Washington column for Nov. 21

A lot of beautification

The beautification project going on at the Trinity Episcopal Church parking lot is progressing, and now includes a repaved parking lot, a new stone wall around the existing fountain, new concrete entry ramps with 12-inch brick bands, brick walls between some of the parking spaces, trees planted around the entrances and a new stone wall between the lot and Clopton House, which The Inn at Little Washington is renovating into additional guest rooms. It still has the same use, it’s just a nicer look.

Serra Stone from Maryland repaved the Trinity Episcopal Church parking lot last week.
Serra Stone from Maryland repaved the Trinity Episcopal Church parking lot last week. Jan Clatterbuck

The parking lot is now being used, though it’s accessible only from Main Street. The Middle Street entrance should be open soon. Some lighting and more landscaping will also be installed. Serra Stone of Maryland did all the work and “really did a top notch job,” said Mayor John Sullivan, who added that the rest of project is being put off until next year.

Merrill Strange’s holiday open studio

Did you ever attend one of Merrill Strange’s holiday open studio events in Viewtown held over the first weekend in December? As many of you know, Merrill and Philip Strange are now living at Annadale in Gordonsville, previously owned by his grandparents and uncle. But Merrill is continuing her Viewtown tradition by inviting those interested to stop by Annadale and not only see the historic Federal-style house built in 1816, but view and purchase work by numerous artists, artisans and foodies, many of them from Washington and other Rappahannock spots.

Among those connected to Rappahannock who will be joining Merrill are Out of Hand with Rosa Crocker and Susan McCarthy, Ruth Anna Stolk, Laura Massie, Suzanne Parrish, Becky Parrish, Noel Laing, Kathleen Hutcheson, Main Hutcheson, Ruthie Windsor-Mann, Molly Dodge, Jan Barbano, Chris Russell and Tom Pendleton.

The open studio is noon to 5 both Saturday (Dec. 7) and Sunday (Dec. 8) at Annadale Farm (19195 Annadale Farm Drive, Gordonsville).

Even if this event is in Gordonsville, by purchasing items from these Rappahannock locals, you will be supporting local talent and local businesses. This is a perfect weekend to head out, shop and then hang around the town of Washington on Sunday for the Christmas parade and all of the other elaborately planned festivities.

Baby girl

Mountain Green Farm has a new arrival on their farm, as Alex and Ashleigh Cannon Sharp welcomed their daughter, Sarah Cannon Sharp. The newest Sharp was born Oct. 22 at Culpeper Memorial Hospital weighing seven pounds, eight ounces and was 20 inches long. Both mom and daughter are doing well. Congratulations to you both!

Open house

Donna LaPre Studio holds an open house and sale next Saturday (Nov. 30) from 10 to 6 p.m. at her home (130 Fodderstack Rd.). Donna is reinstating the annual Christmastime Wonderland, with all sorts of new creations, including luminous plant-dyed silk, wool scarves, shawls, ribbons and hanging panels, lightly fragrant soaps and a number of other handmade items. One-fifth of the proceeds from the sale will go to the Rappahannock Food Pantry.

Shop with a Deputy

As the Christmas holidays approach, let’s take a brief moment to look ahead to the Christmas season. The Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office is currently making preparations to coordinate the 17th annual “Shop with a Cop” program on Dec. 14.

The program involves law enforcement officers donating their time to take a group of the county’s needy children on a Christmas shopping spree. Once children are selected, they’ll be paired with a uniformed officer and taken on a $100 shopping spree at K-Mart. Once the shopping is completed, the children will have an opportunity to eat breakfast with the officers and visit with Santa Claus at the Rappahannock County Elementary School.

There’s still time for you to contribute to this very worthy program which affords a special time for children who would miss out on some holiday fun due to circumstances beyond a family’s financial control. Anyone wanting to sponsor a child can mail a (tax deductible) contribution to Shop with a Cop, Att: Deputy Gary Jenkins, ℅ Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office, P.O. Box 487, Washington, Va. 22747.

Town party

The Town of Washington is gearing up for its Christmas party potluck on Dec. 15 at the town hall at 5:30 p.m. The party is for the town businesses and residents, all of whom are welcome to bring their favorite dish or dessert. (Or both!) For more information, call town clerk Laura Dodd at 540-675-3128.

Bake sale

Sperryville’s Brittani Dodson, a third-year nursing student at Shenandoah University, has been traveling to Panama with other students to help set up the country’s first special-needs orphanage. So far, Brittani, an impassioned volunteer with a vision to help special needs children, has traveled there using her own resources, working and fundraising.

Now she is having a bake sale from 8 to 1 p.m. at the U.S. 211 Quicke Mart this Saturday (Nov. 23) to help benefit her next trip to Panama (in December). A few of Saturday’s offerings include pumpkin rolls, carrot cakes, muffins, cookies and more. Here’s your chance to keep from baking for the Thanksgiving holiday — make sure to stop in and buy some goodies.

Have a great week!