Communing with Nature

There’s bupkis in Bumpass, if you don’t count the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station and Lake Anna – the disturbingly warm manmade reservoir created to cool the plant. We marinated all week in the hot tub that is Lake Anna. The weather ended up being not as terrible as we expected. Even when it rained, we would paddleboard or kayak or canoe back and forth across the lake all day long.

IMG_6050IMG_5920IMG_5884IMG_5954IMG_6082IMG_6010Once I fell off my paddle board into the lake, which had recently been found to have “dangerously high levels of E.coli.” I managed to keep my eyes and mouth tightly shut until I resurfaced, with alarm bells screaming bloody murder in my head. IMG_6076

Good thing my phone was safely tucked away in my handy dandy waterproof case when it happened:


My sister was so jealous of my jaunty little case, I fashioned one for her out of a sandwich bag, a pencil case, and a lanyard we found at the local Dollar General.


She’s virtually guaranteed to up her cool factor with this bad boy slung around her neck. 

If I’ve shortened my lifespan in the radioactive, bacteria-laden waters of Lake Anna…well, at least I got to see bald eagles and herons up close and personal as they criss-crossed the lake. My daughter didn’t believe me when I said I saw an eagle. (Ummm, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I think you just saw a regular bird, Mom). I was so anxious to prove to her that I really had seen an eagle, I made my sister stalk this one to a tree. We sat in our canoe with our necks craned into position for three quarters of an hour until it finally took flight…

Sometimes we stalked birds; sometimes the birds stalked us. This is the exact moment I learned how much my sister loves me:

We could see schools of fish swimming around in the remarkably clear waters. Once, a sweet baby turtle bobbled up and down alongside us as my sister and I floated on our boards and chatted and stared up at the clouds in the cove by our house.


We did a lot of loafing that week in Bumpass…IMG_6014IMG_6049IMG_5922IMG_6077IMG_5978IMG_5979

My husband finds it harder than I do to relax. He kept rounding up the kids to do what few local activities he could find. They played miniature golf and disc golf a few times. One afternoon, he took the family to the North Anna Nuclear Information Center – a one-room exhibit about the plant. Toward the end of our trip, he realized that we were very close to Twin Oaks, a 450 acre commune, and that they gave tours on Saturdays. More on that next time!



Bumpass 5-0

It finally stopped raining in Bumpass!

My sister filmed a couple more entries for Sundance.

Watch this one to the end. A star is born. Agents can contact me to book my husband.

Might as well just cut to the chase and hand over those Oscars now! : )


It was going to be hard to top a glorious week in Cape May, but by God we would try.

In Bumpass.

We are now in Bumpass, vacationing at Lake Anna…a manmade reservoir built to cool the reactors at the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station.

During the weekend we had at home between Cape May and Bumpass, we compulsively checked the weather forecast every half hour, hoping it would magically improve:

It hasn’t.

Never mind. We come from hardy stock. We would not be deterred by lousy weather.

On our first day in Bumpass, my sister and I decided to take a canoe out on the lake.

As we paddled along, we suddenly caught sight of our parents barrelling down the grassy slope.img_58932

Once, many years ago, my father rescued a drowning woman from raging waters. The incident is memorialized in the opening scenes of Tiger Pelt, my sister Annabelle Kim’s novel. My dad sprung into action again…

Stay tuned for more action and adventure in…Bumpass.

Postcards from Cape May, Part 3

Beloved family.IMG_5004


Trolley tour of Cape May


The Four Musketeers


We weren’t sure why the little ones were laughing so hard…



Whale watching tour. Lots of dolphins spotted, but no whales. : (


Goodbye, Cape May! Goodbye, cute little Watermelon House, where my brother and his crew stayed, just down the street from our own beach house.


IMG_5854 3


Matching shirts!



Happy 83rd birthday, Dad!