Busy, busy, busy describes most of our lives. If we aren’t busy, we’ll find something to do, and even if we can’t find something to do our brain is kept busy. But busy-living is a heavy burden and you can’t go on that way for long. It is right, and good, to stop every once in a while and scream–“RETREAT!” My word, even Jesus got to a point where he and his disciples didn’t have time to eat. It’s recorded in Mark 6:21, “He went away from the crowds and said to His followers, ‘Let’s go somewhere lonely and get some rest.'”
Memorial Day weekend my husband and I took a much needed retreat. Having been married 11 years, we realized we’d only had 2 getaways as a couple. That’s pretty darn sad. New to northern Virginia, we searched the area for appealing options and discovered a hidden gem, Wintergreen Resort.
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia, this affordable getaway made for the perfect escape. If you’re a ski buff–which I am not, nor have I made plans to be–this probably isn’t your place, with man made snow and 3515 ft at it’s highest point. But if you love lonely mountain life, God’s green beauty surrounding you, and really good food within walking distance, I’d keep Wintergreen on your radar.
The Memorial Day festivities included live music, yummy BBQ and a craft show. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to a real craft show, so I was super-duper excited. I don’t know what was better, looking at–and buying–the arts and crafts, or talking to the artists about their lives and their work. Below you’ll find pictures, life tidbits, and contact information for the artists I met.
The weekend rest and fun was a good thing, but the best thing was remembering how to spend time with my husband and how much we love music and nature. No matter where you are in life, whether it’s carrying a heavy load, or surprisingly calm and rested, we all need to get away from the crowd to a lonely place. Remember the things you love, those lovely things you have pushed aside to take care of the urgent daily tasks that dominate our energies. -Oh, and never ever get too busy to eat.
“Art is fulfilling work, because
we were created to create, by the Creator.” -just me
A retired Virginia cattle farmer hand carves wooden toys and then practically gives them away! For only $7 each I had to have one of each animal. The couple was so genuine I truly hope I get to see them again one day. They lived off the land and in their camper while they hand-built their dream log cabin. Their organic garden supplies all of their produce needs and plenty to share with neighbors and friends. You can visit http://www.valleygreengallery.com to find Robert and Linda Wilkes’ wooden toys. By the way, they don’t own a computer–only a phone–so don’t try to find them on Facebook.
Next stop, pottery. Oh, how I love pottery! Pottery isn’t a cheap addiction, which is why I don’t have more of it, but potter Brian Lacy offers many affordable and functional pieces. I walked away with this adorable steal, a teensy vase about 4 inches tall and $7. My husband said, “Look it’s a shot glass!” and I said, “Look it’s a teensy vase!” and Brian Lacy said “It’s a shot-vase!” The shot-vase is a perfect addition to my kitchen window sill, and holds half a dozen zinnias perfectly. Brian is a stay-at-home dad and a full time artist with a gentle spirit that makes you want to own something he’s created. He makes a colander I’m pretty sure I must have, so visit him with me on Facebook, “BrianLacyPottery.”
Linc and Ginny Warner of Greensboro, North Carolina, another retired couple, make Smokey Mountain slate look good. While Linc makes oil-burning candles from the larger slabs of rock, Ginny creates beautiful pendants from the smaller pieces. Ginny is a proud grandmother and chatted with me briefly, assuring me I really will love my grandchildren even more than my own children. I wonder if her grand babies dig through her baubles and beads “making” jewelry while she’s not looking? This necklace (chain included) was a mere $7.50, and you can order your own at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Musician Hunter Wolfe and his 16 year old drumming sister totally stole the show in the battle of the bands. My husband and I were captivated by their raw talent and couldn’t help but hope big things for this duo. Their first album, The Go, has such strong Mississippi references, I had to inquire–and hope–they were from my home state. No such luck, they are from Tulsa originally, but the lyrics prove once again that everyone loves Mississippi. They are very humble, approachable and did I mention talented? Find out more about this group at http://www.hunterwolfe.com, while they tour the UK beginning in September.
The final artist I want to feature is Carolyn Schallmo from Richmond, Virginia. Carolyn is the mother of four–count them FOUR–girls, and has been painting ever since her childhood art teacher told her she had no talent. Carolyn’s work is inspirational, uplifting and many pieces are underscored with scripture references. While googling Carolyn, I found she’s illustrated many children’s books! You can find Carolyn on Facebook, “carolyn! eclectic expressions of color and mirth.” Browse her art and get some for yourself, because I truly believe she pours her love of life into each piece.