Sunday, April 11, 2010
A Place of Beauty
My blogroll is titled Places of Beauty because they're all wonderful blogs that add beauty to life. I really enjoy visiting each blog and getting a little view into their creator's life. Yesterday I had the priveledge of literally walking into one of those lives with a visit to Thistle Cove Farm in southwest Virginia. It was a really special experience. I have enjoyed Sandra's blog for months, admiring the beautiful world she lives in and vicariously enjoying her wonderful lifestyle. When I read at her blog about the sheep shearing day she was soon to host I knew I had to go, even though it's over a 5 hour drive from our home. Every minute in the car was worth it and now I can honestly say it is all more beautiful and wonderful in person! In Sandra's bio on her blog she describes Thistle Cove Farm as 'beautiful one day and perfect the next'. I can vouch for that! The farm is nestled in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. We've only lived in Virginia (just outside Richmond) for a little over a year and we'd never explored that area before. I was awed by the raw beauty of the land. Rolling rock strewn hills of rich green immediately called to my soul. It reminded me of photos I've seen of Scotland, a place I've always longed to visit. I can understand why so many Scottish and Irish immigrants settled in the area a few hundred years ago. I immediately fell in love with this magical land.
I quickly fell under Sandra's spell as well. She is an extremely warm and friendly woman, just as I'd imagined she would be from her blog. I'd never met another blogger before and being a fairly shy person I was a little apprehensive about introducing myself to a stranger and announcing I was an acquaintance from online. Sandra took those concerns away immediately. She met us at the top of her driveway and before I could say a single word she had scooped my 3 month old daughter,Nora, out of my arms and began showing her off to all the people gathered at the event! I tagged along behind as Sandra and Nora made the rounds charming everyone. Obviously she's a woman that enjoys a cute baby and being a new mom I can tell you there is no more sure way to a mother's heart than to make a fuss over her child. Sandra won me over for life right then :). Nora loved all the attention and took to Sandra immediately. When she handed Nora back to me I finally managed to get up the nerve to introduce myself and Sandra immediately hugged me and seemed happy I'd come. She was extremely warm and hospitable even though she was so busy hosting this lovely event. She told us we could wander around and take all the photos we wanted (my favorite pastime). Her farm is so lovely, absolutely picturesque, that I wanted to take photos of every nook and cranny but I controlled myself. It was extremely hard controlling the urge to plop myself down on her porch and spend the afternoon listening to the birds singing and enjoying the luscious view. Her farm is obviously much loved and you can feel it in the air. It's a very special place filled to the brim with SOUL. It's the kind of place I've daydreamed of living since I was a little girl. I could just imagine Nora playing in the beautiful fields with the horses and lambs. So peaceful and serene, a place you could be truly content just to be alive.
We spent several hours watching the sheep being sheared, eating fried apple pies and banana nut bread (both sooo yummy), looking over the lovely yarns (now I wish I could crochet or knit), and enjoying demonstrations by a blacksmith and a dulcimer maker. All three of us had a very nice time and I highly recommend the event to anyone!! Alas, we had to move on.The day was passing quickly by and we wanted to visit Mabry Mill, another photogenic spot in southern Virginia, before starting our 5 hour drive home. It was truly a lovely and memorable day. I will be daydreaming of Sandra's beautiful farm for a long time. Now it will be even more lovely to read her blog because I can picture it perfectly in my mind's eye. So, thank you Sandra and Dave for hosting such a wonderful event and being so welcoming to our family!! We really had a great day and fell in love with Thistle Cove Farm.