Graduation Road Trip

As I mentioned in my last post, I drove down to Chesapeake, Virginia this past Thursday to attend my nephew’s high school graduation.

Mawsie & Pop

It was a happy-sad occasion for me. I was very happy for Josh, but sad because my Mom REALLY wanted to be there.

In the years leading up to her death–she knew her health was declining–just about every time I talked to her, she’d tell me she wanted to at least be around long enough to see my son, Eric, get married and my nephew, Josh, graduate from high school.

Mom, pictured with my Dad on the right, missed both.

Some higher power had other plans for her, apparently.

She wasn’t there, physically, but she was there in spirit. She would have been so proud of her youngest grandson. He’s grown into such a nice, happy young man. AND he earned a $20,000 academic scholarship to Old Dominion University (ODU).

I don’t have many vacation days to spare, but I really wanted to be there for Josh. Lucky for me, the ceremony was in the evening. So I worked half a day and then drove down to Chesapeake.

The ceremony was actually held at ODU.


Think he was excited? (photo captured by my sister-in-law, Sharen Reichard)


I KNOW he was excited. He was ear-to-ear smiles all evening.  (Photo captured by my sister-in-law, Sharen Reichard)


Me and Josh

I’m so glad I was able to go. My Dad was there, too. Both of my sister-in-law’s parents have passed and, sadly, due to a work commitment, her brother wasn’t able to come. Josh, an only child, doesn’t have a very big immediate family.

Josh, at age 3. Mawsie is in the background.
Josh, at age 3. Mawsie is in the background.

I actually worked a full day on Friday (being a remote employee does have it’s advantages; I can work from anywhere), but still had the evening to visit. A graduation party was planned at my brother’s house on Saturday.

I knew they’d be running around like crazy peeps getting ready, so I decided to get out of their way. Any guesses as to where I went? They’re about 35 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean…

Saturday Morning on Virginia Beach


It was a beautiful beach morning.

Everyone was still sleeping when I left the house shortly after 8:00 a.m.

I haven’t been to the beach, or even in the sun in a bathing suit in quite a few years. So I knew it would be a short beach trip.

It really was a picture-perfect beach day. Temps were in the low – to mid-70s and a nice breeze was blowing. Mentally, I could’ve stayed much long. Physically, I would’ve burned to a crisp. I hit the sand shortly after 9:00 a.m. and left the beach around 11:30.

I Love Beach-town Architecture

I went in a shop or two because I also love looking at tacky beach souvenirs. And the crazy tee-shirts they sell. Then I headed back to the house.

Crazy Tee I Shoulda Bought for My Friend, Ashley
Crazy Tee I Shoulda Bought for My Friend, Ashley

They did a great job transforming the yard into party central while I was gone. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures. I did get a shot of the yummy smoked chicken, dogs, and burgers that my brother grilled.

Party food!
Party food!

I left for home around 3:45. I was supposed to have left around 3:00. Oops.

The late-departure didn’t stop me from making an important pit-stop, though. I’d checked my app to see what “attractions and oddities” were in the area and was tickled to see there was a Muffler Man nearby.

The Muffler King in Newport News
The Muffler King in Newport News

I took that pic for my friend Rachel, who really likes what she calls “roadside weirdness.” Then I captured a fun selfie or two for myself.

Muffler Man Sprouting From My Head


Muffler Man Selfie with Odd, Unintentional Focal Point

I’ll leave you with yet another fun selfie. I asked Josh if he’d pose with me before I left and my brother photobombed us.

Tom the Photobomber

Why, yes, I do have a slightly goofy family. And, yes, I need more selfie practice.

Even if I didn’t get to ride my bike as I’d hoped, it was a fun, but far too brief, trip.

2 Replies to “Graduation Road Trip”

  1. Great post Kathy. So glad you could make it to share Josh’s special day. I had the same thoughts as the days got closer and know that Mawsie and my parents were so proud of Joshua. I know they were there in their own way. I did see a butterfly at the graduation cookout and thought of Mawsie.

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