The Letter

Last night, during dinner, I mentioned to Motor Man that I didn’t have any ideas for a blog post for today.

He replied: “Yes, you do!  Your letter. That’s news.”

Monday, when I checked our mailbox, inside was one of those little forms  showing that our mail carrier had attempted to deliver a certified letter to me. It was odd, though, because it was addressed to me using my last name before Motor Man and I married.

Of course, all sorts of thoughts ran through my mind between then and yesterday morning when the post office opened, and I could claim the letter.

When the postal clerk handed me the envelope, of course, I immediately looked at the return address. It was from an insurance company.  Opening it, I was met with some good news.

The letter stated that I am eligible to receive a retirement benefit, beginning this summer, from the local packing plant. I went to work there right out of high school and was there nearly nine years before leaving just before Marshall was born.  Sixteen years later, I returned and worked there for a little over a year.

The home office is still in our town, but the building itself was demolished in 2013. Although I can’t say I enjoyed every day that I worked there, I was sad to see the building destroyed.

Oh, the trips I made up and down those stairs

A few years ago, someone suggested that I contact the human resources office to ask if I would be eligible for any retirement benefits. When I did so, I was told that I hadn’t worked there long enough to qualify.

So, needless to say, I was quite surprised by this happy news.

Motor Man has been teasing me that the amount I receive will probably be $3.42 per year (before taxes), and that it will be just enough to put us in a higher tax bracket. Of course, he’s also been jokingly telling his friends that he’s going to retire because he just found out that I’ll be receiving a huge pension.

Of course, I have no idea what the amount will be, but I don’t think we’ll start shopping for a yacht or private jet.

“Retiree”….I like the sound of that.

~These Days Of Mine~



Monday Morning Mews: Gypsy’s Got Talent

Happy Monday, readers! Gypsy here with today’s post.

If my pawrents had any doubt that I have talent, that all changed last week. While they were busy at their desks working, I was over in one of the office chairs that I have officially claimed for my own. Later, Motor Mommy said that she knew I was over there pawing at Motor Man’s two work shirts that were on the chair. I have also claimed those as mine.

When Motor Mommy glanced over, this is what she saw:

She couldn’t figure out how I had managed to get UNDER one of those shirts. All. By. Myself.

A few minutes later (after she’d gone back to her work), she looked to find that I had actually turned myself around and gotten even further under the shirt, pulling it off the back of the chair.

Then I decided that things were a bit TOO warm in my little cocoon, so I opted to lie on TOP of the shirts.

The next day, I was once again lying on one of the shirts, and Motor Man thought it would be cute to cover me with the other one.

I was not amused.

(But then, neither are my pawrents when I use that really nice leather chair for my scratching post.)

As a matter of fact, yes, I DO have free run of that office.  Why do you ask?

~These Days Of Mine~

Random Five Friday

Since it’s been a while, I thought that today, I’d share a R5F post:

1.) Early Wednesday morning, I went out to fill the bird feeders. As I came around the corner of the house, this was my view.

2.) Speaking of bird feeders, the tiny goldfinches may be my favorite birds to watch as they enjoy the feeder sock.

3.) My niece, Donna, shared this photo of her son, Ray, at a recent track meet. It was taken by his coach. I know nothing about track, but I think this is just an amazing picture.

4.) An especially striking sunset from one evening last week.

5.) Last night, I went out to once again fill the bird feeders, and thought I’d share this little video of my outing. There is sound, whistling by me and quacking by one solitary duck. She later came up in our yard, and when I threw corn out to her, she flew away. The deer always seem curious when I whistle to them. In the background, you can see their entry way into the marsh grass.

~These Days Of Mine~


20 Years

Twenty years ago last night, Motor Man and I had our first date.  We celebrate the date every year.

The restaurant we ate at that night closed several years ago, the building has been demolished, and now a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop is located on that site.

So, last night, Marshall joined us at a nearby steakhouse where we enjoyed a nice dinner. Then we went to that Krispy Kreme. Just because.

When we went to the counter to order our doughnuts, the cashier asked me about our camera: “who’s the photographer?” I told her the story: 20 years ago was our first date, that night, we had eaten at a restaurant located there, and every year on that date, we return. And I brought the camera so we could get a picture.

She thought that was such a sweet story. A few minutes after we sat at our table, she walked over with two cups of coffee “on the house” and wished us a Happy Anniversary.

I donated my coffee to Marshall.

See the young lady (wearing the hat) in the background?  She’s the one who surprised us with the coffee.  Such a thoughtful gesture on her part.

Good company, good food and a surprise act of kindness made for a nice evening of celebrating 20 years.

~These Days Of Mine~


Monday Morning Mews: Paperwork

Good morning, readers! Gypsy here, and it’s my turn to bring you the Mews this week.

Motor Mommy has been very busy working on all the tax paperwork to take to the CPA’s office.

AND….I’ve been helping!

What’s that?  You say that I’m really not helping?  Well, now that you mention it, she DID need that file folder upon which which I was sitting.

And after she snapped my picture, I decided to slowly move to the other side of her desk.

So, I really did help.  Eventually. But that’s just how we felines roll.

~These Days Of Mine~

Matching Two Pieces Of History

I grew up in Surry County, which neighbors the county where we now live. And I am a member of the Surry County Historical Society.  Last week, as I was reading their quarterly newsletter, one article, in particular, caught my eye.

It seems that, last year, for her 90th birthday, a county resident was given a high school diploma belonging to her mother.  It was dated 1915, and was from the Joseph E Johnson High School in the Bacon’s Castle area. (I blurred out the last name of the graduate, since I didn’t ask permission to post this.)

The article was asking for possible information anyone may have regarding where the school was located, if the building is still standing, who the teachers may have been, etc.

The name of the school immediately rang a bell with me, so I went searching in the “historical” drawer of my old desk.

Sure enough, back in 2005, this postcard was up for auction on E-bay. I don’t recall why I didn’t win it: perhaps the selling price was higher than I wanted to pay, perhaps the auction slipped by without me bidding?  But I made sure to print a copy of it for my records.

Marshall and I made the 30-minute trip to the Historical Society earlier this week to give them a copy of the E-bay listing photo. They were pleased to learn the location of the building and that it’s still standing.

Its location is between my childhood home and my Grandmother’s house. I can’t begin to imagine how many times I’ve passed this old building through the years. When I was a young teen, I remember a family living there, and Mom and I visiting a few times.

My Mom’s family lived all around Surry County (as well as neighboring Isle of Wight County) during her early years. BUT, they moved to the Bacon’s Castle  area in 1923, when my Mom was 13. So, most likely, she attended this school.

Oh, if only she were here for me to ask….

~These Days Of Mine~


Winter Storm Riley

Last week, winter storm Riley breezed through our area.  Thankfully, its effects on us weren’t as bad as they were for others.  We only lost electricity for a few hours one evening, not for several days as some folks did.

The wind wreaked havoc with my bird feeders. I foolishly thought they’d be safe since they were attached to the tree limbs with wire ties (cable ties). But the wind was so strong that it actually twisted those cable ties in half. Thankfully none of the bird feeders were broken, but the birds and SQUIRRELS were inconvenienced and HUNGRY for a few days, until the conditions allowed me to replace and refill the feeders.

We also lost a substantial branch off our old cedar tree out on the point.

Thankfully, our old boat was spared.

We knew the beach at Carova would be impassable, but we took a drive to the Outer Banks Sunday, just to see the ocean. As Motor Man says: “She was angry”.

I tried to take some video to give you an idea, but the wind was so strong, I was having a difficult time standing, let alone holding the camera steady.


We’ve seen photos and videos on Facebook of the damage on the beach at Carova and know that the landscape there will be very different when we’re able to visit that area again.

~These Days Of Mine~