Tag Archive | vacation

Anniversary Trip to the Peaks of Otter

View from our balcony

View from our balcony

My husband, John and I recently celebrated our twenty-eighth anniversary. We didn’t go far – just about thirty minutes from home to the wonderful old Peaks of Otter Lodge.  It is an older lodge under new ownership but it was wonderful. Nothing fancy as far as lodging goes but the view is breathtaking!

Peaks of Otter Lodge There were a few interesting items in the room that made it unique.  Check out the bathroom door!

You probably won't find a handy bottle opener at a luxury hotel!

You probably won’t find a handy bottle opener at a luxury hotel!

Just in case you brought an old fashioned bottle of Coke or Pepsi, no need to fear - there is a bottle opener on the bathroom door!

Just in case you brought an old fashioned bottle of Coke or Pepsi, no need to fear – there is a bottle opener on the bathroom door!

For the fellows who brought their old fashioned razor, (you remember the kind where you twist the handle to open the encasement for the razor?) Just in case you needed to dispose of a used razor…

Wonder how many old razor blades are behind that wall?

Wonder how many old razor blades are behind that wall?

The best part is that each room has a balcony with a view!

Our balcony

Our balcony

Our view!

Our view!

We also enjoyed a wonderful view from the Restaurant. The food is delicious and fortunately for us, they serve dinner from 4pm to 9pm and breakfast until 11am!

It is so much fun to watch Does with their fawn walking nearby eating grass. We saw many deer close to the walkway. They are used to coexisting with people. There have been sitings of bears in the past but we didn’t see one this weekend!

The Peaks of Otter has been part of both our lives for years. John has an arrowhead he found here when he was a little boy before the man-made lake was built.  We have enjoyed hiking up to the top of the Peaks for many years before we met. Now, if you want to see the beautiful view from Sharp Top, one only needs to board a bus! Oh, for the youthful days of hiking again!

In 1969, my sixth-grade class from Jamison Elementary School in Roanoke, VA participated in a film with the National Parks Service about ecology. Our class was taken to the Peaks of Otter and the Ranger explained to us about the park, the peaks and the people who had once lived there and walked through a wonderful old cabin. (We are diligently trying to locate that reel-to-reel film. It is the legacy of a school which no longer exists.)

John often rides his motorcycle to the Peaks of Otter on Sunday afternoons after Church and gets home in time to go to the evening service.

There is a lovely visitor’s center, bookstore and natural museum. There is also a camping site for the natural experience.  If you go at the right time, you may also hear a blue grass concert.

The Peaks of Otter is beautiful in every season and just as a lady changes her wardrobe each season, the trees change their lovely colors too. The Parkway is usually closed during the winter due to bad weather so don’t wait. Plan a trip to the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway soon and be sure to stop and explore the Peaks of Otter!

It is still gorgeous! Check out their website and plan a trip to this beautiful Virginia location soon.




I was delighted to see that they are selling books by one of my favorite local authors, Carolyn Tyree Feagans.  To read about the people who lived in the area before the Blue Ridge parkway was built and how their lives were affected, check out her website.


I recommend Sharp Top to go with today’s blog.


This beautiful Waterfall

The beautiful picture of a waterfall that I used for the Unfailing Love post on October 2, 2012 was taken at Crabtree Falls in Nelson County, Va. by my husband, John Purdy a couple of years ago.
Photo by John W. Purdy
Since this is such a beautiful scenery, I thought you might be interested in visiting there if you live in Virginia.

Didn’t our Heavenly Father paint a beautiful picture?

Nostalgia – A Short Visit

We have lights and air conditioning!

We often become nostalgic and long for the “good old days” when children played outside games such as Hide and Go Seek, Tag and chasing lightening bugs in jars while parents sat on the front porch enjoying the evening.

As of Friday evening, I remember those days more clearly now. We played outside as children, and sat in the porch swing each evening after dinner was cooked, dishes washed and floors swept – in order to escape the heat!

Even with the windows open, fans blowing and even with a window air conditioning unit, most of the house was sweltering in the summer and freezing in the winter. (Loved the vent in the floor when my parents had an oil furnace. We would stand over the vent in order to get warm.) I now remember the discomfort of the weather, the mosquito bites, the hot attic room and the fact that my body does not cope well in hot weather.

As many of you know, we had a terrible storm Friday evening in Virginia. In our neighborhood, it didn’t seem that severe. Very windy and a lot of lightning but little rain.

Our lights flickered and then – darkness! Fortunately, we have several candles and flashlights. We do not have screens on our windows so we could not open the windows to allow fresh air in. The temperature rose and my love for nostalgia dwindled. Temporarily, anyway.

We stayed two nights in the stifling house before finding a hotel room in a town about twenty minutes away. They had lights, air, hot water and a internet access.

My husband logged onto my laptop computer while I read and thought about our poor kitties who were all alone in the dark, warm house. They had food and water and cool ceramic tiles to lie on but I couldn’t help but worry. Silly, I know. I grew up in worse conditions and didn’t even notice! It appears that I am spoiled by the luxuries we often take for granted.

Nostalgia is a nice place to “visit” but I wouldn’t want to live there!

As for the storm, many people had trees falling on their home, there were reports of utility poles snapping, power outages in at least three states! People lost their lives. When I think of what could have happened, we were blessed!

What about the kitties? They are happily running around the house, chasing each other and getting as close to us as possible. They were fine. We noticed that their toys had been moved so they must have had some play time.

I am praying for those who are still without power or a place to live and dealing with the highest temperatures this year. We are especially thankful for those wonderful people who are working so hard to clean up the rubble and to restore power.
We were told we may not have power until Saturday. It is Monday and our lights are on, the air is working and the refrigerator is cleaned , cooled and ready to be filled with good food.

Sometimes the Lord allows storms in our lives and we think we can not endure but He will give us the grace when we look trust Him – the One light which will never grow dim. Jesus, the Light of the world who takes away the sins of the world…

Mom’s Birthday

Cake by Ashley's CakesToday is my mother’s birthday.

“Barbara Jane” was born April 17, 1936 and won a baby contest when she was one year old. Her parents, Harry and Isabel gave her a lot of attention and obviously, spoiled her rotten! By the time she was only ten months old, Barbara Jane had a little sister, Shirley Ann. As you can see, she became attached to dolls and became a little Mommy to her baby dolls.

I can still remember her taking me to Lakeside Amusement Park. We rode the "grown-up rides" that twirled, rolled back and forth; causing peals of laughter as Mom tried not to squish me! She smelled like Persian Wood perfume, powder and cotton candy.

Mom loved being a student at Lee Junior High School. She still talks about the friends she made at this cozy school. She can name all of her teachers and especially loved her Glee Club teacher who encouraged her to sing alto.

In 1966, she and Dad Hinchee finally gave me a baby sister

And then a baby brother!


Hobbies include



Gift Wrapping

Making special occasions extra special!

Rocking babies

                                                                                                     Singing Hymns with her daughters

Three years ago, Mom lost her sight due to a virus. The doctors told her that her sight might return within two years but it hasn’t. She would love to continue doing all of the wonderful things she is used to. Now it is her turn for us to do for her. Dad Hinchee is a remarkable caretaker and we are so thankful for him! He deserves a reward for all that he does.

Now, Mom sits on the porch listening to the birds, smelling her flowers, appreciating the breeze on her face and praising the Lord for the little things often unnoticed.  Her day is filled with Christian radio (BBN) and listening to audio books.

I am sure she is also praying for her children, grandchildren and her two great grandsons!

We surprised her on her seventy-fifth birthday with a party. Family and friends gathered for a wonderful celebration. I wish we could do that every year! Filling the house with laughter and chatter really brightened her spirits.

This reunion reminds me that one day, we will be reunited with loved ones who have

 gone ahead long ago. There will be no more sorrow, no pain, no blindness, no more death but we will see Him, our Savior, face to face. What a wonderful day that will be! Until then, we will rejoice for all that He has given us. His love, salvation, new life, joy, peace, grace for every trial, the sweet fragrance of flowers, the singing of birds, love of our family and for Mom!

We love you, Mom!

Thank you friends for sharing in my mother’s birthday celebration. Mom has made so many birthdays special for us, I couldn’t resist giving her a tribute today.

Until next time,