Sarah’s Wedding: Forever Begins Here

Weather Report

August 15, 2015 (8/15/15)

The day was august in August. The ambient temperature was 66.7 degrees, there was 95% humidity, the barometric pressure was 30.13 inches of mercury and rising at 7:15 am. It was a full sun day with a gentle breeze that dissipated the humidity throughout the day. Perfect.

The Beginning

Sarah was a hot mess and a true gift from the beginning. She came into this world with a mad mess of hair and a sense of self early on. Her brother, John, and cousin, Downes, spend a lot of time with us marching through woods, boating, swimming, and really spending childhood out of doors. Looking back, it was enchanting. Mom, Cathy, father, John, and Aunt Christy had those three convinced that the local forests were inhabited with hobbits and that animals could talk. Sarah had an interesting habit of taking her shirt off and then putting it right back on: “shirt on, shirt off.” Once, she fell off of a downed tree that extended into the Wye River. She came running to me crying and coated in mud. I laughed until I, too, cried! Thus, began the tradition of being baptized in the Wye River!

The Middle

Sarah grew up! However, she has managed to maintain a spark of madness, a smatch of silliness, and plenty of academic success. There was high school, college, and grad school. There were bad boys and so so boys and then there was Jimmy Councilman. This young man managed, in a single moment, to steal the hearts right out of all of us. He was straightforward, real, intelligent, quiet, and very handsome (just to mention a few things from a very long list). In other words…we loved him immediately! Love at first sight sounds corny, but, I believe, this was the case. To me, it seemed that those two realized that they had found “home” in each other…a realness and security, a sureness, and a resilliance…to share a life path together and with us all.

Forever Begins Here

Jimmy and Sarah shared their engagement Christmas day in my kitchen. Presents paled as we celebrated this juncture and joining of families. In reflection I feel that the most outstanding value that Sarah and Jimmy exude is the notion that this wedding was not about their beginning, but all of our beginnings with them. I have never felt this….ever. I have heard it said, but never felt the deep desire for this very thing. I believe this made their commitment very personal to everyone, individually. I felt important and necessary! I believe each person did. The wedding was perfect in every detail. I have never witnessed a ceremony so thought out and specific to their lifestyle, goals, and commitment. If I could relive this day over and over again, I would. My memories must suffice.  Reflections from Sarah and Jimmy’s wedding give me hope that there is still pure intentions in this world. Their parents did a great job bringing them to that moment in their young lives to love and trust, share and give, work and play…..and allow all of us to be front row and center. Forever begins here.

Chris Warren………..on the Wye!




A summer of Loss and Gain: The Chester River and Grove Creek

The temperature is 64 degrees at the end of my pier. The humidity is 84% and the barometric pressure is 30.10. The wind speed is zero with a tendency towards the south-south east. When the barometric pressure is around 30.00 + or – about 10-15 one hundredths of an inch of Mercury the weather is fair. So, the weather here on the Chesapeake tidewater is really, quite spectacular. The night sounds are ….relaxing.


My friend, Lori Rossbach, and I are fast and everlasting sisters (sistas). We frequent each others lives seldom these days because of our jobs. However, we etch out moments of shear joy, and fun, and love, and adventure,and food, and drink, and photography and boating,  when we can. We hooked up in August for what turned out to be nothing less than a magical day we call “epic.” Here is our  story.”

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Departure Point: Kent Island Yacht Club.

Vessel: 20 something length Judge Boat ( local and bay built by a local friend).

Passengers: Lori and Chris (neighbors).

Cargo: Snacks, cameras, poles, and sundry items in bottles with ice.

Destination: The Fish Whistle Restaurant, Chestertown, Maryland.

The day was marvelous: one of those rare days in August when the humidity is low, the sky is a robin’s egg, and the water is flat. Lori and I stowed gear, unmoored the trusted craft, and headed up the Chester River. I had previous knowledge that my twin sister, Cathy, and her husband, John, might be laxing out and skiing on Reed’s Creek . The creek is adjacent to Grove Creek. This is where they moor their boat. It is also  John’s childhood home.

We headed under The Narrows Bridge and into the very large, and long Chester River. Compared to The Wye River where I live and navigate, this river is BIG. We tooled up the river taking loads of pictures. We spoke little. Communication with us often is a look or a smile.  We came across my sister and her husband lounging, soaking up the late, summer sun, and digesting a summer of loss and gain.

Turns out…as it turns out for us all, that John’s dad passed on to the next phase of this cycle we call life…to death at 87.  Loss. Gain: Warren’s love and greater than life approach to living. John’s dad, Warren Bornhoeft, was a great man from a great generation…the best generation. He fought in WWII and came back, after witnessing death and destruction, to start a life with the love of his life, Dorothy. He had 6 great kids that I have been lucky enough to have shared my life with like family. We simply had laid Warren to rest just a few days before… and somehow…coincidentally…we kids found each other on this river. This was part of “epic.”


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Lori and I continued up the river and made it to the restaurant. We settled in with a very friendly and local waitress who hooked us up with refreshments and lunch. But…..just as we were sipping a refreshment a boat came along with Cathy’s husband’s sister and her husband. This was the second encounter with family on the same day on the same river. Not an every day thing. But a very cool thing.

We talked about family. We talked about life. We talked about getting older. We talked about getting together…MORE!! We talked about Warren. We talked about love. We talked about us. We talked about the moment….this moment with us together…on the river…not planned . My friend, Lori, had the awesome opportunity to meet my family… riverside…in August….by boat. Epic.

Warren dreamed of being reincarnated as a seagull.  I believe that he felt as if seagulls  were the ultimate mariners. If his dream has come true, I have seen him many times…..on buoys, markers, piers, and winging his way across this Chesapeake ………love you dad!!!!


Chris Warren……..on The Wye

A Tourist in My Own Backyard: St. Michaels

It is 62 degrees with 82% humidity at the end of my pier. The barometric pressure is 30.32 with a wind speed exactly at zero. The Wye River is a mirror. To clarify my last (and only post) barometric pressure is an inverse relationship. When the pressure goes up, weather is fair. When the pressure goes down expect stormy conditions.

So, this brings me to an adventure story from this September. About this time I get Rockfish fever. These Chesapeake Bay creatures school up and feed crazily at this point in the season. You can spot schools of them boiling Eastern Bay into a frenzy. Gulls swarm about to snatch  up the bits of bait fish ruminants. If you cast directly into the fray with a buck tail, you may pull out dinner. I headed out with son, Downes, and friend, Pam. Our point of destination was Knapps Narrows, a small fishing bailiwick at the inception of the Chesapeake Bay. We intrepidly headed “out main bay,” but the conditions were less than stellar for my 17 foot Boston Whaler (the Montauk). Prudence dictated a turn around towards flatter water.

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We headed for St. Michaels for lunch. I always include lunch or dinner in my adventures. St. Michaels is historical, beautiful, teeming, and just plain entertaining. We docked at the Crab Claw on a sunny, 90 degree day in September. There are no words to describe the sky, the birds, the boats, the people, and my crew. We met a couple who were retired teachers. SALT!! We ran into people we knew. Who knew? On our way back to my little, but well loved craft, I noticed that the tour boat “The Patriot Cruise”DSCN2719 was about to depart. I said to myself: “If not now? When? If not us, who? If not here, where?” So, we bought three tickets and took a tour in my own backyard. We went into the Miles River. I sat on the stern and drank a beer while Downes steered the boat. Pam took pictures. We cruised right past my Outward Bound friend’s summer home. We saw a working Skip Jack. We saw where “The Wedding Crashers” was filmed.

We headed back to  St. Michaels and boarded our little craft for the ride back across Eastern Bay. We caught no Rockfish this day, but somehow my fever for the hunt was momentarily satisfied. There is something about this impromptu sidetrack. There is something about the shores of this marvelous watershed. There is something about spending time with family and friends. And….there IS something about angling for a Chesapeake Rockfish in September.

Chris W……………..on the Wye

Sailing Along

It is 62 degrees at the end of my pier with a gentle breeze of 1 mph from the North-North West. The barometric pressure is 29.80 and falling. This means that we are headed for some decent weather, I think. Barometric pressure is an inverse relationship between a weather system and the pressure it exerts on a column of mercury. I have not quite wrapped my mind around the total concept, yet. Perhaps, this is due to the newness in my meteorological hobby. If you look closely at this photo, you will see my new Davis weather station at the end and left of the dock. The sun is out this evening after a night of rain and my vegetable gardens look like they might begin making progress after many  freezes and a decent snow last Monday that draped about 6-7 inches of heavy, wet snow on the Wye River watershed.


My students, myself, and many others on the shore had a magical March day to revel in an early and very unexpected springtime storm. My son, Downes, and I have a forever tradition of walking in every snow storm, and we did. Because the temperature hovered at 31, it snowed, but it was not frigid. We caught snow flakes on our tongues, threw snowballs at each other, and relaxed. There is something about a snow storm that puts me in a zen place that I wish I could always find. We saw a pair of Osprey soaring and courting. For a girl who frequents the out-of-doors this was not the first time that I have seen these birds in the snow. However, I will never tire of seeing these springtime denizens, winging through a curtain of white.

So, this brings me to my first independent blog….thank-you, Pat Mc Bride.

I want to tell you about my 16 foot 1984 Hobie Cat. This type of boat is a catamaran. It is very fun to sail and can be pretty crazy and even dangerous, if you are not somewhat savvy with weather and wind. I have had this boat for 30 years. This week I donated my boat to The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. They will sell her at an auction and the benefits will go to education programs about the Chesapeake, as well as, keeping the museum alive. The director of boat donations came by yesterday and told me that they have never seen a Hobie in such stellar condition after so many years. I have kept a kind of weird faith with this boat.  I just about capsized her in her infancy and mine, when I was in college. I got caught in a Nor”easter, alone, and nearly drowned (this is another story). I do not use this boat any more. So, a family will buy her and have great fun. They don’t know it, but I do. When they are enjoying this boat that I have washed, waxed, repaired and loved for 30 years, I will be sailing along………..

Chris W……………..on the Wye

The First Post

It’s 45 degrees at the end of  my pier.  This is my first post –  Thanks to the most amazing man I’ve ever known!  🙂  Check out

My Pier