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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanks for the Memories

I know it is corny, but I was humming John Denver's "Country Roads" as I packed the night before I left on a road trip to see my brother and his family in Virginia. For years, they lived in a little town called High View, West Virginia and, although they no longer live there, it is where my fondest adult memories are.

When my mother purchased property a few miles away, it became my dream to live there, too. My brother and his wife had 12 or more acres smack-dab in God's country right off of this road:

Heck, who wouldn't want to live here? Unless, of course, you are a city slicker. 

I had big dreams of being a stay-at-home mother, baking cookies, fighting off bears and coyotes, and growing my own vegetables. I fondly remember the kids and the then-hubby packing into my little Mitsubishi hatchback and trekking up the mountains to spend the day with the family. 

My brother was raising chickens and, for a girl who grew up in the suburbs, I thought they were just the most amazing creatures God ever made. When we would finally leave at dusk, the glens would be filled with herds of deer. Again, a sight this suburbanite had never seen. It was all just so magical. It not only became my fondest memories, but my children's favorite family times as well, which only goes to show you that Xbox and Barbie cannot compete with Mother Nature. 

Here is a picture of the entrance to "their" road at Powder Mill:

About five miles from my brother's homestead is beautiful Capon Bridge.  I'm sure this place holds more memories for him than I. He would take his son and my nephew fishing on the "crick." It was cold and overcast the day we visited, but nothing could diminish its beauty. I just love this lonely house by the river.

As we winded up, down, and around the country roads, my daughter and I oohed and aahed over the little homesteads nestled in a hill there or a glen there. It was chilly enough to see smoke curling from the chimneys and the decay of this old abandoned place caught my eye. This picture just doesn't do justice to the loneliness this place exuded.

The next day was a field trip with my brother, Jerry, and his wife Jane. She made me pecan coffee and we piled into the rental vehicle and drove through Leesburg, Va. to Chantilly, Va. Leesburg is nothing but old-money horse and wine country.The rolling hills and estates where pure eye candy.  He took me to his favorite Asian market, Lotte's, and the fish market blew my mind.

I have to say I have never been ANYWHERE that sells conch.  I haven't a clue, but $3.99 a pound doesn't seem like a bad price to me. Fish head soup, anyone?

The variety of exotic produce and goods was sensory overload and I loved every minute of it. Next, he took me to Wegman's. I am not sure how to describe Wegman's. Maybe foodie went to market? It is artisan bakery, butcher, seafood market, and farmer market rolled into one. Wegman's wouldn't let me take pictures, but I did sneak a few pics from the mezzanine:

I was craving a good sub and Jerry introduced me to the "Danny's Special," a culinary concoction of Italian meats and savory red pickled peppers on soft white bread.There is simply no way you can eat at a sub chain after this.

I purchased some artisan wheat sour dough bread for my nieces' chili feast on Sunday that was a big hit. I also picked up some Virginia wine and some specialty cheeses to try at home.

Having grown up in Maryland, I couldn't pass up the Chesapeake blue crab red. I also tried the "milk cheese" made from sheep's milk. Both were a-maz-ing. I picked up a blue from Italy and some champagne cheddar. Will try this weekend.

Needless to say, my trip to the mountains was filled with family and the bittersweet pang of good memories. As the years roll by, I can appreciate and enjoy my time with my brother as I never have before. I have always loved Jane and considered her my sister and my nieces are just pure cherries on my Sunday, but no one says it better than Jane Austin when it comes to the power of familia bonds:

     Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits,      have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply...  ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814 I drink my blue crab red and nibble my cheese, I lift my glass to family, my blood.  Until next time we meet, I love you all!



  1. We will have to do it again! Next time we visit Buon Appetito (can you say Dino's!)and sample a nice Rosso Piceno - lol!

  2. Ohhh I love to reminisce of the days of 'ole Powder Mill down Back Creek Rd. Best times of my life!!

  3. Me too! Those were such good times. I miss you already!