridge with no hope of turning back.  Eventually, we got turned around, but could not find that street; we drove past a Burger King—not the boy’s fave—and Sam’s car began to overheat, needing oil.  We came back to BK, parked and walked in.  A big banner sign said “Angry Burger” --perfect for Sam’s mood.  We sat an hour, drinking heavily, and talking.  When the car was cool, Sam added the oil he’d brought with, and we set out for the music store.  It was closed forever as well.  Grateful that we’d had this chance to drive 50 miles to have lunch, we headed home.

Wednesday, we three went to the Virginia Living Museum (VLM).  Jim heads back to VA Tech this Sunday, so we’re packing in as much fun as we can before he goes.  VLM is a wonderful museum full of living dioramas of VA wildlife by zone—ocean, tidal, fall line and mountain.  Jim used to work there as a volunteer and is full of information.  They have just reopened the planetarium there and we went to a show “Oasis in Space” re: water in the Solar system.  There’s more water out there than I realized.  I would have called the show “Oasis in Spaces” because I cannot resist a rhyme.

The museum also has outdoor trails, with habitat for gray wolves, gray and red foxes, coyotes (bigger than I have ever seen them; zoo life agrees with them, I guess), eagles (unable to live in the wild), as well as an aviary for all types of shore birds.  For some reason, zoo animals always “go” when I walk up.  The herons were particularly impressive, since they eat fish.  We also saw a beaver swimming about, but we could not find the otters.  I guess they are in an otter hut for the winter, but it did give me the chance to remind Jim to “do unto otters as you would have them do unto you.”

I really hate wolves.  They scare me on a visceral level and I take phrases like “wolves in the streets” seriously.  So did Dr. Zhivago.  The pack at VLM kept looking at ME thinking how wonderful it would be to kill me and rip me to pieces and snarl over the remains.  I know that was what they were thinking.  Yes, they were so thinking that.

Hanging out with my nephews is the next best thing to being with Andrew and Simon.  Blood is thicker than water and sense of humor is genetic. 


cCarol Kerr Buckles, Winter 2009