I’m always grateful for time with friends … even more so when that time is spent in an early 20th Century farmhouse in Elk Creek, Virginia. Seven women, the cares of family, work and life left at home, gathered for a weekend in Grayson County.
Grayson County is in far Southwest Virginia and is the home to the Mt Rogers Recreation Area and the highest point in Virginia (5728 ft). The twisty, hilly road to our weekend getaway took us through the mountains and by thousands of acres of Christmas Tree Farms and pumpkin patches.
Our farmhouse (Shepherd’s Retreat ) was actually a Sears Home, built in 1909. Sears was one of the largest companies to sell mail order homes. “Entire homes would arrive by railroad, from pre-cut lumber, to carved staircases, down to the nails and varnish. Families picked out their houses according to their needs, tastes, and pocketbooks. Sears provided all the materials and instructions, and for many years the financing, for homeowners to build their own houses. Sears’s Modern Homes stand today as living monuments to the fine, enduring, and solid quality of Sears craftsmanship” (http://www.searsarchives.com/homes/history.htm).
While only an hour and a half from home, and 12 miles from the nearest gas station / small store, it was almost a step back in time. No cell phone, no internet, essentially no TV and definitely no college football!
The lack of technology was not a problem for this group of women. With no restaurants any where near by, delicious meals were prepared in a kitchen filled with light and the sounds of friendship.
Card games were played, and songs were sung. At times, the house echoed with laughter, talk and dancing; at other times, peace and quiet reigned as books were read, walks were taken and naps were indulged in.
The beauty of our surroundings had me reaching for my camera time and again.
(Ruth Babylon, the real photographer, took the last picture)
Frosty mornings ….
… led to gentle, warm sunny afternoons ….
… and gorgeous sunsets.
As the weekend came to an end, we felt grateful to share such treasured friendships. We were recharged and ready to get back to life outside the farmhouse. And isn’t that what friendship and freedom from the distractions of technology should do?