Monthly Archives: October 2015

Halloween Haunts, Once Again

It’s a Halloween tradition here on These Days to share the link to a PBS video in which my son, Marshall, played a part several years ago.

If you’re a long time reader, you aren’t required to read further nor re-watch the video. You may be excused. For those of you new to the blog within the past year, this excerpt from a previous post will give you a little background information:

The video I’m sharing today was one segment in the series, Halloween Haunts, produced by WHRO, our local PBS station, in 2007. The series aired during the last two weeks of October.

Most of you are familiar by now with my family’s connections to historic Bacon’s Castle. My maternal grandparents and their twelve children (including my mom) lived in the house from 1921 to 1940. Although they moved from there many years before I was born, I remember them sharing stories of seeing “The Castle Light”. Their descriptions of it, however, were quite different from its depiction in Halloween Haunts.

My son, Marshall, became an interpreter (guide) at Bacon’s Castle in 2000. He was employed there several years, and gained a wealth of knowledge about the history of the house, its architecture and the families who made it their home. My mom and most of her siblings had passed on by this time. But two of those who remained (then in their 80’s) re-visited the Castle, and shared first-hand with him their childhood memories of the house and property.

I believe they would think it fitting that Marshall had the opportunity to participate in this video filmed at their homeplace.

And for all of you, thanks for your patience as this proud Mom boasts on her son…once again.

~These Days Of Mine~


On our most recent trip to the Outer Banks to see the horses, Motor Man and I made a stop before we came to the 4-wheel drive section of the beach. We had learned that the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin had uncovered a shipwreck on the beach at Corolla. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Joaquin uncovered MORE of the shipwreck; sources say that portions of it were actually unearthed earlier this year.

This is what remains of The Metropolis, which sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1878.

jr with shipwreck 10-24-2015 11-15-21 AM

When we stopped to see it, we hadn’t researched any of its history.  There’s extensive information about it on the internet. This is from the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker site.

Few stories in North Carolina history are as filled with drama (or as oft-told) as that of the wreck in 1878 of the Metropolis. Built in 1861 and originally called the Stars and Stripes, the futureMetropolis was outfitted for naval service in September 1862. Later that year she saw action in the Battle of Roanoke Island. Sold at auction after the war, the Metropolis was refitted for freight and passenger service but eventually fell into disrepair, rendering her inadequate for the lengthy trips. Nonetheless a Philadelphia company in January 1878 chartered the Metropolis to transport 215 workmen, iron rails, coal, and other supplies to Brazil to build a railroad.

      By the time the ship reached the Chesapeake Bay, the cargo was shifting dangerously causing seams in the hull to leak. The water overtook first the pumps, then the engines. The disabled ship was carried southward in the gale, parts of the vessel torn away by the heavy waves. At 6:45 AM on January 31, the Metropolis struck the shoals 100 yards from the beach at Currituck, halfway in between two lifesaving stations. Alarms were sounded and heroic efforts mounted but, with the weather conditions making maneuvering difficult, subsequent rescue attempts were ineffective. As the passengers on the Metropolis perceived the inevitable destruction of the ship, they began jumping overboard. In the water with dangerous debris, many were knocked unconscious or killed. The last of the survivors reached shore at dusk. Of the 245 passengers, eighty-five died in the wreck.

Thankfully, because of this shipwreck and one a few years prior, legislation was passed to build more lifesaving stations along the North Carolina coast.

shipwreck iron bolts 10-24-2015 11-18-01 AM

The only thing we knew about the Metropolis when we saw it on the beach was that it was destroyed in the 1870’s. After learning so much more about it, I’m glad we saw it in person.

dbshipwreck 10-24-2015 11-19-27 AM

Further up the beach (in the 4-wheel-drive area), it’s obvious that The Metropolis wasn’t the only thing to be uncovered by Joaquin.  Prior to that storm, most of these tree stumps were covered with sand and driven over by motorists on the beach.

tree stumps 10-24-2015 11-45-20 AM

We saw sixteen horses on this trip, including these three having a drink.

3 horses drinking water 10-24-2015 11-55-06 AM

And this blonde-haired beauty.

horse by water 10-24-2015 11-53-22 AM

Seeing a bit of history, riding on the beach, “my wild horses” …

sun and sand 10-24-2015 1-14-17 PM

…another beautiful fall day with my Motor Man.

~These Days Of Mine~

Virginia’s Blue Ridge In The Fall

Motor Man and I took a day trip to the Virginia mountains last week. I can’t say that we hit the fall foliage at the very peak, but it was still a beautiful ride.

It’s easy to see why the name “Blue Ridge”.

field and mountains 10-22-2015 9-26-16 AM

This wonderful little antique shop was one of our stops.  The name is Old Raggedy Ann Antiques, and it’s located in an old country store in the map-dot of Etlan, Va. Wouldn’t it be nice if all old buildings could be given a second life like this?

raggedy ann antiques 10-22-2015 10-25-20 AM

Please pardon the blurred fence (another 55 mph capture), but this scene was too pretty not to share.

barn and foliage 10-22-2015 12-39-07 PM

During a stop at a scenic overlook, we noticed another couple attempting to take a selfie. We asked if they’d take a picture of us, since we’ve never had much success with selfies.  As it turns out, they felt the same way, so we returned the favor.

dbjr mountains 10-22-2015 2-05-59 PM

Another wonderful day trip in the books.

mountain road 10-22-2015 12-31-19 PM

Where to next, Motor Man?

~These Days Of Mine~

These Days R5F

It’s Friday again. Perhaps I can come up with five random thoughts this week that don’t include estate sales.

1.)  Antoine and I have really been enjoying the sunsets recently.

antoine sunset 10-17-2015 6-25-35 PM

2.)  Motor Man and I took Motor Mum for a ride on the Jamestown/Scotland ferry last Sunday.  The sky has been so beautiful lately; as the gulls flew over, I snapped a few pictures.

seagull best 10-18-2015 1-33-16 PM 10-18-2015 1-33-16 PM

3.)  Earlier this week, Motor Man reconnected with a friend from 40+ years ago. His friend has an extensive classic car collection.  What do you think? Am I the Ferrari type? (Not really: more of an  American muscle car girl.)

DB ferrari

4.) On a trip to the Outer Banks a couple of weeks ago, I managed to get a picture- taken at 55 miles per hour – of the sunset.  I sure do miss the Barn Charm meme, and find myself still drawn to old barns.

barn and sunset 10-8-2015 6-30-10 PM

5.) A photo from this week’s day trip (yesterday).  Hint: beautiful! Details next week.

mountains3 10-22-2015 2-05-12 PM

Happy weekend, everyone!

~These Days Of Mine~

Come, Gather ‘Round The Table

In Monday’s post, I mentioned that Motor Man and I attended an estate auction on Saturday because of one particular item that had belonged to my late Uncle Bennie and his wife, Doris.

That item was an old oak dining room table.

 I realize that the family connections may have been a bit confusing in Monday’s post, so I’ll simplify them as best I can:

Uncle Bennie was my mom’s brother
Aunt Doris’s mother was my dad’s sister

So, I’m thinking that, on one side or the other, that table has, most likely, been in my family for a long time.

I’ve been interested in old oak furniture for most of my adult life, and in the past, have had to save up to buy certain pieces. So I had resigned myself to the fact that I may have to pay dearly for this table.

As it turns out, apparently old oak has lost its favor with folks.  Only one other person bid against me, and I bought this sweet old table (with three leaves) for…….$40.

table1 10-20-2015 6-26-29 PM

I love the curved pieces at each end and the claw feet.

table end 10-19-2015 3-13-31 PM

Motor Man worked Monday replacing screws in the legs, I did a little cleaning, and we brought her home.

Previously we had an oak dining room table that we purchased at an antique shop several years ago.  It is now for sale (I hope someone still likes oak). This one is special to me and has so much more character.

I can just imagine all the fried chicken, country ham, mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits, pies….and blessings shared around this table.

table2 10-20-2015 6-26-57 PM

And I’m looking forward to it now being part of my family’s memories.

Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be,
and bless these gifts bestowed by Thee.

~These Days Of Mine~

What Am I Bid For These Treasures?

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, Motor Man and I attended an auction Saturday. We learned that items from my late aunt and uncle’s estate would be included. These were my cousin, Lona’s, parents.

We were on our way out of town well before dawn, driving the 50+ miles to the farm where the auction was being held.  If you must be up and on the road that early in the day, it helps to have a beautiful morning for a drive.

foggy fence sunrise

One item in particular was the reason I wanted to be at this auction, and I’ll write about that soon in a future post.  The day was filled with emotion and unexpected found treasures.

Friends of ours (who were also friends with Lona and her parents) came to the auction, too.  There were actually two auctions being held at the same time, so it was nice to have our friends keeping an eye out for items they thought we may be interested in.

Although I have attended a couple of auctions, I had never actually bid on anything……until Saturday. A quilt was to be first.

This quilt carries the Sundae seal of approval

This quilt carries the Sundae seal of approval

As the bidding for the quilt began, my friend, unbelievably, noticed embroidery in the margin. When I saw the names, I knew I needed to bid on it. Bennie and Doris were Lona’s parents. Bennie was my mom’s brother, and Martha was one of their sisters.

embroidery on quilt

There was a showcase nearly filled with costume jewelry. Our friend noticed a tiny box containing lapel pins attached to handwritten notes.

jewelry box

Rather than auction the entire showcase at once (which was my fear), we were told by the auctioneer to choose whatever items we were interested in, and we could bid on those.  I was the only bidder for this little box, which I didn’t really examine before buying. Inside were three pins, but I was brought to tears when I could actually read what was written on the note on top.

note about Nettie

Lona’s maternal grandmother was my dad’s sister, and Nettie McGuriman was their mother. She passed away many years before I was born.

A basket containing photos, old letters (some from World War I) and postcards was another find.  And among the family photos was one that I had borrowed from Aunt Doris years ago to scan. Motor Man’s sister is compiling a book on old country stores in our area, and is interested in including this photo in the book.  My scan of it from years ago wasn’t of a high enough resolution to be book-worthy.  After Aunt Doris’s death, Lona and I searched and searched for this original – with no luck.  I didn’t realize it was in the basket until Motor Man and I were driving home.  We came so close to losing it forever. (More tears.)

pic at grandma's store

That’s Lona, as a baby, with her parents. My late sister, Rose, is sitting on the counter to the left. (Written on the back of the photo are the names and date, along with ” whose legs and feet are these?”.)  It was taken in my Grandmother’s store on Christmas Day in 1954. Beside my sister is the roll of butcher paper Grandma used to wrap hoop cheese and bologna she sold. Along with that, I also remember that old stove, barely visible, to the right.  The box on the floor appears to have torn wrapping paper on top, most likely a recently opened Christmas gift.

Also found, linens, most likely embroidered by Aunt Doris.


And crocheted doilies.  I have to wonder if any of these might be Nettie’s handiwork?


I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to keep these items in the family.  And also thankful to our friends for not only getting us the information on where and when the auction would be, but also for being there with us as extra “eyes”.

The two of them, and of course, my Motor Man, were my emotional support through all those tears.

~These Days Of Mine~

These Days R5F

Apparently, it’s been a very uneventful week in our little corner of the world. I’m struggling to find five random thoughts today. But it IS Friday, and the show must go on…

1.) Wednesday, I stopped in Marshall’s flag shop and made some autumn flag purchases. There are many beautiful selections, and I had a difficult time deciding which one(s) I should bring home. This was one of my choices.

fall flag

2,) That picture was taken yesterday morning during golden hour. And as I finished taking the photo, I heard a familiar sound:  Antoine “snorting” hello to me.

antoine morning

 3.)  Recently, I was contacted by a web-site designer for a town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, asking if he could use one of my photos on their web-site.  I, of course, said yes and consider it quite an honor. I should give Motor Man credit for recognizing a photo op.  He pointed this out to me during one of our trips to the beach and said that it would make a pretty picture.

fristo photo

4.) Birthday dinner this evening for a friend, and we’ll gather afterward at our house for dessert and birthday gifts.  I’m pretty sure a good time will be had by all.

5.) Motor Man and I plan to attend an estate auction tomorrow; something a little different for us.  Friends are going with us, and the weather is looking nice. I’ll share details next week.

So, how about your week?  Busy or quiet?  Could you come up with five randoms?

~These Days Of Mine~