Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


On July 8, 2011, Ron and I celebrated our 50th Anniversary! Can you believe it? I can't. Actually, the celebration began in June at Edisto Island, South Carolina, when our three children and their relatives/conspirators surprised us with a 50th anniversary party.

 Our crowd minus nine. Photo by Mark Roseveare.

Because we danced to live beach music by the Blue Notes at our rehearsal party on July 7, 1961, we drove to Westlake Plaza for the monthly "Jive After Five" this July 7 and danced the cha-cha and shagged to live beach music by the Embers. I like to dance; glad Ron does, too. Reckon that's why we've lasted 50 years?

The drummer was the only original Embers 
band member. But they were still good.

The morning of our 50th, Ron told me to put on jeans and boots and be ready to leave the house at 9:30. Hmm. Jeans and boots? I figured he must be taking me horseback riding, one of my very favorite things to do. Reckon that's another reason we've lasted 50 years?

We pulled into Slocum Appaloosa Ranch at 10:00 a.m. I saw horses everywhere. With April guiding us, we rode through part of the 160-acre farm. We walked, trotted and cantered across meadows and streams, up and down steep banks for an hour and a half. We had SO MUCH FUN!

Me riding Chief and Ron riding Jack. April took all the pictures.

Ron's horse Jack insisted on being first or second, so when I tried to bring Chief up close to Ron for a 50th anniversary horseback hug, Jack kept moving away. We compromised, leaned toward each other and held hands. Life--and marriage--are full of compromises. Reckon that's why we've lasted 50 years?

Once home, but still walking funny (so was I), Ron told me to be ready to leave the house at 5:30. When I asked what I should wear, he said, "Casual." Hmm. Casual? How casual? I asked, learned that jeans and boots were out. Okay, that meant we were going to dinner. But where?

We drove through Bedford and on up Rt. 122 toward Big Island. Hmm. Will we dine at the Millstone Tea Room, a restaurant I've heard nothing but good things about? Was that our culinary destination? It was!

Because I love seafood, I ordered a shrimp dish. It was delicious. Ron feasted on the best trout he'd ever eaten.

I love really good food. So does Ron. Hmm. Is that another reason we've lasted 50 years?

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Thursday, July 21, 2011


Ron and I recently drove to Edisto Island, South Carolina, in a loaded mini-van with two kayaks and two grandchildren for a much-anticipated week-long Roseveare family reunion. We caravanned with daughter Christine's family, and switched grandchildren several times during the ride.

A porch full of Roseveares. Eight more arrived later.

Ron and I with our 3 children, their spouses and children for a total 
of 20. We'd number 21 if grandson Jonathan hadn't died in 2006. 

Seeing relatives interacting and catching up on our families' lives was really special. We swam, kayaked, biked and played together. I loved getting to know my great nieces and nephews; I hadn't seen most of them for years. I laughed with them, marveled at their personalities and what possibilities the future holds for them. I discovered that my nieces and nephew are as delightful as I remembered, that they are good parents.

Some Roseveares at the Edisto River

Edisto Island isn't commercial like Myrtle Beach. Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Edisto River, the island holds no big high-rise hotels or buildings. Bike trails run across much of the island, and bikers and runners take advantage of them. Access areas to the sandy beach are plentiful, so no matter where you stay on the island you can enjoy the ocean. We jumped the ocean breakers and played in waves mornings and early afternoons. Mid afternoons and at sunset we kayaked, crabbed, and played where the Edisto River and Atlantic Ocean meet. Sunsets here are spectacular. See photo below.

The Piggly Wiggly is the only supermarket on Edisto; I never shop there on Sundays when all the vacationers are arriving. The small aisles are jammed with hoards of shoppers and it smells of fresh fish, produce, sunscreen, and yeah, sweat and beer. We either take enough food for a couple days or buy it in nearby Walterboro. But Piggly Wiggly is beachy, loaded with personality--and I hope it stays the same for ever. Several of the kids bought Piggly Wiggly tee shirts. (I understand Piggly Wiggly shirts are the rage among teens, even in Virginia!) Even though I'm way past being a teenager, I bought one, too. Mine is purple.

 Cashiers above are wearing Piggly Wiggly tee shirts.

We visited the Serpentarium, watched naturalists feed alligators, and attended a snake presentation where some of us held a non-poisonous snake. As you can tell in the photo below, you don't want to be near a snake when red touches yellow! Our family has memorized this. Maybe you should, too.

Click on picture to enlarge.

 We discovered Hammock Island and Botany Bay Beach, both nature lovers' paradises. South Carolina's salt marsh ecosystem contains 3,500 hammock islands, located landward of barrier islands. We walked the half mile over salt marshes to Botany Bay Beach. See pictures below.

 Some of our folks crossing the salt marsh to Botany Beach.
Pelicans in flight at Botany Beach.

A centuries'-old live oak tree on Hammock Island.

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