Sunday, December 27, 2015

Antarctic memories and FIONA!

Three years ago, at this time, with Christmas celebrations over, Boxing Day a memory,
and winter settled upon us here in the southeast, I was busy packing up to leave on
 the trip of a lifetime to ANTARCTICA to celebrate the 50 year friendship with my 
dear friend Paula. She had visited twice previously and this time invited me as her
 very grateful guest. Fortunately her bravery rubbed off on me and I had no
 qualms despite the distance, remoteness, and sailing on a small expedition
 ship - I was raring to go 'to the ends of the earth' also!
Antarctica, and the entire Southern Ocean, is the most amazing place on this 
planet. Go HERE and HERE to look back at some of the places we visited in 2013. 

Fiona came for Christmas - and is staying!

I was surprised when a large box was delivered and left on the front porch early
 evening a few days before Christmas. Nothing was ordered. Nothing was 
expected. Something exciting was up though!
You may recall my recent post about a fabulous shop we discovered when at 
the coast in late November. 
BAROUKE Exotic Woods Etc.
Perhaps you remember me falling in love with Fiona, a sweet carved wooden
 penguin - go read the story for the details. Seeing Fiona on display, I recalled
 my time among literally a million or more penguins on the Antarctic 
expedition - and one particular young penguin on South Georgia Island
 (Paula and I named her Georgia) who followed us about, chewed on our rubber
 wellies, and became our little friend for several hours whilst ashore.

I kicked myself for not buying Fiona while at Barouke - click on my sidebar - that
 day in Wilmington, and shared that fact in my subsequent post where I wrote
 about the great shop, its fabulous offerings, and its lovely owner Jannett.
I realized later that Fiona could almost be Georgia, without her fluffy 
juvenile coat, all grown up, and that I should have brought her home.
Imagine my surprise and joy when on opening the unexpected box,
wrapped so beautifully and tucked into a bed of white foam (snow?) was
Fiona, along with a lovely Christmas card from Jannett and her husband.
What kind, thoughtful, very generous people - I was overwhelmed!

So, you must admit this is a lovely story - but this is only part of it.
Deeper down in the large box were other new winged friends - yes Fiona traveled 
with companions! There will be another story as soon as they calm down, dry off, and 
allow me to photograph them.
They have been testing the waters in our garden (we had a lot of rain after they arrived)
and their boots are still waterlogged LOL!!!


  1. "There will be another story as soon as they calm down, dry off, and
    allow me to photograph them."
    -Ok, you've really got my curiosity now! And yes, what a darling gift!

    1. Michael, you are going to love the rest of the story!!! I was totally overwhelmed at the generosity of our newfound friends at the coast - we hope to visit them again in the new year.
      Saw all your other comments - thank you so much - love to you both for a wonderful new year!
      Mary -

    2. I'm sure I will! So ....where is it? :) Waiting with baited breath here. Thank you. Love and good wishes for the new year to you and yours too, Mary.

      P.S. I'm determined to follow you more closely this year and yours is such a quality blog, aside from the glam trips abroad. Well written with gorgeous photos, to boot.

  2. Mary, superwoman. I have a fear of Antarctica. so you would only find me as far south as Tierra del Fuego. I love the story of Schackleton's adventure though, but it is partly why I'll never go. You have my admiration though. Where I live, it was warm for Christmas, but today it is howling and blowing rain, and I hope ice and snow stays west of here. What a day.

  3. What a lovely gift! Penguins are so likeable, aren't they!

  4. How wonderful! What a lovely person she must be. Fiona is charming.

  5. Fiona is so cute! Hmm, wonder what your other feathered friends are? Your Antarctica pictures are amazing. I can't imagine ever going there - definitely a trip of a lifetime.

  6. First--I still snd always will admire you for goodie on such an adventure. I rad those posts and simply couldn't even dream about going something so brave!! :)

    I read your post title andethought you and Bob had gotten a puppy! lol! Yes, Fiona is precious and a true reminder of your experience. Your dear friend is so thoughtful.

    Love to you and Bob and thank you so much for the holiday are so sweet! Talk soon.

    Jane x

  7. The suspence is killing me.....waiting to know more....

  8. Oh, what a lovely unexpected present! People can be so thoughtful and generous! Love Fiona. She's beautiful.

  9. Hi Mary just wanted to stop by and say hello and wish you all the best in the new year! Rhondi

  10. What a lovely present Mary and so unexpected..... you must have been thrilled. I shall await to see what else was in the box !! XXXX

  11. I absolutely loved your posts when you were on your expedition, Mary. I was in awe of your fearlessness! The penguins, especially the wee little ones were so delightful. I know why Fiona is so close to your heart. She reminds me of a wooden duck we have at the lake that I found in a small gift shop in Michigan. Similar to Fiona, my guy had a tag around his neck, his name...Elwood!!

    I scrolled back to read about your Christmas and Boxing Day celebrations. So lovely. The little mice (I take it they are Mr. and Mrs. S?), precious.

    I hope I thanked you for the card and I love your very sweet comment on my blog today. I really need a nap, dear lady! I'm glad I document everything on my blog because next year I can choose all of the frustrating endeavors and erase them from my To Do List!! I just recently started baking a few years ago thinking I'd love it as much as cooking. No, not quite the same at all! I do find that homemade sweets make others happy so I will keep prodding along until I have a few recipes that are no fail. :)

    Love to you and your handsome guy, and Happy New Year if we don't touch base again in the next few days.

    Jane x

  12. Now that is a thoughtful, delightful gift. Oh Fiona will be so happy with you. Surprises such as this are always a precious gift.

  13. What a darling penguin! Love her name and how she will remind you not only of your memorable trip to Antarctica, but also your new friends. Looking forward to "the rest of the story."

  14. I remember that story! What a heartwarming conclusion. I'm wearing a big smile.


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