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Together

Aidan FishingSo sorry for the radio silence this past week. Aidan came down to visit and we were all absorbed by that. Our time with him is so sparse these days with him living in Massachusetts and us down here. What time we have together is savored and way too darn short.

But boy did we cram a lot in while he was here. One of the first things he did was get his fishing license at the local bait and tackle shop. While there I bought a couple crab traps and crabbing supplies.

You can bet there will be future posts on crabbing trips. I’m so excited to do that with my kids as I have very fond memories of crabbing with my dad on the Jersey Shore. Some of my favorite childhood memories for certain.

Aidan dockHe had his license for all of an hour before he went on his first fishing excursion. Maryland is good for that, let me tell you. Fishing piers everywhere. And while he didn’t have much luck this trip, I can say without a doubt that there will be some good eating once the kid moves down here this fall.

As I edited these photos for this post, I noticed that the kid no longer looks like a kid. Someone swapped out a man where a child used to be. My first born has grown up on me.

Harris Crab HouseOne of the things I promised the kids we’d do when we moved here was to have a proper Maryland blue crab dinner. After doing a bit of research, we settled on Harris Crab House because they have solid reviews and an all you can eat option.

With two man sized offspring, I thought this was a good choice. Also, crabs are SO expensive. One tray of jumbos can run over $125! That’s enough to make anyone crabby. So when I read that they had a midweek special of all you can eat crabs plus sides for $50, I thought that was a rather decent deal.

Sure, it’s not cheap, but this is not something you do every day. Or every week for that matter. This is a special occasion kind of meal.

piles of crabsAnd special it was. We as a family are used to the high pay off of eating lobsters. One crack of a claw and you have a mouthful. Crabs are a ton more work but oh so delicious.

It took some instruction from The Colonel who’s skilled in this area, but with some tips and a little wooden mallet, we were picking like experts in no time. Ok, so maybe not like experts. It was ugly. Shell flying everywhere and we left with crab bits in our hair, but dang was it tasty.

Leela and the crab

A Malibu punch bucket. No one need me for the rest of the night.

A Malibu punch bucket. No one need me for the rest of the night.

If you ever get to these parts and find yourself at Harris Crab House, be sure to order the punch bucket. 32 ounces of rum happiness with a splash of some fruity thing mixed in. Boozy and perfect. Oh, and at $11.99 a total bargain. It’s like three cocktails rolled into one. You’ll be glad you did.

Oh Maryland,  you look lovely tonight.

Oh Maryland, you look lovely tonight.

Such a fun time with my kid. I would’ve cried when he left, but he’ll be back in early June. And we had so much fun while he was here, it would’ve spoiled it to get all down and mopey. So for now I will count the days until his return and start looking for places to drop those crab traps.

Because a free crab dinner sounds pretty darn good to me! Now I just need to figure out how to make that punch bucket at home!

The Colonel

The ColonelSo there’s a guy. I bet you knew that was coming, didn’t you? Yup, there’s a man in my life. He’s been here for awhile now, but I’ve been hemming and hawing over introducing you to him. It’s so very odd that I find it more difficult to share things with you than I do my own blood family. Seriously, I’ve been turning this over in my mind every which way trying to figure out how and when to share this with you.

So here we go. Meet The Colonel…

ColonelI think we’ll start with the most ironic part of the whole thing. The Colonel is a retired fighter pilot and former flight trainer. His whole career is centered around aviation and it still is today in his civilian position. The man is addicted to flight.

My long time readers are chuckling over this because they know I’m a complete flight phobic. The idea that a pilot would enter a relationship with a phobic is rather amusing. And indeed, he finds me amusing in this way.

Matter of fact, according to him, he finds me amusing in most ways. He says I bring color to his life. What I think he’s saying is that I’m the jumbo box of Crayola crayons with bonus sharpener. The man wanted color and by God he got it.

We have a tremendous amount of fun together despite the fact that we have few hobbies in common.

I’m a foodie and he’s an eatie. He might not be able to cook, but boy can he EAT! He’s a strapping guy who still gets up at the crack of dawn to do his Marine Corps workout. The man is nothing if not disciplined. And he eats the same way he works out, with gusto. It does my heart good to see him devour whatever I cook. There are very few leftovers after our meals together.

We may not have many hobbies in common, but we share the same beliefs. Politics, spiritual and life views are shared which is important in a relationship. He is the frick to my frack.

The Colonel on the SwingWhile he says I bring color to his life, he brings levity to mine. Playful in spirit, The Colonel is quick to break out in laughter and smiling comes easy to him. We recently went to a water park and he was the one egging the kids onto the slides. I’m convinced he’s part teenager.

And with me he’s equally playful. He’s been known to pick me up when I least expect it, like I’m light as a feather, hoisted right up on his shoulder. There’s something hot about a man who can pick up his woman. Especially when she’s not a petite little thing like me.

His strength is appealing. I never worry for my safety when he’s around because he’s trained to defend. His eyes are always scanning an area to make sure it’s secure. He’s the same way with my kids. Always watching and protecting. I breathe easy when he’s by my side.

What do the kids think of him? They like him very much. He treats them respectfully and they reciprocate. I can’t ask for much more than that at this point. But I will say this, it speaks to his character that he’s willing to take on a woman with four kids. Jumbo box of crayons with sharpener indeed.

The Colonel and MelanieThe Colonel is an all-around good guy and I’m lucky to have him in my life. And as you can see, this is a committed relationship. We aren’t just dating which is why it was high time you meet him. Much more in the months to come. But for today, here he is. You’ve been formally introduced.