Time Spent On The Marsh Is Time Well-Spent - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at Allrecipes.com - 319063

Put the Kettle on....

Time Spent on the Marsh is Time Well-Spent 
Jan. 5, 2014 8:16 am 
Updated: Jan. 9, 2014 2:46 am

This year’s winter trip to Chincoteague was different than any other year.  Jon, Suzy and I were the only ones who went; at least from our family.  Jon’s hunting friend, Kevin and his family, went also and we spent some time with them, but it was just us two old folks and our lab rattling around in the old island cottage we stay in.  We arrived Saturday afternoon and it was 55 degrees and sunny so we spent some time out on the beach and the wildlife loop.  We couldn’t wait to head to one of our favorite restaurants and gorge ourselves on Chincoteague oysters.  We ordered a double-order of Oysters Rockefeller and I had crab-stuffed flounder.  Delicious!

Over the years Jon has become friends with a man who lives on the Island and is a fellow-hunter.  Ryan took the week off so he could spend time hunting with the boys from Ohio.    When Suzy was a pup she met Ryan and fell in love – we have pictures of her kissing him and sitting on his lap in the duck-hunting boat.  I knew she would be excited to see him again.

About 30 years ago I went out hunting with Jon in his duck blind on the shore of our local lake.  It was a “blue-bird” day and while he did not shoot any ducks, I got some awesome pictures of Goldie, our golden retriever we had at the time.  I have not been out hunting with him since that time.  There has always been a child to look after, or a child (albeit a grown child) to hang out with and enjoy time with.  Monday was another one of those blue-bird days so the boys did not spend all day hunting.  They came in around lunch time and we all piled into the duck hunting boats and went for a boat ride to the tip of the beach, known as the Hook.  To get there by walking is a several mile hike and that is where the best shells are.  About 15 years ago I took Kristal and Steve on that hike to look for shells while Jon was hunting.  We gathered huge bags full of conch shells and headed back.  Every 15 or 20 minutes we’d stop and re-assess our shell collection.  Those shells were heavy so we just kept dropping a few out of our bags until we only had about 6 shells when we got back to the car.   This year we filled a bag with shells in a matter of minutes and put it in the boat.  Kevin has small children and they had a blast.  I won’t lie – the grownups had fun, too.

Tuesday I spent the afternoon with Kevin’s wife and children while the guys were hunting.  We took a walk out to the pony overlook and got to see some of the wild ponies.  We also saw a couple thousand snow geese.

We had dinner at The Village Restaurant and headed back to our cottages.  In years past we went to the “Horseshoe Drop” at midnight for New Year’s Eve, but this year we decided to celebrate with the Australians so we didn’t have to stay up so late.   J  We were in bed before midnight and sound asleep. 

Wednesday morning Jon and the guys went out sea duck hunting so Suzy stayed with me.  We went for a nice long walk and then spent the rest of the morning reading and enjoying some of the Christmas cookies I had brought with us.  Jon was back for a quick lunch of several dozen fresh shucked oysters and was heading back out for more hunting, this time to a place where Suzy could go.  I could go, too!  It was a day just like it was 30 years ago when I went on my last hunting trip.  I zipped up the old camo coat and out into the marsh we headed.  Suzy thought it was grand that “mom” was in the boat.  It quickly became obvious that I was her cushion.

Jon put out his decoys and we settled down to wait for some birds.  I haven’t been married to a duck hunter for 32 years and not learned something – I know the ducks don’t really fly when it’s 55 degrees and sunny, but as far as I can tell one would have to be insane to go hunting in any other kind of weather!  We did get one lone duck, a bufflehead, swimming amongst the decoys but Jon didn’t want to shoot it.  I wondered if he left it alone to back-up his stories to me about all the ducks that land in his decoys and he just doesn’t feel like shooting.  I’ve always figured that’s what he tells me when he comes home empty-handed.  I’ve heard all the stories about how Jon makes delicious hot sandwiches while sitting and waiting for the birds, so I started hinting about how lunch was not very filling and a nice warm snack would taste so good.  Finally he got the hint and dug out his little stove.  I got a hot ham and cheese sandwich and a cup of tea!  As you can see by the picture – Jon has a “Sue” Chef.  She assisted quite eagerly by eating the excess ham and cheese.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<

As the sun set, the breeze picked up and the temperature started to drop.  On the ride in to the dock, it was confirmed for me – I am NOT a duck hunter.   I’ll gladly drink my tea by the fire while I read a good book and wait for my man to bring my dog back home safe and tired.

I learned several things at the close of 2013 and beginning of 2014:  1) Even though I went to bed before midnight, it was still January 1, 2014 when I woke up Wednesday morning; 2) I only want to go duck hunting when the sun is shining and it’s warm; 3) Suzy listens and obeys commands so much better while hunting.  I might start wearing camo and carry a gun just to make her mind.  Or maybe I just need to carry ham and cheese around with me; and 4)  Jon didn’t ask me if I wanted to go again this morning – apparently he’d rather I stay home and drink my tea by the fire and read a good book, too, at least on days when it’s only 37 degrees and cloudy.

Jan. 5, 2014 9:11 am
Hello, Mother Ann. I love the photos. Suzy makes me smile. Is that you in the photo with her? Yes, my hubby has gone duck hunting, usually the colder the better he says. Our next door neighbor and my husband would go with their dog Storm. He was a super duck retriever. Storm would have a vest to protect him when he jumped in the icy water to retrieve the ducks. I am sure Suzy gets excited when she gets to go duck hunting.
Jan. 5, 2014 9:14 am
Hi Lela! Yes, that is me. :) Suzy has one of those vests as well - she really likes it, but it was not necessary the day I went out. LOL My hubby says the same thing, the nastier weather, the better. Not for me. I'll stick to the bluebird days.
Jan. 5, 2014 9:29 am
Hi Mother Ann, your photos are lovely. Your Suzy looks just like my Molly, they are such nice dogs. One of my BIL and his son hunt, but I don't know if they duck hunted. I will have to find out. Wonderful read, thank you.
Jan. 5, 2014 9:30 am
Mother Ann, a real "Duck Dynasty" adventure - loved it! Your profile pic of Suzy all suited up in her vest and posing has always made me laugh. God's blessings to you and yours in 2014!
Jan. 5, 2014 9:41 am
manella - labs are definitely nice dogs! We've had 2; Missy (our chocolate) and Suzy. Both love(d) kids and have such patience. Perfect companions
Jan. 5, 2014 9:44 am
Shearone - LOL. Suzy has such personality! I had never seen her at work until this hunt and I was so impressed how well she listened! She listens fairly well at home, but we were at the dock, she was not on leash and a man got out of his truck. I simply said, "Suzy, heel." She ran right over and just sat by me, wagging her tail at the man. At home she would never had listened to me but would have run right over to the man to get a hug from a "new friend".
Jan. 5, 2014 1:02 pm
hi ma! I wanted to read your blog but the type is crazy on these eyes. beautiful pictures!
Jan. 5, 2014 3:55 pm
gderr - If you zoom out to like 125% it is readable. Go to your tools (I have a little gear thingy by my browser bar (?) if I click on that then hit the zoom and go to 125% the print gets big enough to see. I don't know how to change it when writing - I've tried the last couple blogs and I just can't figure it out...
Jan. 6, 2014 7:30 am
Hi Mother Ann. Before you write your blog in blogger Make the print larger by-- you will see a capital T at the top. You can make the text larger by choosing the large print. I hope that helps you.
Jan. 6, 2014 1:11 pm
Lela - Thank you! I'll give it a shot next blog!
Jan. 7, 2014 4:47 am
I'm with you, Mother Ann. I'll take tea and a book over an all day sit on the water any day!
Jan. 7, 2014 5:52 am
Bibi - if the weather is nice I'd rather be on the water, but sitting out there in the cold? No thank you! :)
Jan. 8, 2014 12:36 pm
Lovely! I envy your trips for the seafood! Amazing the rapt attention dogs can have when there is food involved. Happy New Year!
Jan. 9, 2014 2:46 am
Hi Cat! It is amazing how we can capture Suzy's attention with just a crumb of food! Happy New Year to you as well!
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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