Washington column for Dec. 18

Rare Finds finds a home

Jan Clatterbuck | Rappahannock News

Two weeks ago, on Sunday (Dec. 6), the doors opened for the newest shop in Washington, Rare Finds, in what was Doug Baumgardner’s old office.

The 1956 office building was built by Eve Willis’s father, Arthur Miller, and used commercially as a real-estate office on one side and a U.S. post office on the other side. Doug brought the Miller building in 1982 for his law office and subsequently added onto it the ground and upper levels in the rear.

After Doug’s retirement this year, Eve bought the building and renovated it, transforming it into a shop full of lovely gifts and antiques for everyone. Susan McCarthy has joined her as business partner in the venture. (Eve had owned a similar shop under the same name, which she closed in 2003.) Katharine Leggett, who will help run the shop on a daily basis and assist in some buying, says she jumped at the chance to work in the county at a business she loved and with such knowledgeable owners.

Rare Finds carries everything from greeting cards and gift wrap to children’s gifts, fine jewelry, some seasonal ladies clothing items, mens and ladies accessories, home decor and antiques. Paintings by local artists adorn the walls. The owners are constantly adding to the inventory to stay up to date and incorporate their customers’ suggestions.

With Eve’s vast experience in interior design and antiques, and Susan’s retail and design experience, this shop is sure to please. And Katharine and sales associate Ed Olmstead are available to help anyone with their last-minute gifts and furnishings. Rare Fines also ships anywhere.

“In their first weeks open, they have had a heartwarming local response,” Katharine says. She mentioned one customer’s saying she really enjoyed looking at all the different things in the shop and its beautiful windows.

I was in the shop last Friday (Dec. 13) and I fell in love with the country Christmas decorations and the beautiful jewelry. Stop in and browse around the shop; I bet you cannot leave without buying something or at least enjoying the visit. “The coffee will be brewing.” says Katharine.

The community is so blessed to have such opportunities to shop locally instead of traveling to the big towns and dealing with the crowds of people there, which certainly is not my cup of tea. They are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

I wish Rare Rinds the best and am looking forward to shopping there.

Town party a success

The Washington Christmas party at the town hall on Sunday (Dec. 14) had it all — loads of food, delicious desserts, good people, plenty of fun and, yes, Virginia, there was a Santa Claus. Santa delighted the youngsters, who couldn’t wait to receive presents. Wendy Aichele led the singing, with everyone joining in. According to Katharine Leggett, everyone enjoyed themselves, with fellowship and good food.

Anniversary wishes

Belated anniversary wishes go out to Jeff and Becky Burke of Washington for their wedding anniversary, which was on Dec. 7.

WVFR breakfast

The Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue squad hosts an all-you-can-eat breakfast, with Santa, from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Washington fire hall this Saturday (Dec. 20). Bring the family and enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by your local fire and rescue members. Santa will be there to hear kids’ wish lists and to pose for pictures. The cost is $8; kids 10 and younger eat free. All proceeds benefit WVFR. For more information, call 540-675-3605.

Christmas worship service

The community is invited to a Family Christmas Worship Service at Washington Baptist Church on this Sunday evening, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m., which will include traditional carols, special music and gifts for the children.


Sympathy goes out to Joyce Pullen on the death of her husband, Edward Lee Pullen, 75, of Washington. Edward passed away at his home on Dec. 10, with his family by his side. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Sympathy also goes out to Carolyn Ann Markham on the death of her husband, Richard Markham, 80, who passed away on Dec. 8 at Fauquier Hospital. He drove a school bus for Rappahannock County Public Schools for 14 years. My son often spoke highly of Mr. Markham, saying he was a good man to know. A memorial gathering will take place with family and friends on Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Richard´s life.

Joyce and Carolyn, remember the Lord doesn’t put any more on your shoulders than you both can bear. My prayers are with you both.

It’s Christmas time

What do I wish for? I wish to return some of the love that’s been given to me — to share in the beauty of this earth. A cloud is worth watching until it passes from one horizon to another. Taking a walk when the snow is falling, looking at the stars on a cold, clear night and remembering that any green thing that grows is proof that God exists are wonders worth savoring at this time of the year.

It all comes into focus at Christmas. It’s a tender time. We open ourselves to love by exchanging gifts, but what those presents really say is “I love you.”

Let’s be people with giving hearts, and I pray that it will always be so. It’s part of our strength. It’s something we learned as children that we can share with someone who’s down on their luck and can use a boost.

Take pleasure in the Christmas season. Be merry like the songs say and sing the Christmas carols for all the joy that their words convey and the memories they bring back.

A child of Christmas is anyone who believes, and, as we celebrate this Christmas, let’s remember to give thanks, to give love, to be joyous and to share in the belief that this season of giving is worth celebrating.

This is my wish every year.

Merry Christmas everyone!