Washington column for Oct. 29

Pumpkin daze

Olivia Grace Clatterbuck took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday afternoon to carve her Halloween pumpkin with her mom and dad.
Olivia Grace Clatterbuck took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday afternoon to carve her Halloween pumpkin with her mom and dad. Amber Clatterbuck

I stood on the deck this past weekend, looking at the mountains, taking in the magnificence and beauty of the sight, with trees whose leaves had turned red and gold. This just could be considered heaven on earth. My grandchildren were up for the weekend and also decided to take advantage of this beautiful weather and carved out pumpkins for Halloween.

Halloween is the time for the young (and not so young) to hit the streets and visit your doorstep for  trick-or-treat, so best be ready with candy — and if you’rer driving, be on the lookout for those little princesses, witches and firefighters.

Little Washington’s annual Halloween festivities begin at 5:30 Saturday (Oct. 31) — and last until 8:30, well after the sun has gone down. Trick-or-treaters of all ages can stroll around the town and visit homes and businesses, many of which will also be decorated, for goodies and treats. Be sure to wear your costumes and join in on one of Rappahannock’s most enjoyable and family friendly events! Let’s hope for good weather.

The Inn at Little Washington has decided this year to open its longstanding annual employees’ pumpkin-carving contest to the artists of Rappahannock and beyond. For the first time, anyone with a gourd and a good eye can enter their pumpkin for a shot at a grand prize of dinner for two at the Inn. The contest guidelines: Pumpkins must be carved, not painted (meaning they can be lit from within); they have to fit on a 24-by-24 inch base; and they need to be delivered to the Inn’s Parsonage courtyard between 9:30 a.m. and noon on Friday, Oct. 30. The Halloween works of art will be judged that afternoon, and will be on display throughout the holiday weekend. For more information, call Rachel Hayden at 540-675-3800.

Moms, be sure to take the kids over to the Halloween Frolic at Trinity Episcopal Church’s parish hall and gardens, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., for hot dogs, treats and games. At dusk, stroll over to Hunt Harris’s community bonfire, after dark on the field behind the county courthouse complex. All are welcome. For more information, call 540-675-3128.

Fall cleanup

Help is needed Friday with fall cleanup at the Nature Trail and Gardens in town.
Help is needed Friday with fall cleanup at the Nature Trail and Gardens in town. Gail Swift

The Washington Nature Trail and Habitat Restoration Project gardens are ready for their fall cleanup, and Old Rag Master Naturalists are holding a work morning starting at 9:30 tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 30). If you have an hour or two to spare, please join in helping ORMN and the town to prepare the area for winter. Help is needed for invasives removal (weeding and weed whacking), mulching and more. Bring gloves, tools and water to drink. For questions or more details, contact Gail Swift at gail@gailswift.com or 540-675-1003.

Many volunteer hands are needed to sustain an area that used to be a dumping ground for everything, a dead zone with no birds, bees or butterflies — but which is now, three years later, a thriving habitat. Work days are normally scheduled on the second, fourth and occasional fifth Fridays of the month. Gail can also put you on an email list if you would like to be regularly involved.

Time change

Spring forward, fall back: Remember to turn your clocks back one hour on Sunday, Nov. 1. Daylight saving time is the perfect reminder to do as our fire departments recommend: Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. The sun will rise earlier so . . . hooray!

RappCats Catstravaganza

RappCats sponsors Catstravaganza, a popular evening of jazz to benefit the abandoned cats of Rappahannock County. Vocalist Monica Worth and pianist Bob Bennetta blend their musical talents in an intimate setting — The Meadows, home of Mayor John Sullivan and Beverly Sullivan at 260 Porter St. in Washington, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6.

Guests can expect an evening of live jazz music, drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres for their $50 per person ticket (which can be purchased at the event, by check to PO Box 307, Washington, VA 22747, or online at rappcats.org. For further information, call RappCats at 540-987-6050.

Texas Hold’em tournament

Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s Fall Texas Hold’em charity tournament is 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 (check-in at 3). Buy in is a $50 donation and includes your meal. First prize is a Savage Axis 25-06 with scope; second prize a Mossberg 500 12-gauge Camo 26″ Turkey Thug with choke tube; third prize is a Remington 597 22LR with scope. There will also be other prizes. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Limited to 60 players who are at least 18 years old. Donation is nonrefundable. Contact Bobby Smoot or Danny Huff at 540-675-3615 or 540-270-2507 with any questions.

Library story time

According to Amanda Weakley, youth services librarian, the special story time on Oct. 21 was a treat at the Rappahannock County Library. They had 22 kids join them for stories, songs and a spooky mask craft. Many arrived in costume: there were princesses, witches, Indians, a sheriff, a deputy, a fireman, a Transformer, a Power Ranger, a black cat (me!) and a few others.

Free Clinic

Rappahannock Free Clinic is open at the Rappahannock County Health Department on Main Street in Washington next Wednesday (Nov. 4). Registration is 5 to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Fauquier Free Clinic at 540-347-0394.

CCLC’s Open House

Christina Loock, Children in Nature coordinator at Child Care and Learning Center, poses with preschoolers and the sign CCLC put up in her honor this summer. She'll be at CCLC's open house next Wednesday.
Christina Loock, Children in Nature coordinator at Child Care and Learning Center, poses with preschoolers and the sign CCLC put up in her honor this summer. She’ll be at CCLC’s open house next Wednesday. Lisa Pendleton

Child Care and Learning Center (12763 Lee Hwy., Washington) is having its Open House and Fun with Art in Nature at the school on Saturday, Nov 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 540-675-3237.


Sympathy goes out to Richard Webb Sr.’s family of Amissville. Richard passed away on Oct. 19 at Fauquier Hospital. I had the pleasure of knowing Richard and his lovely wife, Shirley, when they would come by the News office every Thursday morning to get the inserts from the returns. He was a good friend and a man that truly loved the Lord and always put Him first.

Shirley, God looked around his Garden, and found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, and saw your husband’s tired face. He put his arms around Richard, and lifted him to rest. God’s garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best. He knew that Richard was suffering, he also knew that he would never get well on this earth again. He saw the road was getting rough, and the hills were hard for him to climb, so he closed Richard’s weary eyelids, and whispered peace be thine.

I know it broke yours and your family’s hearts to lose him, but remember, he didn’t go alone, for part of you all went with him, the day God called him home. Shirley, I know you all will miss Richard, but remember you have him in your heart always. God bless you and your family.

Cherub and angel trees

Rappahannock County Department of Social Services sponsors “Cherub and Angel trees” again this year. For children up to age 18 who need Christmas gifts, please contact the department before Nov. 20 to complete an application. If you are a senior citizen (65 or older) and need some assistance for the holidays, please contact the department. (The same time guidelines apply.) The trees will be placed at Trinity Episcopal Church and Union Bank by Nov. 18. If you “adopt” a cherub or an angel to provide Christmas gifts, the gifts need to be brought to the office by Dec. 4. Call 540-675-3313 for more information. (The office will also gladly accept monetary donations to assist those in need this holiday season.)

Have a wonderful week!