Hello Friends and Family,

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Ah, spring in Delmarva — a special treat for those of us living in the desert with few of the "normal" signs of spring. Here, one of the first signs of spring are the daffodils — those bright yellow trumpets sticking their heads up through the dirt to proclaim the beginning of a new season.

And not to be outdone, the flowering quince in the side yard began its outburst of showy flowers. And the cute little violets were just opening their faces at my Uncle Whitey's house (which is now my cousin Mac's house — but old nomenclature habits die hard).

The robins have arrived as have the grackles — the former welcomed but the later cursed as a pest. The snow geese now realize that they need to get back north — just enough time left to grab a quick snack at the nearest farm before the massive flocks take to the air — their departure is met with great relief by the farmers.

It is still too early to put in any beach time. You cannot tell from the photo how cold it was — but an arctic parka would have been the appropriate outer garment this day. The temperature was in the forties but the wind was blowing hard and the wind chill was unbearable for someone from Arizona. Of course, you do not see any other hardy souls on this beach either — I wasn't the only one to think that it was too cold.

But, of course, our trip was not to spend time at the beach but to visit my parents and other relatives who live in the area — and to get a picture of myself with my dad while we both had beards. Mission accomplished!

By the way, my dad is a life-long fan of the Baltimore Orioles. And another sign of spring is Spring Training. One of my oldest memories of the Orioles is a connection to my current home — the Orioles held their Spring Training in Scottsdale, Arizona for a few years in the 1950s. It was the first time I recall ever hearing the name of Scottsdale. They now train in Fort Lauderdale which is another home — for me during part of my high school and college years — a bit longer for my folks.

And we certainly could not let my mom miss the fun. So here we are together. It's curious to me that some people say I resemble my dad and others say I resemble my mom. Since I have genes from both of them, perhaps it makes sense that I resemble both parents.

One aspect where we are all similar is our love of seafood — which makes it easy for Mizuki to fit right into the family — since she loves seafood too. And we ate a lot of seafood on this trip.

Unfortunately, our restaurant experience was not up to standard. It seemed like almost every meal where we dined out, left something to be desired. For instance, there used to be a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Crissfield which served the greatest crab cakes in the world. Their building was torn down and a condo complex erected in its place — but a spiffy new restaurant (with the same name but new owners) was built on the second floor of the complex. We were told that the crab cakes were the same as the old restaurant — but we all agreed that they were decidedly inferior to what we remember.

Thus I spent the entire remainder of the trip trying to find the new spot for Delmarva's best crab cakes. In the end, I voted for a little family restaurant near my parents home called the "Goin' Nuts Cafe". In fact, they have a standing reservation there every Sunday night. Wish we could join them each Sunday.

And now, one piece of unfinished business. Two weeks ago, I promised that the beard was coming off. It is now gone. And, as I mentioned that I looked older with the beard, I now look younger — please see the photo at right. I think you'll agree.

We were having such a great time that we decided to extend our stay by a few days (retirees can do such things). A few extra days of visiting, touring, eating, etc. But we are now back in Phoenix and trying to get back in the swing of our normal lives. It was a wonderful visit — and we are already looking forward to the next one. Maybe a trip in the fall to see the changing of the leaves. Hmmmm, interesting idea.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com