Monday, August 1, 2016

QUESTION OF THE MONTH: FAVORITE BEACH

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's the first Monday of the month so it's time for the Question of the Month bloghop,  hosted by Michael D'Agostino of A Life Examined.

Michael's question for August comes from Jemima Pett, who wants to tie the question to a giveaway on her blog. When I find out who Jemima Pett is, I'll provide the link to her blog in case you want to enter her giveaway.

I found Jemima! No one evades the Junebug for long. Go to http://goo.gl/FK9du3 to enter the giveaway and read Jemima's post.

This month's question is “What’s your favourite beach?”

I'm not a beach person, although I live in Florida. However, when we lived in Maryland, we took a short vacation to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, where part of the trip involved sunning, swimming, and sand castle building. My children were probably five and eleven.

Chincoteague is the site of the famous Pony Penning Day, when volunteers who live in the town drive wild ponies from Assateague through the shallow water to Chincoteague, where the ponies are auctioned off and depart to live a life of luxury, or sometimes are purchased and returned to Assateague, which is a National Seashore and thus preserved from development.

Although Assateague has signs that warn the wild ponies might bite and kick, I never saw the ponies do anything except pose for photos and sign autographs. 

Pony Penning Day took place not long before our arrival on the Chincoteague, so we saw a few ponies still in the pens (ponies who suffer the humiliation of not being sold return to Assateague with their heads hung in shame, but they perk up when tourists return to pet them and give them apples and other treats, which of course is not allowed). I loved the wild ponies because my mother gave me Misty of Chincoteague and other Marguerite Henry books when I was a youngster.

I longed to see the islands, the ponies, and the ocean. I never thought I would. Because that trip made my dream come true, the beaches of Chincoteague and Assateague are my favorites.



Pony Penning Day


If a pony is too small or weak to make the swim,
the pony makes the trip to Chincoteague on a barge.


Here are ponies as I have seen them on Assateague Island.
Part of Assateague Island is in Maryland, and part of it is in Virginia.


The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department owns the ponies on the Virginia side of Assateague. They hold Pony Penning Day as a fundraiser.

The ponies who choose to reside in Maryland are separated from the Virginia ponies by a fence. Maryland keeps its pony population under control through the use of birth control. Maybe condoms?

Marguerite Henry also wrote books about Misty's descendants. Misty lived on Beebe's Ranch when she wasn't residing in Marguerite Henry's home, where she chatted with Henry, shared a smoke, and enjoyed a cocktail or two. Henry and Misty kept this aspect of their lives a secret from the more strict Beebe family. But once during a terrible storm when the Beebes had to evacuate the island and leave Misty behind, she spent her time alone in their house, munching on what she found in the refrigerator.




Here's Misty, pretty as a picture:



I won't show you Misty as she looks now. She died quite sometime ago. She is stuffed.

And I don't mean she ate too much.

Thanks for hosting the bloghop, Michael, and thank you to Michael and Jemima for this opportunity to remember a great visit to the islands.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


34 comments:

  1. I have never seen ponies swim before! That would be a fun event to attend. I love the picture of the colt and its mom :)

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    1. We never went to Pony Penning Day because it draws thousands of people, and being among that many people is against my religion.

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  2. Hi Janie - it's good they are keeping the two groups of horses separate ... wonderful photos of them - and I'd not heard of the islands. How wonderful to have had a holiday there ... the kids must have loved that time ... cheers Hilary

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    1. If Maryland gave birth control to Virginia ponies, can you imagine the outrage? It would destroy Pony Penning Day.

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  3. Oh wow that's so cool!! I heard there is a similar beach with piggies swimming in the water. I'd love to visit those.

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    1. Now that sounds hilarious. I would love to see swimming piggies.

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  4. As soon as you said Chincoteague, I thought of the Misty book. The one we had was the exact cover you showed. The only beach I really know is the beach at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. My parents took us there as kids, and then Phil and I took our kids there. Loved that vacation spot and that beach. Of course, I always thought Jaws was going to get me. I didn't really understand the difference between the ocean and a lake.

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    1. I still have all of my Marguerite Henry books. And Jaws is going to get you. Gigantic sharks are in any lake you visit.

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  5. Petting ponies on a beach! Could life get any better than that?

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  6. I've long wanted to go to this place which I'm not even going to attempt to spell out. I've been close, but never quite there. Since I'm not a beach person either this sounds like my kind of beach.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. It's the kind of place you can visit during the winter when it's very quiet. You can walk around on Assateague to enjoy the ponies and see the lighthouse.

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  7. Being landlocked any beaches that were near me growing up were lake beaches. When I was a kid we went to Moore Lake Beach across the highway (that split the lake). But I don't like crowded public beaches. I like quiet, private time with water, to be honest. So I LOVED the other wild side of the lake. But you couldn't say that side had any beaches. Lots of cattails, red-winged blackbirds, minnows, frogs, n\mallards, and tadpoles. Does that count? ;)

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    1. If you say it counts, and I say it counts, then it counts because we are us and us are Rita Pita Pan and Janie Junebug, arbiters of good taste.

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    2. Well, Minnesota is loaded with lakes...and it was waterfront...
      Yes, I think we are right to count it. ;)

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    3. Our summer vacations usually involved a stay in my aunt's cabin at Lake Otter Tail in Minnesota. We enjoyed the lake, but the outhouse! Gross! And I agree that we are correct in counting what you wrote. We are so seldom wrong.

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  8. Janie, I'm not a beach person, either. If I'm at the ocean, then I want to be on the coast of Maine. Its rugged beauty and romantic lighthouses call my name!

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    1. Assateague has a lighthouse. It's so pretty.

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  9. I've never seen the ponies swim across the water; it just seems like it would be too big an event for me. I have been to Assateague to see the ponies as they roam freely. It's a lovely place to visit in the off season.

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    1. Agreed. No way would I go to Pony Penning Day.

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  10. My favorite beach was on St. Johns in the US Virgin Islands.

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  11. I'd love to see the wild ponies! It makes me think of the song, "Horses" by Rickie Lee Jones.

    I had a roommate in grad school that lived in Maryland. Her family had a beach house in Ocean City. I went there once. It was pretty!

    I long to visit Tybee Island in Savannah, Georgia again though.

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    1. I never went to Ocean City. I heard it was very touristy.

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  12. I read the Misty books when I was a kid and loved them. It would be fascinating to visit the place where those stories took place.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. It was a joy and a privilege to visit the islands.

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  13. I don't think I want to see Misty, Trigger, Lassie , Rin Tin Tin or any other animals if it was stuffed. It's just weird. On that note...love your memories of the beach. I often think that memories is what drives the love of a beach. I have a fond memory of Lake Erie when my dad would take us there after church to wade in the water. I also love Crystal Beach but rarely went to to the beach:)

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    1. I do not like stuffed animals unless it's an animal that was never alive.

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  14. Awww swimming ponies!

    I'm on the east coast and I love the beach. Not a particular beach, just the beach in general.

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    1. I'm certain you would love the ponies.

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  15. Lucky you! Chincoteague Island is on my bucket list, though I don't know if I care to go during Pony Penning Day (overly crowded with tourists?). I absolutely loved the Misty books growing up and read anything by Marguerite Henry!

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    1. I was fortunate that my mother discovered the Marguerite Henry books and gave me so many of them for Christmas. No Pony Penning Day for me.

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  16. Your pony story is fascinating. I'm surprised at how many people on this blog hope said: "I'm not a beach person." I'm not either. Maybe writers as a tribe are not that fond of beaches. :)
    My post on my favorite beach is finally live too, if a week late: https://olgagodim.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/question-of-the-month-august-2016/

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  17. Those houses look beautiful, and I'm usually not a horsey guy.

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