Saturday, August 25, 2007

#234 Walking in

From home to work is about a mile and a half.

We like to walk it. Come along for our work commute.

As we leave our home, the construction crew is just getting started across the street.
After a few blocks, we cross the tracks. Sometimes we time it just right to get a wave from the Amtrak engineer braking for the Charlottesville station.
The stone wall leans, the road curves, we press on.
And finally we reach the university grounds.
We're walking, but some prefer the bicycle lifestyle.
We've arrived at Alderman Library.
Mary heads for the East Wing as I head for the West.
Yours in walking,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

#233 Remembering Cynthia

Cynthia Gabel passed away on Monday and all the Hallmark cards in Kansas City won't make it better.

Cynthia was one of the beautiful people, one of the good guys, the heart of the NCAA for many years, and an inspiration in her faith.

We miss you, Cynthia.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

#232 Happy Birthday Meriwether

On August 18, 1774, Meriwether Lewis was born at Locust Hill, a Virginia plantation about 7 miles from where we live in Charlottesville.
233 years later, I celebrated with an historian-led hike through a nearby preserved natural area. Since Meriwether spent his childhood exploring the wilderness, I'm confident I walked today in his footsteps.

But if you really want to walk in Meriwether's footsteps, you might consider purchasing the Locust Hill property, now for sale for ~$2 million.
Yours in choosing the natural (and financially prudent) celebration,

Thursday, August 16, 2007

#231 Key Lime Pie Competition

A special thanks goes out this week to our Colorado friends who traveled to Pennsylvania for a wedding and stopped by to see us in Virginia on their way home! We admire that kind of creative thinking. We do.

And, as if their visit was not enough, they brought key lime pie with them! We, of course, had key lime pie in the refrigerator. I ask you, what could be better than a little key lime pie taste-testing competition?

Competitively yours,

Friday, August 10, 2007

#230 The Other Mary Johnston

Through the years, Virginia has been home to a few authors. You may have heard of some of them – Poe, Jefferson, Grisham, Wolfe.

And, I'm sure, you’ve heard of the Virginia novelist Mary Johnston!

She lived from 1870 to 1936 and wrote more than 20 novels – about colonial Virginia, about romance, and about the Civil War.
  • During WWII, Dwight Eisenhower said "if I want to read military tactics for pleasure, I choose to read Mary Johnston."
  • To Have and to Hold was the best-selling novel in the US in 1900 and was twice made into a film.
  • Old Dominion is the only book we know for sure was in the Titanic's library.
Long ago, when I had long hair and married into Mary Johnston’s name, I started reading her books.
And this week, to celebrate our Virginia home, I read Audrey, a romance of adventure set in 1720s Virginia. Her language keeps me turning to the dictionary (for coign, contumacy, paladin, regnant…), but I very much enjoy reading about the customs of colonial life here in the Old Dominion.

Yours in learning new words, learning about Virginia, and learning about my namesake,
Mary Johnston

Saturday, August 04, 2007

#229 Thinking of Indy

Indianapolis is referenced in Saving Fish from Drowning. I was surprised to find the reference to Indy in this novel set in Burma, but there it is right in the middle of page 330.
The people from New York and Rio de Janeiro gave wearied and disgusted looks, as they pushed past the newshounds. But a few travelers were easily stopped, because they were from cities like Indianapolis, Indiana, or Manchester, England, where it was considered rude not to acknowledge someone who asked you a question.

We sold our Indy home (on picturesque Vermont Street) and we’re now waxing nostalgic all over the place.

We wonder...
  • how’s the cultural trail coming along?
  • has the interim downtown library closed to move to its new digs?
  • what’s going on in the old neighborhood?
  • how was the Lockerbie 4th of July parade?
  • is Bazbeaux still selling pizza on Mass Ave?
  • are the Colts going to repeat as champions?
  • is the smartest guy we know still bagging groceries?
And we wonder...
  • what’s going on with you?

Yours in waxing nostalgic,