Washington column for Feb. 27

Springtime fever

Sunshine seekers were out in full force this past weekend to soak up the spring-like temperatures and clear blue skies. In Little Washington, people took advantage of the 60-degree weather, as roads here and in Harris Hollow were busy with people walking, despite the muddy roads. I know I did! (And then more snow, and cold weather arrived this week. Time to bundle up again!)

Wintertime fervor

Andrew Haley and Keir Whitson at the American Birkebeiner ski marathon in Wisconsin last weekend.
Andrew Haley and Keir Whitson at the American Birkebeiner ski marathon in Wisconsin last weekend. John Lavelle

Andrew Haley of Woodville, and Keir Whitson of Washington completed the American Birkebeiner, a Nordic ski marathon covering more than 30 up-and-down miles between the towns of Cable and Hayward, Wis., last Saturday (Feb. 22).

Keir Whitson
Keir Whitson John Lavelle

In its 41st year, the American Birkebeiner is North America’s largest Nordic ski marathon, attracting close to 10,000 participants each year. Faced with brutally cold temperatures, high winds and more than a foot of new snow, Andrew managed to complete his first Birkebeiner; it was Keir’s seventh.

Congratulations to both!

Caregiver training

The annual family caregiver training, sponsored by Aging Together, is 1 to 5 p.m. March 5 (meet and greet starts at 12:30) at the Washington fire hall. The workshop provides tips, resources and hands-on training by Rappahannock professionals to help caregivers of ill, elderly or disabled family members and others interested in caregiving. Topics include hands-on care; tips from physical therapy; safety; dealing with doctors, hospitals and emergencies; managing medications, nutrition and other resources; coping with confusion and dementia; and caring for the caregiver. For more information, contact Sharon Pyne at 540-675-3313 (ext. 2221).

We’re all friends here

Don’t forget that The Inn at Little Washington’s “Friends and Neighbors” program is still going on through the month of March. The Inn again offers a special menu at a special price — $98 per person (excluding tax, gratuity and beverage) to residents of Rappahannock, Fauquier, Culpeper and Warren counties. To make a reservation or for more information, call 540-675-3800 or visit theinnatlittlewashington.com.

Book Barn’s DVD sale

The Book Barn has been given an extensive inventory of DVDs and is offering them for just $1 each (in addition to its wide variety of reasonably priced books). Come by from 9 to 3 p.m. Saturdays and choose some! The barn is located next to the library on U.S. 211 just east of Washington; all proceeds go directly to the library.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is coming. Everyone seems to know all about Mardi Gras and Carnival — great celebrations, to be sure — but we do not always remember their reason for being. They are the lead up to a quiet period of self examination called Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday. Ashes are an ancient symbol of our basic human need for healing and hope. During Lent, we are invited to consider our need for healing and hope in preparation for the new life of Easter. The ashes are a reminder of that.

Ash Wednesday is March 5. In a gesture of ecumenism, openness and hope for healing, clergy of local churches from Catholic to Baptist, including Episcopal, Unitarian, and Methodist, will offer ashes in the Washington town square from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Come by and see; no ashes required.

Ecumenical Lenten services

Ecumenical Lenten services begin at 7 p.m. March 12 at Washington Baptist Church, with a potluck dinner at 6. This year’s theme, “Symbols of Sacrifice,” will be hosted by various area churches through April 6: Washington Baptist, St. Peter Catholic Church, Reynolds Baptist, United Methodists and Trinity Episcopal. Each church will serve as host, providing the music and the speaker (and child care). For more information, call 540-987-8137.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to my grandson, Jackson Brady Carter Clatterbuck, who will celebrate his special day on March 22; and to Frances Foster, whose special day is March 28. Happy birthday also to my daughter, Christie Kay Ralls, who will celebrate her special day on March 30.

Have a great week!