Washington column for Feb. 9

Sheep sees shadow

The town of Washington doesn’t have its own Punxsutawney Phil groundhog, but we do have Inn at Little Washington proprietor Patrick O’Connell’s Clun Forest Sheep. As this Groundhog Day 2017 shows, one of the sheep clearly sees its shadow — or is that two sheep?

By John McCaslin

Either way, the sheep predicted six more weeks of winter (has winter even arrived yet?)

Clun Forest sheep like this exalted pair originate from the Clun Forest in Shropshire, England. Sporting dark brown faces, the hardy breed are known for their stylish appearance and being long-lived.

Tragic day for the Clanagans

Losing your home in a fire involves not only the loss of your residence, but also many other things of value such as photo albums of the family and loved ones, important documents, and treasured objects we keep and cherish so much.

Most importantly, though, we think of the home as our place of security, comfort and safety from the storms of life. Sometimes when we are hit with tragedy it can be devastating.

David “Scratch” Clanagan’s parents, Robbie and Annie, lost their home and all of their belongings to a fire on Jan. 12. Robbie is a 93-year-old World War II air force Veteran; Annie is 82 year old true Christian caring lady, always helping and looking after others. For them, I am sure it’s been an overwhelming shock.

Unfortunately, like some, they had no insurance. In other words the Clanagans are in dire need of our help. This is when a community comes together for a good cause.

“Community” is a powerful word. Community becomes even more powerful when it includes the entire community. When everyone of the community pulls together to help someone in need, the power becomes unlimited. We weren’t made to keep everything to ourselves. We are a community, with love, sharing and helping those who are in need. So let’s dig into our pockets a little deeper and help this family in need.

The Clanagan Home Fund has been established at (Rappahannock) Union Bank & Trust, 7 Bank Rd., P.O. Box 179, Washington, VA 22747.

Robbie and Annie, you are in our prayers each day. May you both get through this tragedy with the help of your friends and family and most of all the Lord.

Valentine’s Day

Is February the month of love? Well, it certainly is if you count the chocolates, the cards, the roses and the special dinners all centered around one day, Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday set aside each February to celebrate our fondest affections for our loved ones. Traditionally, that includes cards, candy and flowers, or even a piece of jewelry.

Valentine’s isn’t just the day of “love.” It’s also the day for couples to recapture their relationship, for the time that they’ve been together.

There are many theories and myths surrounding the origin of the modern Valentine’s Day celebrations. Some adore Valentine’s Day, while others dread it. However, whatever your inclinations are, I hope everyone will have a nice Valentine’s Day and that the ladies will receive their red roses — the traditional Valentine’s flower.

Remember love doesn’t make the world go round — it is what makes the ride worthwhile for everyone.

Show your sweetheart (or entire family) your romantic side by treating them to Tula’s special “Early Valentine’s” dinner on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 11. Every lady (and girl) will be welcomed to dinner with a beautiful long-stemmed rose. Delectable menu offerings, including desserts, will make this pre-Valentine’s celebration one to remember. Their  four-course menu offers salads, appetizers, entrees, and desserts for $65 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).

As William Shakespeare said: “Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy anniversary

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to Danny and Hope Huff of Washington, who will celebrate their special day on Tuesday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. Danny treat your true love (Hope) to an early romantic Valentine’s dinner in town, then drop by the Ballard Shop on Main Street and buy her a beautiful long-lasting Flourish Root design arrangement created by Jen Perrot.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to a dear friend of mine, Pastor Phil Bailey. He will celebrate his special day on Monday, Feb. 13. Bryant Lee will celebrate his day on Friday, Feb. 17. And wishes go out to Bud Clatterbuck, who is celebrating his birthday on Sunday, Feb. 19; and Betty Grigsby, who will celebrate her special day on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Prayer request

Let’s keep Pete Cave and Bev Hunter in our daily prayers each day. They both have been under the weather.


Sunday morning, Feb. 12, at 9 a.m., the Men’s Brotherhood of Washington Baptist  Church will be providing their traditional “Valentine’s Day Breakfast” to honor the women in the congregation who have never been married, been divorced, or widowed. A sign of the spiritual and social support for women in the church, the breakfast offers members of the Men’s Brotherhood a special chance to say “Thank you,” and to serve those who frequently stand in the kitchen serving others.

Quiet Time

Looking to have some quiet time, a night out or a date night with your partner? On Friday, February 10, CCLC will help you out by offering childcare from 6 to 10 p.m. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy an evening being child free. Children under 12 years of age are eligible; $20 per child prepaid is required. Please call 540-675-3237 to make a must reservation. The teachers are donating their time so that all proceeds will go towards lowering the costs for their summer camp field trip expenses. They will have pizzas, carrot sticks, apples and milk for dinner along with popcorn, with a kid-friendly movie for the older kids. Other activities include Good Night Yoga with Marsha, mani/pedi’s with Elvira, face painting, crafts, and games.

Mark your calendars

Guess what is coming to Rappahannock County Elementary School on May 20? No less than a Mardi Gras Relay Style with First Annual Bus Pull, sponsored by the Relay For Life of Rappahannock County in Partnership with Rappahannock County Public Schools. Mark your calendars now to attend the fun day, offering something for everyone of all ages — and help stop cancer.

In closing

Like to leave this quote from Charles Dickens with readers: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

Have a wonderful week!