Washington column for Jan. 31

Rappahannock loses another jewel

Edna Pearl Chapman once said: Loved ones may leave this world, but they never leave our hearts.

Our community is deeply saddened by the death of Anna Elizabeth Smoot Clatterbuck of Washington. For we have lost a rare jewel, one that could never be replaced. She was my mother-in-law, a good one at that. Always had a smile on her face.

Anna passed away on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Culpeper Health and Rehab in Culpeper.

If anyone deserves a crown of jewels, I have to say it would be Anna. She was so kind, loveable, the type of person who would do anything for you, never said a bad word about anyone. She had so many friends that loved her. It really showed by the large crowd that attended family night and the funeral.

One who loved having people over for Sunday dinners, she really knew how to cook the good southern meals. Made the best homemade bread, German Chocolate cake. Everyone looked forward to those Sunday meals.

God looked around his garden again and found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth, and saw Anna’s tired face. He put his arms around her and lifted her to rest.

Anna you may be gone from our sight, but you will never be gone from our hearts. You will be missed by everyone who knew you. We loved you, and we will always hold and cherish the many good memories we all had together. Rest well, you will not be forgotten.

A funeral service was conducted on Monday at the Maddox Funeral Home, Front Royal by Pastor John Burke, Jr. Interment was followed in the Washington Masonic Cemetery, Washington.

Watching wildlife

For the month of January, CCLC Children-in-Nature have been watching winter wildlife! In addition to looking for wildlife footprints in the mud and snow, they’ve looked for other signs of mammals. The children have found plenty of scat. Pre-K students followed their noses. Skunk scent led them straight to a rotted log. They discovered the skunk had torn the log apart in search of insects.

Volunteers assisted the CCLC School Age Club with the construction of several types of nest boxes and platforms. The boxes will be placed on the new CCLC woodland nature trail this spring! Photo by Sue Garvin

Even the youngest students (and teachers!) enjoy watching the birds, scattering bird seed, and filling the feeders. They’ve seen and heard 20 species of birds, including two special winter visitors- red-breasted nuthatch. To finish out the month, Old Rag Master Naturalist (ORMN) volunteers assisted the CCLC School Age Club with the construction of several types of nest boxes and platforms. The boxes will be placed on the new CCLC woodland nature trail this spring,

Hoping for spring

Flakes of snow filled the air on Tuesday evening, and the thermometer registered 30 degrees; usually my husband makes sure that all the bird feeders are filled, and what a beautiful sight to see while it’s snowing. But this year, hardly any birds. Not a beautiful sight.

So I am turning my attention to another forest creature’s weather-related actions: The predictions of Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog. As always on Feb. 2, Phil emerges from his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob, Pa., and his handlers announce whether or not Phil has seen his shadow. If Phil sees his shadow, legend has it that we can expect six more weeks of winter weather. If he doesn’t see his shadow, spring is on its way. Be sure to watch the news for Phil’s forecast.

Reminder

Mayor Fred Catlin of the Town of Washington will host coffee with the Mayor on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Town Hall. The public is invited to visit informally with the Mayor.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to Rock Smoot. He will celebrate Feb. 7. And to Frank Moffett, born on Feb. 8. Pastor Phil Bailey celebrates his special day Feb. 13. Bryant Lee on Feb. 17. And Bud Clatterbuck, who is celebrating on Feb. 19, and finally Betty Grigsby Feb. 28.

May you all have many more birthdays.

Foster call

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent — or just learning more about the desperate need for more foster parents in Rappahannock County — please remember to attend the Foster Parent Meet and Greet at the Washington Town Hall this coming Monday, February 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In additional to information on how to become a foster parent and the opportunity to talk with actual foster parents, Dr. Adam Starks — a former foster child and author of Broken Child Mended Man — will be the guest speaker. For additional information, please call 540-675-3313. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Bland reminder

Rappahannock County: Are you ready to be impressed … blown away … by some of the best musical talent around?

Head to The Washington Theater on Gay Street at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17 for the 2019 edition of the annual Bland Music Contest, hosted by the Rappahannock County Lions Club. This crowd-pleasing music competition features homegrown musical talents. At press time, 14 presenters were rehearsing for their time on stage. Join an audience of family and friends and community supporters on a winter Sunday to show support for all involved.

Participants live in the county or are enrolled in schools located in Rappahannock. There are instrumental and vocal categories for both high school and elementary- middle school. Winners receive first, second, third place and honorable mention cash prizes and the chance to move up into state competition.

Stay warm, have a wonderful week!