Say Cheese!

I love all kinds of cheese and since I do, I love putting fun boards together for friends and family. Whether it be a quiet evening at home watching a game, a group of friends on the patio for cocktails, our annual parties or polo tailgating, I usually volunteer to bring the cheese.

Cheese Selections For A Fall Girls Night Gathering - Love the coupe champagne saucers I found on sale at Anthropologie a couple of years ago. $3 bargain!

Cheese Selections For A Fall Girls Night Gathering – Love the coupe champagne saucers I found on sale at Anthropologie a couple of years ago. $3 bargain! Photo Credit: Katherine Kingrey

Christmas Cheeses

Christmas Cheeses

Social Hour Cheese selection for our BFF Mike Irwin - visiting from Richmond.

Social Hour Cheese selection…so tasty.  Photo Credit: Katherine Kingrey







Without Daddy – The Thirteenth Year

January 19, 2015, marked the 13th anniversary of the passing of my Daddy. Below was my Facebook post:

On this day 13 years ago, my Daddy passed away unexpectedly. The world lost a charming and charismatic man who never met a stranger and would stop to help anyone in need. Those of us who knew him and loved him lost much more. He taught me so much, the best thing being the power of forgiveness, that I didn’t even fully understand until after he was gone. Though I miss him everyday, my sadness is filled with beautiful memories. Love you forever, Daddy!


— at My wedding rehearsal – 8/26/1988 – Loved his green pants and madras tie.

William Francis Campbell was born on October 23, 1936 in Staunton, Virginia to Sadie Mae Campbell, a young, single mother. Daddy was raised by Sadie Mae and his Grandmother, Cammie. They adored him and spoiled him with love and affection.  He met and dated my Mother, Barbara Anne Cash, while they were very young teenagers. Though a very smart man, my Dad did not enjoy school and joined the Navy, finding out early on that he preferred to be self-educated by life. On a weekend leave on December 8, 1955, my parents eloped to Reidsville, North Carolina and were married by a justice of the peace. Daddy was 19 and Momma was 17. Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine. Even though I was driving, I think I might still have been playing with dolls at 17. Well, no, not really, but who gets married at SEVENTEEN? Barbara and Frankie (as he was called by family) did…and so our story began. I was born on October 17, 1956 while Daddy was still in the Navy. He was stationed in Turkey during the time and they let him come home to see me. I remember a doll that he brought back with him from overseas, she was beautifully dressed. It was at my grandparents house for years, however, unfortunately, I have no idea what happened to it and that makes me sad.

Growing up – I have a sister, and siblings fight, fuss, argue, tell on one another and more. My Dad didn’t like confrontation and encouraged us – first of all – to get along – and secondly – to ALWAYS make up and apologize. He not only encouraged that we do it, he led by example. I can’t tell you the number of times my Dad made me angry, or hurt my feelings – we’re human beings so we’re going to disagree. But whenever he did and regardless of how upset we were, he always apologized and forgave – and he always did so first – before I could even think about apologizing. Of course I didn’t pay that much attention to it when I was younger, but as  you get older and wiser it was a lesson well-learned and something that stands out about him to this day. However, it wasn’t until he passed away that I learned the real meaning of his example of forgiveness. We learned after his death that he had fathered a child with another woman. I was shocked, hurt, angry and disappointed when I found out. After finding out more details, it is said that he apparently didn’t realize he had a son until many years later. He supposedly did not deny it, but was concerned that “his girls” not know. His girls being my Mom, my sister Cindy and myself. We also learned that this boy arranged several times to meet my Daddy, which my Dad agreed to, however, due to meeting changes, conflicts with both of their schedules and ultimately my Dad’s untimely passing, the two never met. We found this out seven years after his death. As I was dealing with all of this and trying to decide how I felt, I realized that this happened when he was a mere 26 years old. And although he was a married man with two daughters, who had served his country, provided for us and knew the circumstances, he was still a very young man. I thought about myself and others at 26, but knowing he never denied his role in this occurrence and that he was so concerned about what we would think of him, made my process of forgiveness easier. I could still see him coming to me through the years with love and hugs and saying, “I’m sorry.” And I remember how warm and loved that made me feel when he did it.  Yes, I’m still confused by the situation, but I love my Dad and have forgiven him. Cindy and I, along with our families, met the son several years ago. I’m glad we did, but ultimately, we decided that we really couldn’t have a relationship with him.


Ice Skating

macarthur-on-iceWhen I was growing up we would order books from a paper flyer known as Scholastic Club. There was one in particular that has stayed with me through the years. I read it in 6th or 7th grade I think. Although I don’t recall much of the story, the points that stand out the most were the following: A young teen romance where the boy and girl “liked” each other. It was set during wintertime and an ice skating pond is the backdrop. At that innocent time in my life I made a correlation between, winter, ice skating and romance – and it has stuck with me through the years. I grew up in a quaint, small town where there was a beautiful park – Gypsy Hill Park – and there was a pond where everyone would go to ice skate. My cousin, and dear friend still today, Sarah, was a couple of years older than me and we would walk from our houses to the pond where most of the kids were her older friends. I thought this experience was just about the coolest things in the world in my twelve to thirteen year old mind. I would see the beginnings of sweet relationships and yearn for the day that I was old enough to get a first kiss, to have someone hold my hand while we skated and to wrap his arms around me to keep me warm. To this day, I love ice skating scenes in movies, novels, songs, etc. My favorite is Robert Downey Jr. singing River in a Christmas episode of Ally McBeal a few years back…and as I type a few years back, I surprisingly realize that it’s been almost 15 years back since that episode – WOW! His voice, his style, his rendition of this song really touches my soul. James Taylor’s voice does it beautiful justice too on his Christmas album. As for movies, of course there is the most handsome man ever, Cary Grant, ice skating with Loretta Young in The Bishop’s Wife. His charm and his style put ice skating romance on the map! The remake of that movie, The Preacher’s Wife, with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston bring that scene into more contemporary times with their chemistry. One last movie is Serendipity, with wonderful skating scenes at Rockefeller Centre. I guess I could go on and on, but quite simply, that youthful time in my life of skating at the park and reading that little paperback book, though not detailed, have made a life-long impression on me. This year, as I was Santa shopping for my sweet Miss Katie, I saw an Alex & Ani bracelet with an ice skate. I bought it for myself, and I love it!

Alex and Ani  Ice Skate

Alex and Ani
Ice Skate

January 2015 – Winter

After Christmas there is such a loneliness that arrives. The beautiful, memory-filled decorations are gently packed and put away, the many friends and family you see during the weeks before Christmas has slowed to a halt, no more late nights filled with classic movies and sugary treats and sleeping in mornings now means hitting the snooze on the alarm for a second time at 6:13 am. Even writing this is hurtful. I’d rather go back a couple of months and capture the pre-Christmas magical moments with thoughts and pictures that I thought I didn’t have time to organize and share. And now, I think I will, for it is Epiphany – the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).