A Baltimore Tradition

September 22, 2011

I live in Arizona now so each time I visit Baltimore , I am sure to get crabs.  (Insert joke here)

Before you can eat crabs, there are preparations to be made.  If you are wearing nice clothes, now is the time to put on a dark t-shirt. You must take off any watches or rings and put band-aids on all cuts.   Newspaper or brown paper is  spread out on a table and the beer should be cold.  Hammers and knives are accounted for and the crabs are dumped into a pile at the center of the table.

Before

Now the fun begins!  There are many ways to pick a crab and each person sitting around the table will probably have a different method.  The first step is to turn the crab over and with a knife peel the apron off of the crab.  You then must grab the shell and pull the crab into 2 pieces.  At this point, I save the shell to be sure to lick off any Old Bay seasoning as needed throughout the meal.  An added benefit to this is to keep an accurate count of your total crabs eaten.  Next, its time to clean the crab.  The lungs and all things squiggly must be removed.  This is the time I also remove the claws.  When you see people using a hammer, they do so when eating claws.  I normally save the claws until the end if I eat them at all.  The real meat is in the crab!  I now break the good part of the crab in 2 and start digging for meat.  Occasionally you will eat a little piece of shell which can be spit into the pile of discarded squiggly stuff.  The crab is sweet and salty and there must be plenty of beer to wash it down.   Eating crabs is messy.  Your hands are filthy, your nose may run and that is all part of the fun!  Its a social event as much as a meal.

After

Once your bellies are full and you can’t stand how dirty your hands are, it is time to clean up.  This is so much easier than it sounds. Hammers and knives are accounted for and the newspaper is rolled and put neatly into a large garbage bag.  You wash your hands with simple soap and water and the meal is finished.  Many people crave something sweet after crabs.  I am usually craving more beer and a game of cards with my family.

So that’s how you get crabs in Baltimore. ( I am sure there are other ways…insert joke here)

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Never Forget 9/11/2001

September 11, 2011

Where were you?

As we remember the 10th anniversary of the worse tragedy of our generation, many people will ask “Where were you?  It is been 10 years. We must always remember and never forget.

Where was I?

September 10, 2011  My best friend Jacki and her daughter Sydney met me at the Portland International airport.   I was arriving from Tulsa where I has played the previous week.  They came from their home in Minnesota for a week’s vacation.  Portland was one of my favorite stops on tour.  The weather was always fabulous.  The golf course one of my favorites and always in great shape. The town was a lot of fun.  Jacki had never been before so I suggested a trip and she was happy to join me.  Sydney was a seasoned traveler already at 14 months old and quieter than most on a golf course.  It was going to be a fun week!  Upon their arrival, Jacki told me Sydney had spit up a little on the flight and that she would wake early and do some laundry.  I was happy to throw in my clothes as trips to the laundry room in the hotel were never my favorite.

September 11, 2001  Jacki woke early as promised to do the laundry.  She stopped at the front desk to get change for the machines.  The attendent working asked if she had seen what happened. The first tower had just been hit.  Jacki immediatly came back to the room to wake me and we sat on the end of the bed in a hotel room in Portland and watched in horror at what was happening in NY, Washington and Pennsylvania. I am an East Coast girl.  My husband is from New Jersey. We had family and friends that worked in the city. I couldn’t believe what was happening. No one could. Eventually, I had to go to the golf course.  I was originally scheduled to play a practice round at 9:00AM.  I was in touch with my caddy and we met at the golf course some time around noon.  The atmosphere at the golf course was obviously very grim.  Normally Tuesdays during tournament week are a bustle of activity.  But on this day the  course was empty.  My caddy and I felt like it was wrong to be there but didn’t really know what to do.  I hit a few balls and played a couple of holes but the golf course was the last place I wanted to be.  We left  and went back to the hotel to watch more TV.

The entire week was like this.  We were glued to the TV but eventually had to stop watching.  I felt so lucky to have had my best friend with me but still wanted to be at home.  The tournament was eventually cancelled and I decide that my season was over. On Friday there was a beautiful and emotional memorial service held on the 18th green. I was able to fly home on Saturday.

September 11, 2011  It has been 10 years.  Jacki and I are still best friends.  Sydney is now 11 and just started middle school.  As I look back, I am so grateful that she was there that week,  At the time she was an adorable 14 month old who loved flags and knew nothing of the devastation that was happening.  But it is because of her that we must never forget. We need to honor those that died that day.  We need to celebrate the heroes and remember how the country came together in the aftermath. We need to work together and stand united.  I am proud to be an American. I will never forget.