Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Donuts, Pastries and Pottery

Tuesday May 14, 2013
Site 19, Davis Bayou Campground
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Ocean Springs, Mississippi




It’s our last day here at Davis Bayou.


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We are leaving Mississippi tomorrow and realize we haven’t put the state on our map.  This is the first state we have added in the past 19 months.  Putting this little sticker on the map really makes us feel like we have our life back at least for a while.  Although David looks very serious about its placement, it’s a grand symbolic occasion.





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To celebrate we’re going to spend the morning walking around the town of Ocean Springs beginning at Tato-nuts which I later find out was originally a SPUDNUTS.  Ha!  No wonder I want to go here.  They open at 5:00am but it’s 7:30 by the time we get there.  We’re going to celebrate with potato donuts.  Those would be vegan wouldn’t they?  :-))


I have to agree, Spudnuts are the only real donut!  If you’ve never had them fresh and hot you are missing out….for sure!


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David has a chocolate glazed chocolate cake donut.  I’m not so much for the cake ones and have two regular glazed hot out of the oven.  They practically melt in my mouth.  I could eat an entire dozen of these I swear it.  Therefore I only buy two.

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We leave Ruby parked across from Tato-Nuts on Government Street, the main street in town, and walk on. 

Ocean Springs is a cute little town with what seems like perhaps more than its fair share of bars and lawyers.  Do you suppose those things are causational?

We see one of the bars just across the street, a new use for a former little town gas station.  Nice big “porch” for eating out when it rains.


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We stroll down Government Street toward Washington.  We find all kinds of interesting things.


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What business do you think had these admonitions on their front window glass?

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Not sure if this is someone’s idea of a joke but it made me laugh out loud.  Talk about being on the corner of………….   This little town has a great sense of humor.


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 We definitely stop for old drug stores especially if they have a neon sign and a soda fountain.


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Although it has clearly become a tourist town full of boutiques, the old drug store, complete with neon sign, is still open for business. Lovelace Drugs is on the corner of Government and Washington which appear to be the two main commercial streets. 






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We are both nostalgic for drug stores with neon signs and old soda fountains, few and far between these days. We’ve just had donuts so an ice cream treat isn’t in the cards right now.  I’d love to come back later for a hot fudge sundae in this atmosphere but I’m afraid that will have to wait for our next visit to Ocean Springs.   We have that doctor deadline in Virginia and cannot extend our stay.  Darn it.

The old drink cooler still works and is filled with drinks.  Although neither of us is a cream soda fan, we have to take a bottle of the official Lovelace Cream Soda with us.


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Across the street from Lovelace is…..OH NO…..a French Bakery.  Really in a little Mississippi town??  Yup – The French Kiss Pastries.   Has it been long enough since we had two donuts?   mmmmmmmmmm…..YUP.

We hightail it across the street.


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Just look at these cakes and tarts and éclairs.  Oh my!


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Decisions, decisions……..

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We sit outside and enjoy two of the 5 pastries we buy.  The others will be for breakfast before we pull out on our way to Prairie Creek COE in Alabama tomorrow.


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Time to head back to the car.  On the way we wander through Marshall Park with its original 1911 Bandstand and water fountain.


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The beautiful live oak trees in the park and on the surrounding streets clearly predate the park.  I suspect it would take 4 people to give this tree a proper hug.  We are thrilled to be in its presence.  It is SOME tree.


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The trees appear to have been allowed to grow in complete freedom.
Thumbs up to Ocean Springs.  If you are too tall, you’ll have to go around.  The sign on the long tree limbs warns you.

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Just doors away from the tree above and across the street from the park I take this shot for Carrie.

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After lunch, we decide to do two more short visits before we close out our stay in Ocean Springs.


We go back to the visitor center to finish looking at the exhibits including this display of the size of an osprey’s wings.  Sure puts it in perspective for me.  They’ve got longer wings than I have.

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I also wanted to get a better picture of the screen print hangings of the paintings of Walter Anderson that greet you when you come in.  And one of the pelican bookends that are among my favorites of his pieces.  They tell me at the pottery that they cannot keep them in stock and there were none in the showroom when we were there on Sunday.


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I forgot to mention in my post about our earlier visit the eco tips posted all throughout.  They are very educational.  I especially hope this one gets taken very seriously and adopted.

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This is a really wonderful museum and if you are in this area, whether you camp at Davis Bayou or not, you really should stop by and experience it.


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Our last stop in Ocean Springs for this trip is fittingly the same as our first.  We’ve come full circle during our short stay here  We return to Shearwater Pottery.

We drive into a treed world of unique artistry.  Mother Nature and this family have worked together to produce a place outside of time.



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We go into the pottery showroom and ask if it is possible to watch the potter.  It is pretty late in the afternoon and my fingers are crossed that he isn’t finished for the day.

“Sure just go on over” is the response.   FABULOUS!  Amazing actually.




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We walk over to the work buildings where we find Nick taking apart molds and cleaning them.

The room has racks of pottery molds.

Nick tells us about the entire process as he takes the mold off of one of the woodpecker handled cups just like the one I intend to buy.



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Notice the pelican bookends on the upper shelf to the left.  From this link, you can order them, or any other Shearwater pieces, in any of their current 16 glazes and have them delivered right to your door.


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While David and Nick talk about the old belt driven machinery still in use here, I wander into the next room where I find Jimmy Anderson, the Master Potter, son of the pottery’s founder Peter Anderson, doing glazing.  We are too late to see him at the wheel for which I am sorry.  But that’s just another great excuse to return again to Shearwater.


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He is putting glaze on pieces he has thrown and fired earlier in the week.  It looks like an art to me, knowing how to dip the pieces in the glaze tub, how long to leave them in, when to stir the glaze, how to remove them without getting drips and runs or at least just a hint so it’s clear they are hand made.


But Jimmy says no, once you learn it’s easy.  He tells me his father Peter called it the dishwashing of being a potter.  You just do it.  You don’t have to think about it.


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These pieces have had two glazes put on as is obvious from the colors.  While I am there Jimmy tells me that all pieces are glazed two or three times before their final firing depending on the colors you want.  He submerges some pieces in the glaze he is working with, sets them over to dry and then later dips just the rims again for a thicker glaze.

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In the kiln room I see the original oil kiln put in by Peter and Walter in the 30’s and no longer in use after Hurricane Katrina’s damage to it.  It has been replaced by an electric kiln  on the other end of the room.  I forgot to get that picture.  It wasn’t as interesting as this one I guess.


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Pottery that has come out of a final firing and pottery ready to go in.


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  Peter Wade Anderson, Jimmy’s son and the third generation Anderson family potter, joins the conversation.  He is a young man in his mid thirties I imagine with whom we have a wonderful conversation in which I was so absorbed I forgot to take his picture.   DRAT!   Another reason to return.  I took the picture below off of the Shearwater website.



It’s time for the potters to call it a day.  Peter Wade’s son has a T-ball game and dad and grandpa are going to watch him play.  It has been wonderful seeing this working area of the pottery and talking to them both.  I feel like I’ve just spent time with celebrities and in my world they definitely are.


We return to the pottery and I look all over again at everything there.  I don’t need a thing, I don’t have room in an RV for a thing but there are so many pieces I would love to have just for their sheer beauty.


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There are several boxes under the counter in the office room.  These are sets of dishes that have been ordered and the pieces are put in the boxes as they come out of the kiln and are approved for sale by Jimmy.
Some lucky people are going to have entire sets of dinnerware from Shearwater Pottery.  Apparently it is a local tradition as a wedding gift.


This is one of my favorite glazes.  It reminds me of the sand and aqua waters of the gulf shores.

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For beagle lovers everywhere it is clear that the designer here must have had a beagle.


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It’s nearly closing time and so I take my woodpecker mug up to the counter and happily pay $22 for it.  Its colors remind me of the beautiful blue Gulf waters.   They didn’t have one in my favorite glaze but this one is a very close second.  I could have ordered it but with the difficulty of on the road delivery and not wanting to have a tangible reminder of my wonderful days in Ocean View, I opt for this one and I love it just as much.


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We’ve had a terrific visit in Ocean Springs.  If you have not read the 3 previous posts on the works of Walter Anderson I really hope you will.  His art work is truly amazing.  You can find them in the blog archive on in the right hand column. 

I definitely underestimated how much time I’d want to spend here.  Tomorrow we are on the road to Alabama for a few days as we wander to Virginia.


  1. Okay, I never thought of Mississippi as a destination spot, but this makes me want to visit. Enjoy Alabama!

  2. Now I desperately need to visit a local donut shop tomorrow morning. I would have gone directly from the pastry shop to get the hot fudge sundae! I have loved your posts from Ocean Springs. My granddaughter needs to visit there, and I'm going to pass along the word.

  3. When you crossed into Mississippi it crossed my mind that it was a big milestone give the past year. I'm very happy for you and David. I smiled looking at the aqua and sand pottery, that you say is your favorite, because I have a piece that is almost identical to it. It's the piece Rich and I bought in Dahlonega.

    As always I love your ability to live each moment to its fullest; and then share those moments.

  4. How lucky to get a private tour from the family. I like your cup choice.
    How do you two stay so thin and eat all that delicious stuff?
    Safe journey.

  5. What a wonderful day... donuts, cream soda, pastries... all vegan of course!! However, I believe a longer run day may be in order tomorrow;o)) Then to end your day with a special visit and beautiful purchase:o))

  6. Obviously, we're going to have to make another stop in Ocean Springs someday. Maybe by then I'll be in the market for some of their pottery.

  7. What beautiful pottery, and an interesting tour you got.

    I've always loved hand made pottery and hand carved wood, and I guess polished rocks as well. :)

    If you ever get near Thomasville, Georgia, go see "The Big Oak". It's a much loved and cared for tree in the heart of downtown. The following is something I pulled up on the internet about it. Even Eisenhower was impressed by it!

    The Big Oak - 326 Years Old
    Located in the historic town of Thomasville, GA is a huge, live oak tree that is approximately 326 years old. Of course, this would make it a witness to the Revolutionary War! The tree is quite grand, has a 24 foot circumference and is so impressive that President Eisenhower personally took its photograph.

    The town's historic commission has worked hard to preserve this wonderful witness to history!

    I'm glad David is doing well and that you got to add another state to your map. I guess you haven't figured out how to get his treatments on the road? I envy you going back to VA though. I'd love to be sitting in the foothills in your beautiful property!

  8. Thanks to you, I have fallen in love with Ocean Springs. I love wandering around small towns and discovering gems like old drugstores and French bakeries. Visiting the pottery shop and watching it be made would also appeal to me. If I had real bookshelves, those pelican bookends would be on my must-have list. Your hummingbird mug is pretty special too! Safe travels.

  9. Oh my oh my, I have fallen in love with Ocean Springs from your posts! You will laugh, but years ago we stopped in the port of St. Barts while on a cruise. The only shop we visited and bought stuff from was the French pastry shop! Clothes, perfumes, jewelry...meh. Give me the pastry!!
    LOVE putting those new "stayed in states" stickers too!!
    Old fashioned cream soda...oh!!
    Thanks so much, you've made my day :-)

  10. I want a donut and a pastry and a cream soda now. No idea why. Maybe I'll just take the post-sugar crash nap instead. :)

    Very cool adventures you're having. I loved the Anderson museum posts. Great stuff.

  11. Jorie is from Mississippi but has never spent much time in Ocean Springs as an adult. She has memories from her childhood with time spent with an aunt and uncle who taught her how to cook the best fried shrimp in the South (even if I say so myself). Both of us are now eager to visit having read further of your adventures while viewing all the many beautiful pictures. Love your woodpecker cup and its beautiful colors! Will visit the website for Shearwater Pottery and hopefully have the chance to see more of their work. Prior to your visit, had you read about Walter Anderson's work? What an artist he was, having produced so many treasures. As always, thanks for sharing!

  12. Eating your way through Ocean Springs. Good thing there was no Brusters or you might never have gotten out of there.

    Love you mug. How cool to get it with all the special memories it gives you. And to be able to see how it was made and by whom, a bargain at any price! :c)

  13. A new state - how exciting and what a neat little town! I would have loved to be there. 'Low Clearance' on the a tree - love that they let it grow. That tree has seen so much of that town's history for sure. The pottery is so pretty and precise - neat that you got to see some of the process. You know I love the beagles!!! :) And, good choice of one to buy - I love the color.

  14. Always nice to find an old drugstore with a soda fountain. We used to hang out at the drug store on Saturdays when I have a soft spot for them.

  15. You really look great with those osprey wings - they look like just you size. I know you would love to have them and be able to soar and fly about freely as they do.

    For the record, the "No hats, hoods or sunglasses" is on the door of a Bank.

    Great tour & pictures - I loved every minute of it and hope we can go again.

  16. Donuts and pastries -- now that's what I'm talkin' about!

    Nice treat to get to see the potters at work. Love the soft muted colors on the pottery. Cute mug that you chose.


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