Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Lexington’

Twin White Steeds

 

Equine News in the Neighborhood!  

On the bright side, rumor has it our neighbor will be renting his pasture to a horse (the owner will pay the rent of course)!  I had been missing daily stop-by visits with Rosa-the-mare (who sadly was lost due to some equine malady).  A new horsey neighbor will be a grand treat.

Two other horses at different homes developed abscessed feet.  I mean, each horse has one lame foot. They are both on antibiotics, have wrapped hooves, and both have cast off their wrappings and are healing nicely.

I can empathize….  me-of-the-gimpy-foot too.  It’s a neighborhood epidemic!

Bagging a Chicken!

Today I roasted a chicken that came bagged and fully seasoned.  Instructions were to cut a slit to allow for expansion and bake for 2 hours.

Talk about SIMPLE!  And the results were delicious.  I hate to admit that because the bag-less version is to rinse, pat dry, oil, season, and baste.  Maybe this bag thing is positive progress!

Tree Surgeon Mending

Our tree surgeon is also nicely recovering from having a tree fall on him some weeks ago.  Country living is fraught with unexpected danger.

He is the fellow our community hires to trim trees along our road and sometimes to remove trees entirely (those threatening to fall on homes, etc.).  He is always a wonder to watch traversing limbs at dizzying heights.  We are just happy he is on the mend.

New Life in Town

‘Tis a university town (Lexington, Virginia) and school is back!  Our downtown is alive and writhing again (I mean “thriving”).  The kids are back at Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University.  Why is it they look younger every year? And now the local restaurants are packed as families come in to help all the young’uns get settled.

Horrible Harvey

Sending thoughts to my Texas blogger friends who so eloquently describe their own experiences with the monster storm, Harvey.  I am so glad you are high and dry and thank you so much for your perspectives.

It has been an unendurable week for many in Texas but to see how millions are dealing with the aftermath is to understand the value of good neighbors, the ones who become heroes when they themselves least expect it.

Read Full Post »

20161002_133445

When two of my three grandgirls come to visit, they bring smiles, especially in October.

20161002_133033

And my favorite place to smile is at Herman’s Produce right here in Lexington, Virginia.

20161002_133244

20161002_133225

Read Full Post »

Painting Steeple

Painter on Scaffold

Yesterday I was happy to see they are once again painting the beautiful restored steeple of the Lexington Presbyterian Church.  I remember this was the same church that was on fire in 2002 and how horrified we were watching the steeple actually fall down.

The Virginia State Police  ruled the fire was accidental in nature,

the result of the heating of wood while workers were scraping paint.

 

The church is a downtown landmark on the National Historic Register and was attended by Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson who was known to fall asleep during sermons.

From en.wikipedia.org :

Lexington Presbyterian Church is a historic Presbyterian church building at Main and Nelson Streets in Lexington, Virginia. It was designed by noted architect Thomas U. Walter in 1843, and completed in 1845. A rear addition was built in 1859; stucco added in the 1880s; the building was renovated and enlarged in 1899; and the Sunday School wing was added in 1906. It is a monumental “T”-shaped, temple form stuccoed brick building in the Greek Revival style. The front facade features a Greek Doric pedimented peristyle portico consisting of six wooden columns and a full entablature. The building is topped by a tower with louvered belfry and spire.

Starting in 1851, Stonewall Jackson was a member of the church and taught Sunday school.  In 1863 he was buried in the church’s cemetery.

 

Read Full Post »

 

A Drizzly July 3rd Entering Town

Bill and I rode to town this morning for errands.  It is a drizzly day today and supposed to be the same tomorrow.  But, I almost forgot tomorrow is Independence Day until we crossed the bridge that leads into and out of our nearby downtown.

The U.S. flags were flying gallantly patriotic and stood out, even in the drizzle and even through our never-too-clean, rain spotted windshield.

And then we saw it.  A magical hot air balloon!  I have always admired them from afar but have never really been close to one.

Saw it from a distance

What a thrill!

Bill parked the car and we were within steps of a mighty colorful hot air balloon!  Somehow I caught the fever and excitement.  A little crowd of families, young and old were waiting to take a tethered ride. Balloon Rides Here

And although flying balloons of this size were never a part of my July 4th holidays growing up, this one colorful beauty practically screamed, “CELEBRATE!  IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY!”

Surely the enormity, power and grace of a floating giant must symbolize our American concept of freedom as it defies earth’s gravity and soars majestically into the skies.

We didn’t take a balloon ride this time but it’s on my bucket list for an un-tethered experience.  For now, it is enough just to have been close.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Happy Fourth of July

 

 

Read Full Post »

Downtown Lexington, Virginia on Veterans Day 2014 - and View of Virginia Military Institute

Downtown Lexington, Virginia on Veterans Day 2014 – and View of Virginia Military Institute

Read Full Post »

Mine is not a favorite flower, but a tree

much like a graceful waterfall

casting shade in a veil of green,

growing tall and swaying in the wind –

the magical Weeping Willow.

My camera-friend, Pal, and I went for another walk in town today.  We snapped a variety of interesting subjects, but then came upon a gigantic Weeping Willow tree.

I have loved Weeping Willows ever since we moved to rural Virginia.   I love them for their graceful cascade of fine leaves, and for their show-stopping, “look-at-me” appeal.

I am certainly accustomed to admiring many large specimens scattered throughout Rockbridge County, but this Willow is absolutely awesome even as she overlooks a parking lot right in the middle of town!  And while she resides in this mundane space, her imposing height and width are all the more dramatic.  Obviously a determined survivor, this gorgeous specimen is the tallest most imposing Weeping Willow I have ever seen.

Read Full Post »

A visit “downtown” always gives me a jolt because I feel I am peeking at the past.  Lexington, Virginia (no, not Kentucky!) was the county seat of Rockbridge in 1778, and is a place steeped in history and charm.  In fact, the historic core of the city is a Nationally Registered Historic District.

In 1993 a film crew, actors and actresses came here from Hollywood.   The town’s main streets were quickly transformed for the filming of a quick segment in the movie, Sommersby, starring Jodie Foster and Richard Gere. The story is of a confederate soldier returning to his wife and home at the end of the the Civil War.  If you have seen this movie, do you recall the hanging scene?  The hero’s ride to the gallows (supposedly in Richmond) was actually shot right here in Lexington.

In preparation for the scene, the city’s main streets were quickly covered with layers and layers of dirt and building facades were dramatically changed to reflect another era.  Long-skirted women moved around town, busy with their daily lives, and the streets were alive with the comings and goings of horse drawn wagons and carriages.  It was magic. For a moment as I stood on the sidelines, I actually felt I had really traveled back in time.

Store Sign Saved from the Movie Sommersby
Main Street Lexington, Virginia

Sign from the Movie, Sommersby

But 1993 was not the first time the streets of Lexington were transformed.   Am I treading where so many others have gone before or is this a different street entirely?

LOWERING MAIN STREET BY EIGHT TO TEN FEET!

Even before the American Civil War, downtown Lexington, Virginia was a city of steep hills with crude unpaved roads.   Goods and people were transported through town by horse drawn wagons.  Can you imagine the transportation problems encountered during wet weather when Virginia red clay roads became sinkable quagmires?

Lexington was known to bottleneck at the hilltop intersection of Main and Washington Street, because in inclement weather the clay road became almost impassable.  Goods were hauled in by large covered wagons which would stall when they sank into the mud up to the horses’ knees and sometimes to the axles.  In 1852 a project to lower the town’s hill by eight to ten feet was finally completed.  That project left the currently standing Alexander-Withrow House on Main Street with an extra floor (once a full basement, but now suspended as a third story), requiring the owners to reorient their entrance.  There were other such changes to entryways around town that can still be seen today.

Alexander-Withrow House
Was 2 Stories – Now 3

An Artists’ Cooperative in the Once Full Basement
of the Alexander-Withrow House

Below is a photograph I took of the Stonewall Jackson House.  It was the pre-Civil War home of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and was built in 1802.  If you join a docent-guided tour, you will come close to experiencing how life was before the war in an ordinary house in an ordinary small southern town.

Stonewall Jackson House
Front Entry No Longer at Street Level

From 1907 to 1954 the “Jackson House” was utilized as the area’s only hospital (the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital).  In 1954 the house was converted to a museum, now open to the public.  In my time there as a docent I met many visitors who were born or were treated in the house when it was a hospital.

But, back to streets – do we even notice the uneven elevations of front doors in a city?  Why do I have to climb to get into one building and step down to enter another?  How did they lower the main streets by ten feet without modern machinery?  I have asked around, and although some people claim to have heard the story about lowering the streets in Lexington, they aren’t quite sure how or why and haven’t really noticed the cattywampus foundation levels.

Here’s a Front Door That Used to Be at Street Level

Entrance was Once at Street Level
Virginia Born & Bred Gift Store

I am drenched in images of downtown Lexington in the days of wagon travel and unpaved roads.  Surely city streets are as much a part of history as the wood stoves used for cooking, the rope beds, and the horse-hair-stuffed furniture found in restored homes and museums.  But every time I go downtown, I am struck by the unusual variations in entry way access.  Perhaps our roads and streets should be considered the infrastructure of the past and noted on city plaques to be remembered as they once were and for what they eventually became.

As I drive into downtown Lexington,  I am reminded that I am once again on a Time Traveler’s Road to a colorful past.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: