Washington column for Nov. 22

Artist open house

Printmaker and stained glass artist Linda Tarry hosts an art studio open house at her home off Tiger Valley Road. Courtesy photo.
Printmaker and stained glass artist Linda Tarry hosts an art studio open house at her home off Tiger Valley Road. Courtesy photo.

Linda Tarry, a former printmaker and stained glass artist, has lived in Rappahannock County since 1985 and began making mosaics in 2004. Most of her work is three-dimensional, although in the past year she has been making smaller wall pieces that still retain a three-dimensional quality. “I love to use found objects in my work,” she says. “It’s fun to take a pile of discarded bits and pieces and see what new thing I can make.” She especially loves to use broken ceramics in her mosaics due to the wide range of colors and textures.

Tarry is a former member of Six Pack Gallery and Middle Street Gallery. Her mosaic studio – located two miles south of Washington, off Tiger Valley Road at 60 Strother Lane – has been on the RAAC Studio Tour for the past five years and is hosting an Art Studio Open House from 11 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

Stop in the gift shop for Linda’s whimsical mosaics, colorful handmade bead jewelry by Pam Pittinger, gorgeous hand decorated paper by Ann Georgia McCaffray and small paintings by Jacob Stilley. Hot cider and cookies are available at the open house.

Both Pittinger and McCaffray are also former Six Pack Gallery members. Pittinger is an abstract painter who lives in Amissville. She makes her own glass beads for her jewelry, which is colorful, whimsical and very wearable. McCaffray is an artist in Sperryville. Her sheets of hand-decorated paper are made through a painstaking process that produces intense colors and vibrant designs. She then uses this paper to make small one-of-a-kind books.

Tarry also has some small landscapes of the Tiger Valley area painted by her son Jacob Stilley this past summer. A native of Rappahannock, Jacob completed his master’s in fine art this year and is currently living and painting in New York City.

For more information on the open house, call 540-675-1930.

Christmas blessings at the senior center

The Senior Angel Tree project is underway. Paper angels now adorn the structural columns at the Union First Market Bank in Washington, and each represents a senior “angel” in our community, listing the age, gender and wish list for one of our county’s older residents. These precious folks are participants in the Rappahannock Senior Center and home-delivered meals program, as well as those referred by the Department of Social Services and other area seniors recommended by the community. Our older generation is one of our greatest assets and this is a small way to honor and bless these wonderful people!

So, get your holidays off to a good start – stop by Union First Market Bank and pick an angel or two. You can drop off your angel’s wrapped gifts, bagged or bundled together, along with the attached angel, at the bank no later than Thursday, Dec. 13, to ensure delivery before Christmas. For details or to recommend someone for the Senior Angel Tree, call Rappahannock Senior Center coordinator Darcy Canton at 540-987-3638.

Cause for Paws raffle winners

Steve and Lucia Effros of Clifton, Va., are the winners of RappCats’ Cause for Paws raffle drawing held Nov. 11. The couple, who won an overnight stay at Middleton Inn and dinner at the Inn at Little Washington, were here for the annual Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour the weekend before. They said they saw a man standing in the bitter cold on Main Street across from R.H. Ballard’s selling raffle tickets for RappCats’ Spay and Neuter Fund; they felt sorry for him because he looked so cold, and bought one ticket. That man was Bob Kramer of Sperryville, a member of the RappCats board; his wife, Pat Snyder, is RappCats’ president. It turns out the Effroses have two rescue cats. RappCats is an all-volunteer cat rescue group in the county.

Thanksgiving blessings

Food Pantry director Mimi Forbes, center, accepts a $500 contribution from Rappahannock Lions Club members R.C. Garcia (in hat) and Jim Blubaugh (right) to help buy turkeys for the Food Pantry’s annual Thanksgiving drive. “Our recent fund-raising successes are paying dividends for county organizations,” said Lions president Bill Gadino. “The Lions are pleased that the Food Pantry will use this donation to help make Thanksgiving a better day for those in need.” Also in the photo are pantry volunteers (from left) Andy Platt, Kaye Johnson and Hans Doxzen. Photo by Kathy Eggers.
Food Pantry director Mimi Forbes, center, accepts a $500 contribution from Rappahannock Lions Club members R.C. Garcia (in hat) and Jim Blubaugh (right) to help buy turkeys for the Food Pantry’s annual Thanksgiving drive. “Our recent fund-raising successes are paying dividends for county organizations,” said Lions president Bill Gadino. “The Lions are pleased that the Food Pantry will use this donation to help make Thanksgiving a better day for those in need.” Also in the photo are pantry volunteers (from left) Andy Platt, Kaye Johnson and Hans Doxzen. Photo by Kathy Eggers.

It’s Thanksgiving, a favorite time we always enjoyed so well.

Weeks before Thanksgiving, my heart warms with anticipation as I look forward to the family and grandchildren that will squeeze around the table, chairs and sofas in my home, joking, laughing and eating together on Thanksgiving Day. After the turkey and dressing, the family scatters: Some begin a football game, others go shopping and some play games with the children. All gather later in the day to grab a sandwich and embrace as they say their goodbyes. Let’s all take a few minutes in this coming days to think about what’s important in life.

What a precious gift it is to have a day set aside to offer thanks, to turn our thoughts away from work, financial concerns and national hot topics, and toward the people and things that bring joy into our lives.

My mother really took great delight in preparing the turkey. The aroma on Thanksgiving Day was heavenly as it wafted throughout the house. My mother baked pies and side dishes, and set a very fancy table. After the meal, when it was time to say goodbye, mom would always give us food to take back home.

My mother passed away on Dec. 3, 1992 and Thanksgiving has not been the same since. Life for me continues on without her, though not everything is as simple as it was before. When my turkey is browning in the oven, I will be thinking of her.

Mom, thank you so much for each memory you have given me. Each thought of you does give me cheer. You gave your love to everyone here on earth. Today, I would love to whisper in your ear: I love and miss you, mom. Happy Thanksgiving Day in Heaven.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!