Saturday, July 28, 2012


Summer gave way to autumn and that was the year that my father's siblings had a reunion in Fincastle, VA (about 45 minutes away).  My Uncle Al and Aunt Cathy came from Minnesota, and after the reunion decided to spend a couple of days with Karl and I.  We showed them some of the things that make Floyd special, and they agreed that the Blue Ridge Parkway was indeed spectacular.

This is me (in the white pants) with my Uncle Al and Aunt Cathy on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The area where we are sitting is called "The Saddle".  It is about 15 miles from our house.

We also have a friend whose family owns property that is used as their family retreat.  It is in a park-like setting and is just so peaceful.

On the property is a large furnace that was used during the Civil War.  The chimney portion of the furnace has been removed, but it is still a magnificent structure.  You have to walk down a hidden path through the woods in order to get to the furnace, and when you first walk out into the clearing you have the feeling that you have stumbled upon some lost civilization.  It is Amazing!!!

The property is private and although we've only been there a couple of times, we feel blessed that we were able to enjoy this wonderful piece of history.

We also took them to see Mabry's Mill, which is on the parkway at Meadows of Dan.  It is probably one of the most photographed places on the parkway.

This is Karl and I at Mabry's Mill.

They left after spending only a few days, but the memories will last a lifetime.  We had just started the renovations on the house about a month before the visit, and I am sure they will be pleasantly surprised the next time they come to the farm to see the transformation.

Deep autumn set in and I felt as though I had been given one of the greatest gifts in the world.  It's my favorite season and I embraced the beauty that our little piece of heaven provided.  How spectacular the view from our back porch.

But... alas... winter came early that year.

We had moved into our camper on 4 November 2009.  All of our possessions were in storage, with only what we felt was needed to live with for a year or two. Thankfully that included warm clothes!

Our first snow came on December 5th and was just a dusting.  However, there was snow of some sort on the ground until mid-March of the following year.  Anyone that has ever lived in the country knows how spectacular winter scenes can be.  There is something special about the unobstructed beauty of nature and the farm.

This is the view from our driveway, as you first enter the property.  Our barn sits immediately to the right of the driveway...

And a little foot bridge is on the left of our driveway and leads to the portion of our front yard that is across a brook from our house.

The cold kept the snow from melting and there was still snow on the ground when we left for Wrentham, MA for Christmas on December 18th.


It all looked magical...

But this was all a sampling of things to come.  After January the snow decided to set in for earnest.  No fooling around this time.  What started out as a dusting, settled on top of the frozen powder that was still on the ground from early Dec., and it snowed... ALL night...

... and SNOWED...

until the next day the whole world was a winter's wonderland!!!  It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!  We were totally snowed in, but the sun was shining and it made everything magical.  We could see the fields in back of us and were so thankful that we had cleared the trees the previous summer. This was our view from inside the camper, which was really cool because Karl and I had bought a puzzle

to put together on just such a day as this one was.  And... guess what it was?

How's THAT for coincidences?  I mean really!!!  Even the edges of puzzle pieces resemble the screen of our window from the camper!  All in all, we had a great time being snowed in!

However... it snowed again that evening... even more snow...

And the temperatures dropped. ..

And then even MORE snow...

The beauty of the snow was still there, but after 3 days we were ready to get some relief.

Now Karl is from Wrentham, MA and knows all about snow.  However, he had come down south to get away from it and he swore that everyone lied to him and told him it didn't snow like this down here.  Of course... normally it doesn't!  But then again... another reason this blog is called Virginia Farmhouse Follies:  The unexpected is ALWAYS expected here!

We didn't even have a way to plow our driveway, nor did we know anyone to call. We called around and finally called the Sheriff's Department, only because as cold as it was and as deep as the snow was, we weren't sure if we could get out in case of an emergency.

Finally one of our neighbors (Bless his heart) came down and used his the plow on his tractor and cleared it for us.  Karl was also working like crazy shoveling the snow.  He had to make a path from the camper to the house...

and from the camper to the driveway...

Hey... at least he kept a good sense of humor about it all.

We got over 36" of snow by the time it was all said and done.  And once we were able to get out and see some of the country side, we were just in awe of the beauty.

The above pictures are of our neighbor's fields.  Almost as if someone painted them with icing.
The valley was absolutely breathtaking.

However... as with all seasons, they change.  The spring thaw started in early March,  and slowly

the snow melted and the patches of snow on the sides of the road and parking lots turned to black clusters.  The last few patches of white that were nestled under the pines and hemlocks disappeared around the middle of March.  It was quite an amazing winter and went down in the record books for the amount of snow.

Oh... by the way... Wrentham, MA?  They got so little snow that winter that it was laughable, and all of Karl's friends and family thanked him for going south and taking it all with him.

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