Sperryville column for Oct. 1

Elizabeth Lee, healer

Elizabeth Lee is a master therapist, experienced in both eastern and western massage theory and technique, and is located right here in our own Sperryville. Relocating her business from Main Street to Poplar Bend Farm on Woodward Road, hers is a place of quiet and solitude, a refuge surrounded by green, heavily wooded acreage.

At the end of a classic rural winding drive, Elizabeth’s front garden is decorated with lively, talkative chickens and her donkey OT, aka Don Quixote, is an endearingly curious youngster, with ears the size of rather large oval paddle ball paddles. Her home exudes warmth, calm and charm, as does Elizabeth.

She is, according to Anne Pallie, “a healer, a woman I’ve known for 18 years and whom I call a friend. I attribute in great part her massage techniques to strengthening my immune system in helping me to overcome cancer. She’s also been, over the years, extraordinarily successful taking care of my back and neck afflictions.”

“I’ve been to massage therapists all over the world, and Elizabeth is the best. I trust her, I rely on her and she’s always been there for me,” says Anne. “She’s been there, too, for people in hospice, and many have far outlived their time on earth because of Elizabeth’s healing powers.”

Her patients/clients read like a Who’s Who of Rappahannock and the wider Piedmont region, all with equally stellar references to share. Elizabeth began her journey when one of her adopted children, still very young, showed signs of severe developmental challenges. Elizabeth immersed herself in the art of bioholistic practice to help her child. Over the years she perfected her craft and continued to learn and grow.

She offers a diversity of techniques, including therapeutic massage, zen shiatsu, spa massage, doula massage, foot reflexology, breathing techniques, neurolinguistic programing and death midwifery (a soft, secure nest of support for her clients so that they may depart this world with dignity).

The art of Buteyko breathing, she explains when asked about death midwifery, allows one to use measured breaths in such a way as to provide a patient with “a tool box with which to practice calm and to teach to not to be afraid and manage transition.” One of Elizabeth’s hospice patients lived almost two years longer than expected. In relating the story, Elizabeth’s eyes teared up, and she spoke quietly of her patient smiling up at her husband, nodding to him with confidence and surety, that it was finally her time.

Her overall practice, she says, “is the holistic integration of mind and body within the environment. Concepts of bioenergetics and biodynamics come into play, and it is a craft more concerned with the inner self, the spirit, and the outer self, the universe and all that goes in between.”

She earned her bachelor’s in holistic health sciences from Columbia Pacific University and has studied in China and Jamaica. During the Vietnam War, she assisted soldiers in the Yokohama Naval hospital. The experience was life-changing, she says, and on many levels heightened her empathetic nature and holistic talents. As of this writing, she is in the process of creating programs specifically geared to our senior population; class dates and location will be announced on her website, bioholistic.com. Elizabeth can also be reached at 540-987-1002.

The wedding party

Larry Green recites his apparently "obey"-free vows to Chris Doxzen Saturday at Tula's in a ceremony planned, and presided over, by new restaurant owner John McCaslin (center).Debbie Keyser
Larry Green recites his apparently “obey”-free vows to Chris Doxzen Saturday at Tula’s in a ceremony planned, and presided over, by new restaurant owner John McCaslin (center).

I’d like to personally thank John McCaslin and Mark Allen, the new owners of Tula’s, for hosting a special evening for this Rappahannock News columnist — namely, my wedding to Larry Green on Saturday (Sept. 26). John’s homily was breathtakingly personal, heartfelt and touched the hearts of all in attendance.

We weren’t expecting any gifts, but I would especially like to thank Sherry Stewart for the extra-large cast-iron skillet, for use by the bride, with discretion in matters unrelated to cooking, and to Denise and Donald Chandler for the gorgeous Italian-cut wine glasses, and to others who shared delicious wines, cards and huge hugs — all so not expected, and appreciated.

Thanks, too, to Sue, my new sister-in-law, and Maria, her beautiful daughter, awaiting her new baby. I’m excited to have you in my family. We enjoyed trademark Tula’s hospitality from all the staff, wonderful food and libations and last but not least, a uniquely Rappahannock ambiance, including Bill Fletcher’s comments during the ceremony, which brought tears of laughter to this bride, regarding the lack of the “obey” word being included in the ceremony.

May your restaurant, Mark and John, hold many more beaming brides in its midst, and your quaint courtyard continue to host talented musicians and smiling patrons. Thank you.

Goodbye to Ray

RIP, Ray.

A somber note, to celebrate a wonderful life, that being the too-short life of a beloved Rappahannock quadruped. Rappahannock folks, in general, deeply love their pets, whether they be dogs, cats, goats, chickens or heck, we even have camels.

Roger, the editor of this fine paper, and his beautiful wife, Charmaine, weren’t able to attend my nuptials. Roger apologized without telling me the reason they couldn’t make it. Charmaine called the next day, her heart worn on her sleeve: “So sorry, Chris, we just couldn’t muster up the bravado.” Ray, their 13-year-old border collie, was an unconditional partner in both their lives, a big, beautiful dog who loved them both and made them his entire world. Charmaine talked of his energy and how he helped her so much in her healing. Animals are like that. They get us. They are our hearts walking outside of our bodies.

So sorry for your loss, and rest in peace, Ray.

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