Saturday, December 19, 2009

Put Aside the Blackberry and Enjoy Life for a Moment

"The child with his sweet pranks, the fool of his senses, commanded by every sight and sound, without any power to compare and rank his sensations, abandoned to a whistle or a painted chip, to a lead dragoon, or a gingerbread dog, individualizing everything, generalizing nothing, delighted with every new thing, lies down at night overpowered by the fatigue, which this day of continual pretty madness has incurred. But Nature has answered her purpose with the curly, dimpled lunatic. She has tasked every faculty, and has secured the symmetrical growth of the bodily frame, by all these attitudes and exertions /an end of the first importance, which could not be trusted to any care less perfect than her own.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we grow older so do our responsibilities. Our focus turns away from the frivolous and sets upon the challenges of the day. The unexpected which were once moments to be enjoyed have become annoyances. The world around is no longer something to be marveled at. It is a blur as we hurry on to our next appointment. We are consumed by our responsibilities and forget how to live and enjoy the world around us as we did as children. Sometimes when I am admonished to act my age I say --No.

Another ramble through the Commonwealth without a plan or purpose..........

A Sunrise and Now a Sunset Courtesy of Development

King George County. It had rained most of the day but by late afternoon the sun decided to make a spectacular appearance as it set. My problem was geting a good shot. Tree along the road blocked my shot. Just as the sun was going down I noticed a break in the trees where an area had been clear cut for a development. I pulled over and got the picture. This photo has not been enhanced.
Fading Dreams?
King George County. Instead of a cornfield the boundary of this baseball field is a forest and its posted with "No Trespassing" signs. My guess is that even a grounder into the trees is an automatic home run.

I played a lot of baseball growing up. Went to see the Washington Senators play and kept the stats on the games I watched. Now I see a lot of baseball fields in disrepair and ad campaigns trying to encourage children to spend at least an hour outside a day. Today we play baseball on a computer. Isn't technology amazing?
A Little Unique in the Grand Scheme of Things
Downtown Ashland. The only town I am aware of where the rail road track runs down the center of town.
A Moment to Remember
The National Cemetery, Fredericksburg. This past weekend was the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg.

"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last Tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
No vision of the morrow's strife
The warrior's dream alarms;
No braying horn, nor screaming fife,
At dawn shall call to arms.
Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood ye gave,
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave."
A Different Perspective
A view of Fredericksburg's most famous bridge from a different perspective. Most pictures and paintings of this bridge show a more distant view placing the bridge in the setting of the picturesque Rappahannock River. This view takes the bridge out of that setting and shows the cracks, the discolorations, the graffiti. Showing the imperfections shows the true character of the structure and makes for a more interesting picture. There is beauty in imperfection.
Jabberwocky's Getaway
"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe. "

Between Montross and Foneswood in Westmoreland County. The trees are covered in lichen which gives them the green color. It does look a bit surreal. No Russ I didn't "enhance" the picture.

A Roadside Mystery?
Abandon cars and farm equipment are not unusual in rural Virginia but this was my first crane. Traveling on a single lane road in Gloucester County in the middle of nowhere I came across this scene. My guess is some kid a few decades ago took this thing for a joyride and ditched it. Hard pressed to come up with any other explanation for how this got out in the middle of nowhere.
Quintessential Virginia
The Essex County Courthouse in downtown Tappahannock. Built in 1848 it has had some renovations and additions over the years but still is in use today. As with most old Virginia towns the statue to commemorate those who served in the Civil War stands in front. Dedicated in 1906 the main plaque reads--

"To the soldiers of Essex and those who fought with them. They fought for the principles of state sovereignty and in defense of their homes. To maintain these rights the gallant sons of this gallant county marched gladly to the front and did their duty like men, from the opening guns of First Manassas to the final charge at Appomattox."

My guess is that this was not written by a veteran.
The Recently Old and the Not so Old but Old None the Less
Port Royal, VA at the intersection of Rt. 17 and 301 in Caroline County. The historic section of the town is along the Rappahannock River. First settled in mid-seventeenth century the town was chartered in 1744. The early history of the town centered around a warehouse and a tavern. You will find that a number of Virginia's most historic towns began with a tavern.

The Port Royal Country Store is obviously not on of the "Blue Blood" buildings of the town but has a charm of its own. The Horne's restaurant across the street opened as part of a chain in 1960. It's competition was Stuckey's which is a part of my childhood. Go to the Horne's website and learn about the whole Stuckey's Horne's rivalry. The Horne's chain has long since gone under and this location is privately owned.