Sperryville column for Feb. 9

Happy Valentine’s Day

Whether you believe that this holiday was created to commemorate the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death around 270 A.D. – or initiated to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia (a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus) – you now have the challenge of deciding how, or whether, to celebrate on Feb. 14. Whatever the origins, we now commonly use the day to express affection and caring for loved ones. Can there be any harm in that? For every holiday we balance the deeper meaning of the day with the pressure of commercialization. A simple note? A fancy card? A certificate for a foot rub, or even a massage? Candy? Flowers? A healthy dinner at home? A donation to Head Start? The possibilities are endless. It is only what we do in creating this ritual that differentiates this one day from any other. We create the ritual. It is in your power to create a day of love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

. . . and St. Patrick’s Day

The fourth annual Rappahannock County Lions Club’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration starts at noon  Saturday, March 10, at the Sperryville fire hall. Why am I telling you about this five weeks in advance? Because this fun event, filled with Irish music, dancing, food and humor, has quickly become so popular that tickets sell out well before St. Patrick’s Day and I want you to be sure to be able to participate. Tickets are on sale at the Sperryville Corner Store and at Union First Market Bank on U.S. 211.

Rappahannock artist Patti Brennan is designing and crafting a custom, one-of-a-kind stained glass window of St. Patrick, specially made for the occasion and to be raffled off at the March 10 lunch. Raffle tickets for the prize, worth hundreds, will be $25 each. Plans are to display the stained glass window at Monkey Business in the Sperryville School House so those interested can see it before buying a ticket or attending the luncheon.

The fire in the auditorium area of the Sperryville School House has necessitated the temporary relocation of this event to the fire hall where fewer seats are available, and also eliminated the usual St. Pat’s Day parade from this year’s plan. But nothing can dampen the enthusiasm of the sponsors, so get your tickets and have a fun day!

Mutts on Friday, olive oil Saturday

Rappahannockers love their dogs and from 5 to 8 on Friday, Feb. 17, at Gadino Cellars, you and your well-behaved-dog-on-a-leash will have an opportunity to show your support. In a Mutt Mix and Mingle you will enjoy good wine, yummy hors d’oeuvres and music by Dontez Harris. The entire $10 donation goes to Rappahannock Animal Welfare League (RAWL), and $1 from each glass of wine sold will also be donated by Gadino Cellars.

My grandmother and her comares used olive oil not only for cooking but also to treat their hair and skin. On Saturday, Feb. 18, you can sample olive oil harvested in October 2011 by Di Giovana, Gadino’s sister winery in Sicily. This olive oil is so delicious that you probably won’t want to treat your hair with it, but you will certainly want to use it in your kitchen.

SVRS update

You have been witness to the steady increase in volunteer staff and services at the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad (SVRS) over the past several years. Under the careful leadership of past president Harold Beebout and current president Geraldine Payne, your donations have been used to improve equipment and to save for future needs. Many of you have seen the construction of the new bay for the soon-to-be-purchased, state-of-the-art ambulance . . . all purchased with past donations carefully saved for this purpose and with grants awarded to SVRS. Our treasurer Bruce Sloane knows how to account for every penny and keeps us on track!

It is again time for our annual fundraiser, the SVRS Miss Rappahannock Beauty Pageant. To increase the overall income of the event, the organizers have decided to open all categories (except Miss Rapp, ages 16-19) to the counties for whom SVRS provides mutual aid or transport for patients: Page, Madison, Warren, Fauquier and Culpeper counties. Save the dates: May 13 is final registration and rehearsal; the pageant itself is on May 19. Be on the lookout for SVRS volunteers selling raffle tickets at the post office and at the coop, or buy them from any member. More information will be provided in the next few weeks. Applications are available at Rappahannock County schools, at the SVRS office on Main Street or by contacting Deanna Wayland (540-987-8366 or deannaleigh8@msn.com).

Flowers delivered here!

We miss seeing Lois Kirchner at Copper Fox Antiques, but she just sent out an announcement that she now provides floral delivery in Rappahannock. She can provide flowers to residential and commercial customers. Contact her at lois@ashbyhouseantiques.com.