After Party: Moments Matter

Dear Vickie,

Shit. So this is really it.
I had so many ideas for my final column. I thought about exploring the best of Southern Maryland parties and events or the best sunset entertaining venues; I even thought about exploring the evolution of funeral gatherings. Of course a timeline of every deadline I missed was also on the table….
But in the end, here is what I really want to express:
Hard to believe it was 24 years ago that you and Barbara visited us at the Brome Howard Inn to write about our restaurant. We fell in love with both of you. Your energy, passion, and optimism mirrored our own as we were just getting our new business started as well. But after you left, my husband wondered how the magazine would succeed. What could you possibly write about every month? As new residents of the county still very connected to the city, we thought we had explored it all, and it did not seem to be a deep well of material. Yet, you never failed to show us a new view of the bounty of our new home.
You introduced us to our neighbors who were quietly doing incredible things to preserve history through restoration projects for homes, waterways, and land. You introduced us to artists, musicians, and restaurants both new and old and so much more. You showed us beautiful homes, gardens, and DIY crafts. Your magazine became the resource for finding events, festivals, and markets.
You stitched together the deep agricultural roots, cultural diversity, and modern technology of Southern Maryland into the beautiful tapestry that it is and put it on display for us every single issue.
The day we locked the door and walked away from the Inn, I was overflowing with equal parts of fear and relief with a splash of sadness. It was a hot and quiet day in June. No fanfare, just our cars loaded with the last few boxes of personal belongings accumulated over 14 years.
We ran into the groundskeeper, who worked with Historic St. Mary’s City and provided us with a lot of support throughout the years, in the parking lot. I will never forget the words she offered that was exactly the closure I needed at that moment: “Just like these gardens, everything has a season and this season is over. You started with nothing here and built a special place that will always hold memories for so many people. You are not walking away from that. That is what will last long after you are gone from here.”
The wisdom of her words echo in my heart as I write because it is my exact message to you.
Moments matter, Vickie. I am excited to witness you continue to create magic in this very special place we live.

All my love,

Lisa Kelley, a local event planner and owner of
Canards Catering & Event Production, lives in