Washington column for June 2

Graduation celebration

Austin Ray Huff (standing) enjoys his graduation party with friends on Saturday at his parents' home in Washington.
Austin Ray Huff (standing) enjoys his graduation party with friends on Saturday at his parents’ home in Washington. Doug Exline

Graduation is an exciting time for your son or daughter. It’s both an ending and a beginning For Austin Ray Huff, son of Danny and Hope Huff of Washington, it was a happy time Friday night, walking across the stage to receive his diploma. It was also the beginning of a brand new chapter in his life. His parents were so proud of their son that tears could not be held back.

The weather on Saturday was perfect for his celebration party, where about 60 family members and friends came together to help Austin celebrate. The food was so good, and plenty of it. The main hit was their pork barbecue with coleslaw and grilled hotdogs. I have to say that Danny and Hope went out their way to have a successful party for their son.

Austin is going to study culinary arts at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville.

“So, I say to you, forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you.” — Oprah Winfrey

Wellness & Spa at work

I had the opportunity to tour the Little Washington Wellness & Spa at 261 Main St. last week with owner Jacqueline Meuse. She opened her spa in March 2013 and specializes in Thai reflexology. She received her training in Virginia and continued her training in Thailand.

It was a hot and busy day, but as I walked in the building, there was calm music playing, comforting lighting and soft blues and lavenders on the walls. It helped you forget about your workload fast.

Downstairs there are rooms for facials, massage and body treatments, manicures and pedicures, The upstairs loft, which can be rented as a tourist apartment, includes a partial kitchen, TV and cable internet, living room with a full-sized sleeper sofa, bedroom with a queen bed, bathroom with a shower, dressing area and closet. They even have a NutriBullet machine to make your own smoothies.

It made my eyes big to see what Jackie has done to the building inside and out. In the street-level space where Kim Nelson had her hair salon (before moving it to Main Street in Sperryville), Jackie is remodeling and will open her own hair salon. MCT Homes of Sperryville is doing the work. Keep reading the paper for updates.

My entire tour of Little Washington Wellness & Spa left me so relaxed and refreshed that, to be honest, I did not want to go back to work. (But I did.)

Ladybug Mountain peonies

Mike McCormick of Ladybug Mountain Farm reports great colors and smells as peonies bloomed in the warm weather. McCormick invites people to come by to reserve their divisions for the fall.
Mike McCormick of Ladybug Mountain Farm reports great colors and smells as peonies bloomed in the warm weather. McCormick invites people to come by to reserve their divisions for the fall. Mike McCormick

Over at 227 Fodderstack Road, Ladybug Mountain Farm’s bumper crop of bright, beautiful and fragrant peonies will be ending shortly, depending on the warming weather. Chief Growing Officer Mike McCormick sells locally and at the Reston Farmer’s Market. Cut peony flowers and some potted peonies are available for sale. Locals can reserve peony divisions by checking out the colors now and reserving the divisions for the fall, the optimal time for planting peonies. Three years is the usual time frame to establish healthy peony plants but the plants can thrive for 40 years or more. Calla lilies, gladiolas, zinnias, celosia and hydrangeas are some of the flowers to be available later in the season at Ladybug Mountain. Fridays are a good pickup day for bouquet buyers, but emails michaelmccormick47@yahoo.com or call 540 675-1233 to ensure availability.


Mark your calendar for the Homecoming Day at Gid Brown Bible Baptist Church on Sunday, June 5, starting at 10 a.m. Lunch will be served after the morning service. Special singing and nursery provided. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, call 540-937-4944.

Open house at the rectory

On Saturday, June 11, Trinity Episcopal Church, will have their Open House and Blessing of the newly renovated Rectory (423 Mount Salem Ave.). There will be live music and refreshments and tours of the 1937 home.

Bible School

Vacation Bible School is the week of July 18-22 from 9 a.m. to noon at Washington Baptist Church. The theme this year is “Pilgrimage” and the fellowship hall will be decorated as in Medieval times. Several churches come together to host this fun week, and kids of all ages are welcome (teenagers can be volunteer helpers) There will be a Medieval carnival for all on Friday. For more information, call 540- 675-3716 or email contactus@trinwash.org.

Another excellence award

Congratulations to John and Diane MacPherson, owners of the Foster Harris House B&B and Restaurant, who’ve been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the sixth year in a row. In addition to the Foster Harris House, John and Diane also operate Tour d’Epicure Virginia Cycling Adventures, which allows them to combine their favorite activities into their day jobs. Best wishes to the MacPhersons, their son, Finn — and Stella, their yellow lab.

A 50th anniversary

I have to say a little birdie told me this news (and thanks to Sherry S. Cillo, Union Bank & Trust vice president and senior branch manager in Rappahannock, whose smile always makes you feel so welcome when you walk through the door):

May 21 was the Golden Day for James and Jean Shaw. They celebrated their 50th anniversary. Because of you both, through your daughter, the world knows that love exists. May you both keep this alive and cherish one another for many, many more years to come. Happy belated anniversary.


I was saddened to hear that Pat Grigsby’s brother, Cecil Eugene “Gene” Atkins, of Ocala, Fla., passed away on May 18. Pat, my heart go out to you and your family.

There is a special gift in life that some of us receive; It’s not money or a fancy car or a new home. No, that very special thing is a person, near and dear to us, someone we call “brother,” the greatest gift of all. Your brother will be remember for the great guy he was. I know you will miss him very much, Pat. Remember our faith is so important at a time like this. We cannot understand how one minute this person was here and the next they are gone. The truth is that those we love are never truly gone — we will always have them in our hearts and their spirit will always live on. I know with God’s help, you will make it through this difficult time.


Belated wedding anniversary wishes go out to Steven and Judy Alther of Washington. They celebrated their special day on May 30. Birthday wishes go out to Mary Ann Frazier of Washington, who will celebrate her day tomorrow (Friday, June 3).

Have a wonderful week!