Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay was the foundation of my childhood and the source of many treasured traditions. Despite moving around frequently, the bay near Annapolis became my constant, my home. Yes, I'm one of those people who LOVE crabs! Every year, I have a bushel shipped to San Diego, where I enjoy my own little feast, picking crabs for myself and everyone else. My crab cakes are legendary, especially when paired with a corn and tomato salad, reminiscent of the farm stands we visited on trips to Rehoboth and Ocean City. The corn and tomatoes from those stands are simply the best, bursting with flavor.

Crabbing and Sailing up and Down the Bay

Our home boasted a dock in the backyard. If our crab pot didn’t yield at least a dozen crabs by Sunday, it was my job to stand on the dock with a string, raw chicken wing, and net, catching the remaining crabs for dinner. When I wasn’t crabbing or rowing up and down the river in my fiberglass dinghy, my family and I were out on our sailboat. We were avid sailors, spending weekends racing by day and rafting up with other boats in various creeks along the bay.

 Bay Life

My love for historical American architecture blossomed from exploring small towns and antiquing. I cherished flower shows, craft fairs, and tag sales, each a new adventure in discovering Maryland. Visits to Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner, were particularly inspiring. Our Chesapeake Charm collection pays homage to these memories, celebrating crabs, rowboats, summer picnics, and bay life. It evokes images of good food, beautiful homes with sprawling lawns meeting the water’s edge, and an abundance of seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade pies, and quilts. Canning, pickling, and enjoying big screened porches were part of this charm.

My Antique Roots

Lighthouses, the Eastern Shore, family boat rides to Crisfield to experience the crabbing traditions of its tiny island, antique auctions, and colonial crafts like candle making all contributed to the rich tapestry of my upbringing. Duck carvings, watching for deer at dusk, fireflies, and strawberry picking were cherished activities. My first job after college at the Historic Inns of Annapolis, properties steeped in history, only deepened my connection to this charming region. The downtown harbor holds many great memories, from watching the Blue Angels to attending the Annual Boat Show. Black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, and hydrangeas further enrich these recollections.

Chesapeake Charm

These memories are reflected in the pieces we offer at Thomas Lee Living, each item a nod to the cherished moments spent on the Chesapeake Bay. Our collection invites you to bring a piece of this nostalgia and charm into your own home, celebrating the beauty and traditions of bay life.

Cheers, Kirsten Lee