shirley plantation & lunch at joe’s inn

Sunday, September 29:  This morning I leave my dad’s house in Yorktown, taking a detour off of I-64 to stop at Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia. The eleventh generation of one family continues to own, operate and work this colonial plantation.

Driving to Shirley Plantation
Driving to Shirley Plantation
Shirley Plantation
Shirley Plantation

It is also the oldest family owned business in North America, dating to the establishment of the farm by Edward Hill I in 1638.  The home has been continuously inhabited by descendents of the same family since 1738.  The mansion is referred to as “The Great House.” (Shirley Plantation: Shirley’s History)

James River
James River

The most important building, the Great House, is closest to the James River, with buildings of lesser importance further away.  The Great House was originally flanked on either side by freestanding wings, which have since been dismantled.

Shirley Plantation from the James River side
Shirley Plantation from the James River side

According to the plantation brochure: Shirley Plantation is America’s first plantation; it was founded in 1613, only six years after the first permanent English settlement of Jamestown.  Shirley Plantation survived Indian uprisings, Bacon’s Rebellion, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the Great Depression.

Shirley Plantation
Shirley Plantation

Pork was a major staple in Colonial Virginia.  As much as 10 tons a year were butchered, cured and smoked at Shirley.  Hogs were butchered in the winter months, then rubbed with salt and cured in tubs for two weeks. The meat was hung from the rafters and pegs in the smokehouse. The smoking process lasted two weeks and required burning a fire outside the Smokehouse day and night to supply coals. Green wood was placed on the hot coals in the pit to create a rolling smoke.  The most popular types of wood used for flavoring included hickory, oak and apple.  Apple wood was preferred at Shirley.

extended plantation
extended plantation with the smokehouse in the foreground
stellar flowers
stellar flowers
plantation buildings
plantation buildings
kitchen
me in the kitchen
fake food
full fake working kitchen
full fake working kitchen

outbuilding

cotton
cotton
cotton and machine
cotton and machine

I get a tour of the house, and see the original family furnishings and portraits.  However, we’re sadly not allowed to take pictures in the house.

After the tour, I wander around the grounds to get the full lay of the land.

the lay of the land
the lay of the land
purple berries
purple berries

Shirley’s dovecote is round and made of brick. Shirley’s dovecote was built between 1723 and 1738 and has 6 rows of 18 roosts for a total of 108 roosts.  Doves were an important source of dietary protein, both from their meat and eggs.  Outside the dovecote, I run across some goat and chicken crossings.

It’s bizarre to me that I’ve lived my whole life in Virginia, and I’ve traveled the road between Yorktown and Richmond too many times to count, yet this is the first time I’ve ever taken time to stop and visit this plantation.

I love tree-lined lanes like this
I love tree-lined lanes like this

After leaving Shirley Plantation, I drive another 15 miles to Richmond, where I stop in to visit Sarah at Joe’s Inn, where today she’s working as bartender.  After about 45 minutes, she gets off and joins me at the bar.

the bar at Joe's Inn
the bar at Joe’s Inn
Joe's Inn
Joe’s Inn
Wall art on the wall of Joe's Inn
Wall art on the wall of Joe’s Inn

After our lunch, I head back home to the dreaded northern Virginia, to prepare for another week of work. 😦

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adam’s two-month cross-country soul-searching trip

Saturday, September 28:  Today, my youngest son Adam, 20, takes off alone on a two-month trip across the United States.  His destination is California, with a stop in Boulder, Colorado.  His plan is to get to San Francisco by Friday, October 4, where he will attend a 3 day C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach Program: C.H.E.K. Institute: Advanced Training Programs.  According to the website: This three-level program is based upon the techniques that have helped thousands of people increase vitality, decrease stress and sculpt the body of their dreams. Each level looks in increasing detail at the underlying causes of disease and stress, considering the body as a “system of systems.” Using a coaching model, you will learn how disease and stress are preventable through healthy eating habits, lifestyle management and appropriate types of exercise.

Adam takes off at the crack of dawn in his VW Jetta
Adam takes off at the crack of dawn in his VW Golf

On November 13, he arrives at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm for a 10-day Permaculture Design Certification Course. According to the website, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm: Permaculture Design Certification Course:

Permaculturists can grow food just about anywhere, repair environmentally damaged lands, design lovely and long-lasting green-buildings, produce power, run successful people-oriented businesses, and build authentic community. All by using fundamental permaculture principles and applying the three Permaculture Ethics:

  1. Care of People
  2. Care of Earth
  3. Share the Surplus

Permaculture is a creative and artful way of designing our lives, where waste become resources, productivity and yields increase, work is minimized, people and nature are preserved. All by thoughtful planning and a respectful approach to life.  Thus embraced, we create an environment where all may thrive for future generations. 

His car loaded up with bananas for breakfast
His car loaded up with bananas & apples for breakfast

In between these two courses, he plans to camp, hike, visit my friend Jayne and her son Nicholas near San Francisco, visit my sister near Los Angeles, and attend a yoga meditation retreat from October 30-November 10 at Dhamma Mahavana California Vipassana Center in North Fork: Dhamma Mahavana California Vipassana Center.

He is determined to chart out a course for his life that embodies the values he finds in these kinds of environments, and we finally decided that there was no point in continuing to insist that he follow the traditional path of going to university.  Even though he is a brilliant boy, one who has always been in gifted & talented programs throughout his school years, he insists that he doesn’t want a traditional education; neither does he want any part of the rat race life we live here in America.  I have to admit I know the truth in his beliefs.  After all, how many of us are truly happy in this life we lead in America, scrambling to get ahead, gain more possessions, and neglect our health and peace of mind?  As his parents, we can only hope that this trip will enlighten him in one way or the other; we hope he can find his passion and evolve into the successful and happy young man that we want him to be.

He’s due to arrive back home by Thanksgiving, at which time we hope to give thanks that he has developed a clearer vision of his life and direction. 🙂

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Postscript: While on his trip, Adam decided he wanted to do a two-week internship at Earthship in Taos, Mexico, so he added that on to his journey.  That was due to end on December 13, so the plan changed for him to arrive back home before Christmas instead of Thanksgiving.

weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns

Sunday, September 22: The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to come up with photos from lines to patterns.  Writes Cheri Lucas Rowlands of WordPress:  We see lines and patterns in the world around us, in nature and things man-made. Sometimes we don’t realize they’re there: on the street, across the walls, up in the sky, and along the ground on which we walk.

Today’s challenge is inspired by Evan Zelermyer‘s stunning urban, abstract, and architectural images from his “Shape, Line, Texture, Pattern” post published earlier this week. I’d love to see your interpretations of these elements, so grab your camera, get outside, and snap a great shot of shapes or lines that you stumble upon, or a cool texture or pattern that catches your eye.

Here is my tiled gallery of lines and patterns seen around Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Click on any of the images below for a full-sized slide show.

on a whim: tickled pink by antiques in lucketts

Saturday, September 21:  On this rainy Saturday, I am driving through Lucketts, Virginia on my way back from a road trip through Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, when I am surprised to see a pink silo with black polka dots.  I immediately think of Marianne’s CBBH Photo Challenge: Pink.  Lucketts is home to a number of antiques stores, one of which I featured in my post: the old lucketts store near leesburg.  I decide to pop in to this one, On A Whim, to check it out.  I find so much cuteness here, I’m tickled pink!

On A Whim, with its pink and black polka-dotted silo
On A Whim, with its pink and black polka-dotted silo
a metal bed pretty (& rusty) in pink
a metal bed pretty (& rusty) in pink
near the road at On A Whim
near the road at On A Whim
the entrance to On A Whim
the entrance to On A Whim
pink bicycle
pink bicycle
another pink bicycle flanking the entrance
another pink bicycle flanking the entrance
pink formalwear
pink formal wear
mannequin in pink
mannequin in pink
pink flowers
pink hats and flowers
another mannequin in pink
another mannequin in pink
pinkish gloves
pinkish gloves

Now everything in this store isn’t pink, and there are quite a few other cute displays, which you can see by clicking on any of the pictures in the gallery below.

Right before I leave here, I come across a globe.  I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’d like to go for a holiday next year, or where I’d go if I were to teach abroad again.  I decide to spin the globe and see where my finger lands.  It lands in China.  It’s funny because I’ve often thought that if I were to teach abroad again, I’d go to China.  But I don’t really want to go there for a holiday next summer as it’s too far away.  I’d rather stay close to the Americas.  I spin the globe again.  Again, my finger lands in China.  Hmmm.  Is this a sign of things to come?

My finger lands on China two times in a row.  What does this mean?
My finger lands on China two times in a row. What does this mean?

As part of Marianne’s CBBH photo challenge, I’m supposed to add links to two blogs I’ve visited and commented on in the last month.  So here we go, sharing the “blog love.”

I first have to introduce being mrscarmichael: I love her way with words and her quick wit.  She has described herself as “just another mannequin,” and seeing these mannequins makes me think of her immediately.  She describes herself on her blog:  Mrs Carmichael is opinionated, quick to judge and occasionally impatient. She also changes her mind. … Her dislikes include math, weakness, a tardy nature and chardonnay.  Mrs Carmichael has a number of very good friends and a few people who don’t like her as much as they should. On balance she quite likes herself, enjoys her own company and sometimes makes herself laugh.  She makes me laugh too!

I’d also like to introduce Jude of Postcards from around the world… and Travel Words, who describes herself as a person filled with wanderlust.  She posts her travel diaries and photos, which are wonderful indeed.  We share a love of Portugal, and have visited many of the same places I visited this summer.

of barns & covered bridges ~ crossing the mason-dixon line

Saturday, September 21:  After leaving Emmitsburg, Maryland with directions in hand from the owner of the Holy Grounds Cafe, I follow a number of country roads in search of some covered bridges.  To my surprise, I cross over the Mason-Dixon line into Pennsylvania.

I pass a number of barns along the way.

a barn just being a barn
a barn just being a barn
another barn
another barn
Another barn
Another barn
threatening skies
threatening skies
rustic barn
rustic barn
abandoned barn?
abandoned barn?
i love the overgrown look of this barn
I love the overgrown look of this barn
barn taken over by nature
barn taken over by nature

The Sachs Covered Bridge is just over the Pennsylvania line.  It was built in 1852 by David S. Stone and is a lattice-truss bridge that extends 100 feet across Marsh Creek.  The bridge was also known as the Sauches Covered Bridge at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. It sits in the Gettysburg National Military Park and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge

During the American Civil War, both the Union and Confederate Armies used the bridge in the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath (1863).

Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge

The bridge was closed to automobiles in 1968.  In 1996, it was damaged by floods but it was restored by Adams County as a scenic bridge.

Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sachs Covered Bridge
Lattice-truss design of Sachs Covered Bridge
Lattice-truss design of Sachs Covered Bridge

I never find the second covered bridge that I’ve heard about.  After this little dip into Pennsylvania, I head south as the skies that have been threatening all morning open up.  All I see through the rest of my drive home are my windshield wipers and sheets of rain all around.

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a cloudy afternoon in emmitsburg, maryland

Saturday, September 21: After my morning photography outing at Cunningham Falls State Park, I head to the little town of Emmitsburg, founded in 1785 and a part of Frederick County, Maryland.  I’ve been told it’s a cute little town, quintessential Americana; it’s the home of Mount Saint Mary’s University and a Catholic pilgrimage site. The Basilica and National Shrine of St. Elizabeh Ann Seton, the first U.S. born saint, are also here; the saint’s relics are entombed at the shrine (Wikipedia: Emmitsburg, Maryland).

Church & cemetery in Emmitsburg, Md
Church & cemetery in Emmitsburg, Md
Cemetery in Emmitsburg, MD
Cemetery in Emmitsburg, MD
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Church in Emmitsburg
Church in Emmitsburg
The Vigilant Hose!
The Vigilant Hose!

Emmitsburg is just south of the Mason-Dixon line, separating Maryland from Pennsylvania.

Gate to a cute yard
Gate to a cute yard

Once again, I’m on a quest to take pictures for an Instagram challenge, #WHPdoortodoor.  The challenge is to take interesting photos of, you guessed it, doors.  As far as I’m concerned, American doors are not that interesting, but I try my best.  If only I had been taking these pictures in Portugal, or Spain, or even Oman or Nepal or India.

Bar
Bar
Cemetery
Cemetery
Sunflower
Sunflower
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg
Church in Emmitsburg
Church in Emmitsburg
Doors in Emmitsburg
Doors in Emmitsburg
For Rent
House For Rent
Door in Emmitsburg
Door in Emmitsburg

After I wander about the town, I stop in at the Holy Grounds Cafe for a pumpkin latte; here I sit and chat with the owner for a while in this part-cafe, part-religious relics store.  The owner is a music teacher who counts among his students many students from Mount Saint Mary’s University.  We talk for quite some time about the horrors of life in northern Virginia, where he used to live and of course where I live now.

Holy Grounds Cafe
Holy Grounds Cafe
Inside Holy Grounds Cafe
Inside Holy Grounds Cafe

After I enjoy my pumpkin latte, the owner directs me to some covered bridges outside of town; I’ve heard there are two in these parts.  As I drive through the countryside following his directions, I pass a barn doing what it does best: just being a barn.

A barn just being a barn
A barn just being a barn