Seasons’ Greetings from the Shenandoah Valley

Photo by Saloma Furlong, Dayton, Virginia

For some time now,  I’ve been meaning to share photos of my world. Yesterday I actually had my camera with me when I wished I did, so I made use of it. I just love this old oak (I believe it’s oak) tree with the mountain in the background. And green grass in December… how nice is that? Actually, a local woman I spoke to said she was hoping it would be cold for Christmas. We’ve had temperatures in the high forties and low fifties these past several days. At night it’s still mild. I’m hanging sheets out to dry, and they come in smelling like fresh winter air. Love that!

Here are two more photos:

Photo by Saloma Furlong: Dayton, Virginia

Photo by Saloma Furlong: In Timberville, Virginia

David and I have started looking at houses in the area. So far the inventory in the Harrisonburg area is not great, but I understand the real estate market will pick up in late January. We’re still trying to decide whether we want to locate within the city limits, or outside the city limits in Rockingham County. David wants to have a nice garden to grow some of our own food, and he’d also like to have a few animals. And yet we also like the idea of living in close to things, including our new Mennonite church community. We’re as interested in where we’ll land as you might be!

Our circle of friends is fast increasing. I met a woman who is quite famous for her braided rugs. She is 89 years old and she’s still making rugs. She is quite the character. When a friend introduced us, she said, “I’ve been wanting to meet you, but I didn’t know you braid rugs. They say those of us who are braiders are kindred spirits.” She and her husband invited us to their retirement home for brunch after church on Sunday and she showed me her work in progress, her wool, and her portfolio (impressive). After the holidays, I want to get together with her to braid and visit.

David continues to network with people in Harrisonburg who are wanting to get energy-saving program in place. The energy auditing program is in its infancy here, whereas Massachusetts has had one in place for thirty years. So David’s skills are needed here, and he is getting involved on a grass-roots level. He also signed up at the local gym and is working out four days a week. His stress level as decreased significantly.

We are heading to Vermont for Christmas. Paul just moved there for a new job at Vermont Mutual Insurance Company. Tim will join us the day after Christmas, and we’ll all be getting together with several of David’s siblings and their families. I’ll share photos of our time there when I return.

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. The next day the daylight will begin to lengthen. I used to look forward to that so much when I was in the North. This year I don’t feel so light deprived because the days are longer and there are more sunny days here than in New England. And I go out a lot more often here than I did up North. I know we’ll have to make up for this in the summer when it gets hot and humid and we’ll want to stay inside with the air conditioning. Then we’ll wish for the cool hills of Vermont!

David and I decided not to put up a tree this year, for the first time in ages. We don’t have much space for it in our condo, and so we put up a few decorations. Here are photos of our little displays:

May you have a Blessed Christmas filled with love, laughter, light, warmth, and good cheer.

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29 thoughts on “Seasons’ Greetings from the Shenandoah Valley”

  1. I like the Shenandoah Valley. When I was a girl, my family lived between the towns of Staunton and Waynesboro. Once a month we went to Harrisonburg 40 miles away to attend the ‘all-night’ Gospel sings there. Performers came from all over the south to perform and we had a number of favorites there. I don’t know if it is still going.

    The Harrisonburg area, I believe, is more scenic than the Waynesboro area; at one time we lived near Stuarts Draft a few miles away where the terrain is pretty choppy and rough. My dad liked the fact that Virginia had what locals called ‘year-round’ grazing; it wasn’t quite true but close enough. It could get cold but it tended not to last more than a week or two. In summer Virginia was the first place that I saw the phenomenon of watching rain march toward us across the fields; I can still hear the rustle of hard rain on standing corn coming ever closer to me where I am watching in total dryness.

    I hope you love your new home!

    1. Elva, it’s great to hear from you. We are loving the Shenandoah Valley! That is quite the image of the rain coming towards you, but not on you.

      Singing is still one of the defining aspects of living in the Valley. Last week David and I attended “Messiah” which was a community orchestra and chorus group. It was fabulous! There are lots of musical groups here, predominately group singing. I don’t know whether there are still all-night Gospel sings, but I would certainly attend one if I knew of them.

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting. I am always interested in what you have to say.

  2. Oh, Saloma…I just want you to know how much I love reading your posts. Ones like this, especially, give me such a warm feeling inside. Being so far removed from any hint of winter here in Southern California, it’s a comfort to read about that fresh winter air and see those pictures! Don’t you just love Winter Solstice? I think it’s my favorite seasonal day and I consider it holy, as it marks to return of the Light so close to Christmas! Many blessings to you and David and your loved ones. :)

    1. Shana, thank you for enjoying my posts. I never could say I enjoyed winter before, so this is just about right. I do enjoy the four seasons, just not such severe ones. And I do love the Winter Solstice. I often think it is interesting that nearly all religious traditions have a celebration of light at this time of the year, just when our spirits need it most. I can only imagine what it’s like for people in places in the far north, such as Scandinavia, where the daylight hours are nearly non-existent this time of year. They must all be leaning toward the light right now, like plants on a windowsill.

      Thank you for your kind comments, Shana. Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas!

  3. How nice that you both feel home already. Thats a blessing on its own.
    Must be so nice to walk with those nice temperature.
    Enjoy your time with all your loved ones.
    Here we have a lot of snow.
    Wish you all a Blessed Christmas from our family to yours.

    1. Wilma, it is truly a blessing to feel at home here, for which I am very grateful. Thank you for your good wishes for our travels. I wish you the same with your family. Merry Christmas to you as well!

  4. I have lived here in the Shenandoah Valley all my liked. Never have wanted to be anywhere else. So glad you are enjoying living here. Merry Christmas!

  5. Your new home state looks beautiful. Merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year to you, your family and your friends (new and old).

  6. Merry Christmas to you and David!! May you both have a happy and healthy 2018.

    Our weather here in SW MO has also been mild, but the weatherman says we’ll be LUCKY if we see 32 deg. next week. The old pellet stove will be cranking out the heat for sure. We may even see some snow flurries! I do like snow for Christmas.

    Love seeing the pictures, as always!!

    1. Kris, I hope you get your wish of snow for Christmas. Enjoy gathering around the pellet stove and warming your hands.

      I just checked out weather, and it looks like it will be 35 degrees and sunny on Christmas Day. However, we are going to have some major inclement weather on our trip north, unless we were to leave today. We just might…

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. Hello Salome, First of all I am so happy for you and David that you have made the move from Vermont to Va and that it has been sooooo good. I loved my college days there and the climate was so different from the north.
    I like what you said about being light deprived. I usually try to go to Mi sometime in Jan. or Feb. I can get caught up with more light after the short days and long nights in Holland. When I come back again, the days are definately longer.
    I also wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and the Lord’s richest blessings for the new year of 2018.
    take care, mary m

    1. Mary, thank you for your thoughts. Nice to know that you’ve lived here and loved it.

      I’m having a reminder of what it’s like to be light-deprived. David and I arrived in Vermont just hours ahead of a major winter storm. Now we’re snowed in at our son’s place. In just one day, I’m feeling the old cabin fever set in.

      I wish you a blessed Christmas and New Year as well.

  8. What beautiful country! I love the mountains in the background. The weather up here in Eastern MA is so much different from what you are enjoying in Harrisonburg. The weather report calls for snow here Sunday/Monday-just in time for a white Christmas.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New year!

    1. Denise, at the moment I’m not enjoying Harrisonburg weather… sigh. I’m in Vermont with our son, Paul, and we’ve encountered just about every kind of inclement weather there is. Luckily Paul has a four-wheel drive with snow tires, so we’ve been going places with him.

      There have been a few times when I’ve wished we WERE still in Harrisonburg. The older I get, the less I enjoy the winter weather. It reminds me of the one season I don’t miss in New England.

      Season’s Greetings to you and your family.

  9. Pingback: About Amish | Happy Spring Day to Mothers Everywhere!

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