The Journey, Not The Destination

On Sunday, Motor Man and I took a day trip to the mountains of Virginia. We were concerned that recent storms may have stripped the trees of their fall foliage, but that wasn’t the case.  Although we didn’t see many reds, there were quite a lot of oranges, yellows, golds, and of course, greens.

Our destination was a pumpkin farm that a friend had recommended. We were somewhat disappointed there, most likely because it was too cold and windy to spend much time outside.

To reach the farm, our GPS took us down Snickersville Turnpike, which is a narrow, winding country road. The “turnpike” is lined with stone wall fences, horse farms, huge homes and an occasional cow pasture. There is even a one-lane bridge, but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo, and there were few available turn-around spots.

Along Snickersville Turnpike is the town map dot of Aldie, Virginia where we saw the ruins of what appears to have been a gorgeous old home. A Google search failed to provide any information, but it would be interesting to know its history.

A little further down the “turnpike”, we stopped at this picturesque spot.

And took out the tripod for a couple of pictures. This is a monument to the First Mass Calvary 3rd Brigade.

We were standing right at the edge of the highway for this next picture and heard a car approaching just as the shutter clicked on the camera timer.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Two, Two, Two Flights In One Day

Saturday, Motor Man and I helped our hot air balloon-pilot friend, Mark, and his crew with two flights: one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

It was a beautiful autumn day, perfect for a  balloon flight. Or two.

This is a common sight in our county these days: cotton, all picked and baled. It will soon be picked up in a huge truck and delivered to one of the local cotton gins.

A little fall foliage in the foreground…

And flying over the Pagan River, one of our many estuaries.

This is Smithfield Station Restaurant/hotel/marina, located on the Pagan.

The morning flight landed at the edge of a field near an old barn.  Understandably so, a neighbor called 911, thinking it had crashed.

A deputy responded, confirmed with the pilot and all the passengers that the balloon had indeed NOT crashed and went on his way, wishing us all well.

If there’s one thing Motor Man and I have learned about hot air ballooning, it’s that no two flights are ever the same.

Saturday flights, like most of them,  did have a couple of things in common: very nice passengers and a gorgeous day to fly. (Or take pictures from the ground.)

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Random Five Friday: Welcome, November

Five randoms for the first day of November:

1.) When I was a teenager, I somehow became interested in post-season baseball. I watched every playoff game and every World Series game.  It’s been many, many years since I’ve watched a game, but Motor Man and I came on board beginning with game 4 of the World Series this year. We were hooked, and watched the remaining games in their entirety. We rooted for the Nationals for two reasons: one, they’re the closer to us team. And also in memory of a friend  who passed away recently who was a huge Nats fan.

internet photo

2.) I do like getting dressed up for Halloween, something I never really did as a child. Motor Man and I got in the spirit just to go to dinner last night.  I was a stray kitty, and he was the animal control officer. (The belt was around my arm…. to “take me in” to the pound.) “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

3.) This weekend, our little town hosts a Holiday Open House with several shops participating. The forecast is for perfect fall-like weather. Pictured below is one of the rooms at Wharf Hill Antiques, always a beautiful shop.

photo courtesy of Visit Smithfield VA

4. Our weekend might also include a day trip and perhaps a little balloon chasing. Conditions should be favorable.

5.) This is a recent picture Marshall sent of his kitty, Sibyl.  She can’t wait for him to get home in the afternoon. That’s the sign of a happy kitty.

How will you spend the weekend? Any fall foliage in your area?

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetic Thursday: Mabel And Maudine

Time just goes by so quickly; I can’t believe it’s Thursday again. Not only is today Halloween, it’s also Poetic Thursday, hosted by Pam and her boys at Two Spoiled Cats.  I find myself looking forward to Thursdays to share my feeble attempts at poetry AND see what photo Pam has chosen for next week.

This is the picture provided for this week’s poetic inspiration. Cute!

And here’s my poem:

Mabel And Maudine

Oh, what shall we be for Halloween?
I know: you be Mabel, and I’ll be Maudine.

We’ll wear wigs of gray yarn with lots of curls,
and be little ol’ lady little girls.

Glasses and pearls make our costumes complete.
Folks will say: “Aw, you two look so sweet!”

Hmm, wonder how much candy we’ll get,
’cause we can’t even say “trick or treat” yet.

Happy Halloween from Mabel and Maudine!

~These Days Of Mine~

My Halloween Tradition

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I share a certain video each year at Halloween. The video 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.

These next two paragraphs are for readers who are new to the blog. The video, whose link I share below, was filmed at historic Bacon’s Castle (1665), located in Surry County, less than twenty miles from where Motor Man and I now live. 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 were still living at the time (then in their 80’s) re-visited the Castle, and shared first-hand with him their childhood memories of the house and property.

I know my mom and her family would think it fitting that Marshall had the opportunity to participate in this video filmed at their homeplace.

 

Happy Halloween!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Rainy, Sunny Sunday

Motor Man and I hadn’t been to the Outer Banks for a few weeks, so even though yesterday’s weather forecast was iffy, we took a chance.

And we had a very interesting day.  First we had menacing clouds over the ocean.

But, then we had some blue sky.  There would be rain, then some sun, then rain again, then sun again.

We saw fourteen horses. Not a huge number, but not too shabby for this time of year.

Something had this handsome guy’s attention.

And, after a very changeable weather day, we came home to this amazing sunset.

The weather: it was a-changing…all day.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

A Name From The Past

I love E-bay.

You just never know what will show up on that site.  I have saved searches for my hometown (Bacon’s Castle), county (Surry), as well as the town we now live in (Smithfield).

Last week, a simple little matchbook appeared in the Bacon’s Castle search.

Here’s why finding this little matchbook was special to me:

Those of you who know me well know that my father died when I was an infant. Mom and I lived in the country, several miles from the nearest town. And Mom couldn’t afford a new car by any stretch of the imagination. So it goes without saying that she had many issues through the years with the cars she owned.

Although for much of that time, I was just a child with no concept of adult responsibilities, I knew that it was upsetting to Mom when her car was out of commission.

“Berkley Poole” operated a tiny gas station/repair shop within a couple of miles of where we lived.  I remember him as a short, mild-mannered gentleman who always came when Mom called. I’m certain that most of those calls were to start her car.

So finding this matchbox on E-bay made me smile even though those memories are somewhat bittersweet.

~These Days Of Mine~