Archive for November, 2014

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Hiking up Turk Mountain in Shenandoah National Park in early November

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Hiking up Sharp Top Mountain, one of the Peaks of Otter, in mid-November with Bob A., who found a recliner along the way!

click here for more pictures of climbing Sharp Top Mountain

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Monika’s family graciously invited Holly and me to come to Germany to visit the family and to travel around a bit.  We spent two full weeks there in October.  I visited Monika’s 95 year-old mother several times, and we spent many happy hours with Monika’s two sisters and family members.  One of Monika’s nephews generously gave up his apartment in Munich for us for several days.  We toured several local towns in Lower Bavaria, spent four days in the Austrian Alps, stopping off at the formidable fortress of Hohenwerfen on the way back,  and took a castle tour in Upper Bavaria, including Oberammergau and the famous fantasy castles of King Ludwig II, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein (which prohibit taking pictures inside).  Click on the subject titles below for collections of pictures by both Holly and me.

Austrian Alps/Hohenwerfen Fortress     Linderhof, Oberammergau and Neuschwanstein

Munich     Lower Bavarian Towns (Landshut, Burghausen, Straubing, Dingolfing)



   table-plaque Plaque

When Monika and I were looking for a new home in Nelson County in 2008-9, we came across a lovely trail in the Rockfish Valley which led to a stunning view of Three Ridges Mountain.  Monika loved the place, and we often took a picnic lunch there.  One day the picnic table was gone.  While we continued to walk the trail periodically, we missed a place to sit and enjoy the view.  (Monika was a great believer in benches, as well as tables.)

After Monika died in January, it occurred to me that a new picnic table at this special place would be an appropriate memorial to this extraordinary woman, who became in a few short years so deeply beloved by so many people throughout Nelson County.  So I approached Peter Agelasto and his Rockfish Vallley Foundation about sponsoring a new table there.  Peter swung into action immediately, arranging for a group of Future Farmers of America students at the county high school to construct a table.  I arranged for a bronze plaque from an engraving company in Lynchburg.  Our wonderful rector at Grace Church, Marion Kanour, agreed to lead a dedication, which took place yesterday, on November 1, 2014, with many friends and family from near and afar.  While the day was chilly and windy, we were spared rain and the views at and along the way to the table were beautiful.  I hope the pictures below convey some sense of the mix of sadness, appreciation, and celebration that we all felt in coming together to dedicate this memorial for Monika, a woman of extraordinary love, compassion, and energy.

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click on images for larger pictures

FFA students

Special thanks to he FFA students who built the table! Here they pose with the newly-constructed table on Peter Agelasto’s truck.

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This past summer Holly took me up to the Delaware eastern shore to meet her longtime friends Barb and Robert.  We had a delightful time and in early October they visited us.  In addition to an antique show in the Shenandoah Valley, we took them to The Plunge hike at Wintergreen and enjoyed a picnic lunch and a walk around Sherando Lake on a beautiful fall day.  Later: Dinner with two of Holly’s sisters.