“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller
I have hesitated to go out sightseeing by myself. I’m quite comfortable in the role of shopping alone, but have felt uncomfortable playing tourist. Seeing all the happy couples on vacation brings bitter sweet memories of the days when my husband and I had such fun traveling together. Then one morning I was quite ready to be out and about – even excited. I charged my cell phone, gathered maps, water, and a jacket for my afternoon on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
ON THE BLUE RIDGE
It was a quick winding drive from the Barn to access the parkway. The day was a bit overcast, so it was pleasant to be out and about. The threatening rain didn’t materialize and the views were clear. I really enjoyed the creative process of framing the photographs from the overlooks.
A special delight for me was the opportunity to finally see rhododendrons in bloom along the by-way and at the historic Mabry’s Mill where I stopped to explore and have a late lunch. I had a lovely time alone and will now feel free to go out to see-what-I-can-see, even without a companion.
NEW “Feather” FRIENDS
Choosing a massage therapist from Floyd’s list of healers led to an unexpected experience and two new friends. Jody and I formed a connection during my wonderful massage, and as a result she generously invited me to attend church with her at the New Dublin Presbyterian Church in Dublin, Virginia. The church was founded in 1769 and the sanctuary dates from the Civil War.
Her friends, Lisal and June, joined us on the scenic hour-long drive. We found many connections – sharing life experiences and favorite book titles. I was surprised and delighted to see that Jody has an eagle feather tucked up over the driver’s side door – another “sign of the feather” along my journey. Both Jody and Lisal are supporters of the Eagle’s Nest Regeneration project in Floyd.
Worship with this vibrant, loving church family at New Dublin Presbyterian church was quite meaningful. They sang Be Thou My Vision which I learned to love as as a choir member in my teen years in New Orleans.
Lisal and Matt are innkeepers of the charming Belle la Vita Inn, a bed and breakfast in Floyd. I went for a tour, tea and good conversation. I look forward to move visits with the lovely ladies who made this pilgrim feel so very welcome!
BACK IN TIME
Another special event was a two-day visit from my sister, Shelley. She is a fantastic quilter, who discovered the pleasures of Schoolhouse Fabrics on her previous visit to Floyd. She returned with fabric samples in hand and stayed long enough for lots of conversation and needlework. We visited the Floyd Farmer’s Market and a made the drive over Bent Mountain to Roanoke where our mother lived as a child.
The school where she started first grade in 1926 and the movie theater the attended are s family attended are still in use in this vibrant Grandin Road Historic District. It was a real pleasure to see the location of the stories I had heard so many times.
HOME TO THE STONE BARN
It was always nice to return to the Barn, where two of my enduring pleasures were the wildflowers and butterflies. I delighted in the unfolding stages the Queen Anne’s Lace. One morning I captured a video of 12 butterflies and one humming bird having breakfast. The video was too large to post, but notice the dancing points of light in the still photo below. This sunset photo of the barn from the top of the hill took my breath away. A very special place, indeed.
For the month of August I will be house sitting again at my friend’s home in Lynchburg, Virginia. I’m already reconnecting with my new friends there. It is a nice balance of alone time and people time. If you are in the neighborhood, let’s meet for coffee.
Thank you for being my readers and friends on this journey.