Food & Drink Magazine

Blue Crab, Figs, and Earthquakes, Oh My!

By Wislanscraft @Wislanscraft
I recently embarked on a 1200 mile road trip to visit family on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Periodically, about once a year, I make this journey, usually to one of my sisters' homes, in one of the M states. The Manly Spouse's attitude is "you go have fun with your sisters"... While my brother-in-law would appreciate the support, Manly Spouse does not particularly like wine. Or blue crab. Or martinis. Or Opera. Or boats. Or hors d'oeuvres. You get it. So off I go, top down on the little convertible, with plenty of sun-screen and audiobooks, for my annual sister-fest.
While there, I did little running, as I left my good running shoes in Omaha... So, I went to a big-box store and purchased a cheap pair. But in spite of the wonderful flat topography, my bunioney feet failed me after the second two-mile run. I went bike riding through charming Oxford, MD, and around the neighborhood, so I wasn't a total slouch.
Blue Crab, Figs, and Earthquakes, Oh My!
Blue Crab, Figs, and Earthquakes, Oh My!
One particularly yummy adventure was to go crabbing with some young family members (my job was to measure and throw back any females, or males under 5 1/8 inches across. I was also assigned to assist in the cooking preparation. It is a two-person job as the crabs themselves, well, to paraphrase, do not go gently into the steamer.) On another day, we made a visit to the home of a retired school administrator who has an orchard of fig trees and a bunch of chickens. Picking soft, ripe figs off the tree and biting into their warm sweetness is a sublime pleasure.
Blue Crab, Figs, and Earthquakes, Oh My!My sister's 8 year old granddaughter spent a few days, sans parents, and we designed and fabricated a floor cloth for her room. One lovely sunny afternoon we were all on the front porch of the 140 year old home my sister and her husband recently renovated, and the earth moved. Literally. The wind chime sang and clanged...but there was no wind. The grand-niece's eyes got big. I think mine did too. Twenty seconds or so later we all looked at each other and said...."was that an earthquake?"... And not so nonchalantly moved out on to the lawn, far enough away to avoid any falling walls (we hoped), which thankfully, there weren't. All learned earthquake procedures from my years in Southern California flew out of my mind...and really, should you still stand in the door frame of a non earthquake proof building anyway?
Two days before Irene hit, I was motoring across Pennsylvania, and Ohio... (my sister said: "An earthquake and a hurricane in one!"). When I finally crossed over the Mississippi River into the rolling hills of Iowa, I knew I was almost home. When I crossed the Missouri, I called the Manly Spouse. Fifteen minutes later I pulled into my driveway and there he was, garage door up, welcoming me home. Ahhh.

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