Washington column for Feb. 24

Rev. Jennings W. Hobson III, left, with Rev. Richard Garrard at St. Paul's Within-the-Walls, an American Episcopal church in Rome.

Thanks to WVF&R

Several Washington Volunteers Fire & Rescue members helped combat the large fire that started in the Browntown area of Warren County and spread to the Shenandoah National Park, including parts in Rappahannock County, last weekend.

With this year’s fire season having started so early and been so bad, all support provided by the community was greatly appreciated.
Remember that the 4 p.m. burn ban is in effect (outdoor burning is allowed only from 4 p.m. to midnight and all proper precautions must be taken). Because of current conditions, not burning at all is even better.

Finally, the Virginia Department of Forestry on its “Virginia Firewise” Web site page offers many suggestions on preventing wildfires, how to make your home more “defensible” and how to prepare. You will find a lot of information here.

Dinner a success

Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue thanks the more than 140 people who came to enjoy the ham and oyster dinner cooked and served by the WVFR volunteers on Feb. 12. The proceeds help cover the squad’s operating expenses.

The next two fundraisers are a March 19 breakfast buffet and an April 9 Texas Hold’ Em Tournament. For more information visit WashingtonVolunteerFireAndRescue.org as well as the Rappahannock News’ calendar of events.

Pilgrimage to Rome

Rev. Jennings W. Hobson III returned home last Thursday (Feb. 17) with a group from Trinity Episcopal Church from a pilgrimage to Rome. Assisting Hobson was Rappahannock County artist and art historian Merrill Strange. A group from Trinity went to Rome in 2003 and 2004, to Florence in 2005 and 2006, traveled twice to London in 2007, to Venice in 2008, and Milan and Venice in 2010.
Seventeen people made the trip this year and enjoyed the near perfect temperatures and ethereal light that was Rome in February.

To make the encounter as educational as possible, each participant was in charge of educating the others about a saint and a particular location on the itinerary. On Feb. 13, the group celebrated the Eucharist with the Rt. Reverend Richard Garrard at St. Paul’s Within-the-Walls, an American Episcopal church in Rome.

Among the highlights of the trip as an almost daily stop by Rev. Hobson to Gelateria Della Palma, home of 150 flavors of gelato, the Italian ice cream.

With memories of inspiring scenery, delicious food, tranquil warm-for-February weather, and uneventful flights, it will be difficult to keep Trinity parishioners away from next year’s pilgrimage.

Fly them high

Kite flying is just around the corner as March is traditionally a month for kite flying.

A wind that’s too strong or too light is difficult to fly in. A flag or windsock is handy to help you gauge the wind. A wind between 5 to 25 mph is best for most kites (when leaves and bushes start to move, but before it really starts to blow).

Flying is most fun when the wind is moderate so you can make your kite dance across the sky by pulling in and letting out the line.

Make sure you are in an area that is open and free of trees, electrical and telephone lines, buildings, and automobile traffic. Stand with your back to the wind. Hold the kite with one hand and the reel of string with the other. Let the wind lift the kite and as it does, feed out the line to the height you want it. Walk in the direction of the wind as you feed out the line. If the kite won’t climb you can reduce the bridle angle. To land the kite, walk toward it winding the line on the reel as you walk.

I am looking forward flying one this year!

Kite flying is great fun and it’s easy. So grab your kite and join in the fun. The sky is big enough for everyone.

Birthday wishes

Belated birthday wishes go out to my brother-in-law, Bud Clatterbuck, who celebrated his special day on Saturday (Feb. 19).