Sperryville column for Nov. 22

Sperryville re-energized

The winter holidays start with Thanksgiving and end with New Year’s. It is a time when the earth takes a rest, the solstice demarcates the changing season and many spiritual traditions celebrate. This year in Sperryville, there will be much more activity and celebration than the village has seen in awhile. After Thanksgiving, Sperryville enjoys its third Shop Sperryville on the fourth Friday (Nov. 23), with shops open until 8 p.m. This month, the fourth Friday just happens to be on Black Friday. So shop local, avoid the crazy crowds and insane behavior of people fighting in malls over something made in China and buy something made in Rappahannock!

Come discover Triple Oak Bakery and find free treats and mulled cider (yes, again!). Taste special chocolates offered by French Pastry School graduate and former Rappahannock County High School student Katie Long.

At Central Coffee Roasters, Maggie’s etchings are on display and coffee is for sale till 8 p.m. Sleepywood Rustic Furniture has discounts on select items. Never has a twig been so enticing.

Both Sperryville Pottery and Haley Fine Art (on custom framing) are offering 20 percent discounts, while Coterie offers 10 percent off throughout the store and a CoCoa Bella tasting with holiday treats.

Old Rag Photography is moving to a new, larger space, next to Copper Fox Distillery – in a building the Wasmund’s have named the Malt House Studios – by Dec. 1, so the photographers are having a 20 percent off moving sale that continues throughout the weekend.

Piedmont holiday fair

A “Traditional Piedmont Holiday Fair,” hosted by the Shops at the Schoolhouse Dec. 1 and 2, brings a curated collection of locally created original products. In addition to displaying their works, many folks will be demonstrating their skills. The event is inspired by the strong Piedmont tradition of community camaraderie, use of fresh greens and dried fruit, and homemade goodies – all sourced locally. In the spirit of giving, there is also an opportunity to select and help a local family for the holidays. Children’s activities offer them the experience of creativity and participation. So come experience the Piedmont at its finest at the Schoolhouse.

There is still more that weekend as Old Rag Photography hosts an opening party in their new gallery on River Lane with cider and eggnog served both days. Middle Street Gallery continues its tradition of having all the member artists exhibit their work and, of course, you’ll want to stroll through the galleries at River District Arts and enjoy the good food at Cafe Indigo.

Between the weekend activities in Sperryville and the famous Christmas in Little Washington Parade and Artisan Market, there are plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the community and shop in paradise!

Birthday wishes

From one of the best front porch views in the county, Marshall Dodson is still telling stories of life in Rappahannock. Happy birthday, Marshall!

Happy Thanksgiving

Each holiday begins and ends like any other day with a sunrise and a sunset. It is only when we take one day, set it aside and ascribe special meaning to it, that it becomes a special day. Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and gratitude for the bounty of the earth and hopefully suspends the usual hectic pace of life in favor of spending time with family and friends. Gratitude is the theme of this day and Johannes A. Gaertner (1912-1906), art historian at LaFayette College in Easton, Pa., offered this perspective:

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”

We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.