Washington column for Nov. 28

Holiday warmth

It’s Thanksgiving and for most of us this holiday conjures up memories or anticipation of such traditions as the huge Thanksgiving dinner with cranberry sauce, and someone carving the turkey. It’s a time we travel “over the river, and through the hollows” to celebrate with family and friends.

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

We should be grateful for the little things that make each day worthwhile — a friend who brings you flowers or a loved one’s warming smile. Remember to count your blessings, however great or small, for they’re the silver lining whenever storm clouds come your way.

Thanksgiving Day is a great day to step back and reflect on the positive things that have happened in our life over the past year and the things that bring joy into your life. Here are some things I’m thankful for:

Both adults and children enjoyed singing at Trinity Church’s singalong last Friday (Nov. 22).
Both adults and children enjoyed singing at Trinity Church’s singalong last Friday (Nov. 22). Chris Green | Rappahannock News

I’m thankful for the laughter and smiles of my children and grandkids; many friendships; my health and my job; and for readers who have given me the opportunity to write for the paper, provide constant feedback and support, and constantly surprise me with their generosity. Perhaps most of all, I am so thankful to be an American this Thanksgiving because freedom is great.

Many generous folks use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to help the less fortunate. Some people volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters on Thanksgiving Day and others donate to shelters or participate in canned food drives. Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, let’s be reminded as a nation and as individual persons to give thanks for all the blessings God has given to us.

I wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

A successful singalong

Last Friday (Nov. 22), a large crowd from our Rappahannock Community enjoyed themselves in an old-fashioned way — singing, dancing, laughing and crying at Trinity Episcopal’s singalong. The singing was lusty and joyful, and Trinity, which hosted the event, provided wine, mulled cider and plenty of food.

Both adults and children enjoyed singing at Trinity Church’s singalong last Friday (Nov. 22).
Both adults and children enjoyed singing at Trinity Church’s singalong last Friday (Nov. 22). Ruthie Windsor-Mann

The hearts of the singalong  are Hal and Bev Hunter. An accomplished pianist, Hal accompanies the singing, and after a playlist has been devised, he creates and donates songbooks for all to enjoy.  Wife Bev is the driving motivational force, and with her excellent contralto, leads many of the songs.

Between the opening of “God Bless America” and the beautiful closing “Let There be Peace on Earth,” the more-than-80 participants sang (and sometimes danced) to “YMCA,” a chorus of men sang “Ol’ Man River,” people held hands for “We Shall Overcome,” Rev. Jenks Hobson and the children led a rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” Francophiles rendered “I Love Paris” in French, the British sung a Vera Lynn and Ed Kavanaugh entertained with his Irish jokes.

Rosa Crocker of Out of Hands donated a massive and beautiful flower arrangement, which was auctioned for adding to the proceeds. During all this spontaneous fun, $2,223 was collected for the Food Pantry. What a wonderful way for the community give back to those less fortunate.

Stay ‘Inn’ for the holidays

The Inn at Little Washington is creating a holiday feast for Thanksgiving Day, including their locally raised, organic black Spanish birds — plump, saucy and succulent, stuffed with homemade country sausage and cornbread, fragrant with pecans and local apples. Each member of the Inn culinary team has contributed a treasured family Thanksgiving recipe to bring to the table. The dinner is $198 per person, with three seatings: 1 to 2, 4 to 5 and 7 to 8 p.m. Limited reservations are still available for all three, and can be made by calling 540-675-3800.

Also back by popular demand are their favorite holiday pies: traditional apple or chocolate bourbon and their pecan tart. These eight-inch pies ($30) come packaged in a handcrafted shaker-style box and are available in the Tavern Shops now through Sunday, Dec. 1. To guarantee availability, call 540-675-3800 and pre-order.