Virginia Johnson

Our Apple Harvest Makes for Two Splendid Seasons

Whether they're Galas, Granny Smiths, Yorks, Winesaps, or Ginger Golds, apples are one of Virginia's loveliest and most useful crops and were much enjoyed by the early colonists and pioneers as well as today's families. Crisp, sweet apples-- harvested in the chilly days of October, can be part of your celebrations in November and December.

An October Excursion to a Mountain Orchard

Sisters under Stress

The kids are running around the house screaming. One has a cat, the other a bottle of dishwashing liquid. They're heading for the bathroom. Your head is pounding as you rush after them; you arrive seconds before your Persian sinks her claws into your five-year-old. After you dry off the cat, lecture the children, and bring out some popcorn to distract them, that extra cup of coffee and sweet roll are starting to look pretty good. If you smoke, you're probably reaching for the pack by now. After all, you deserve it, don't you?

Uncertain Road: Slavery and Emancipation in the Rappahannock Region

This webliography accompanied the lecture "Uncertain Road: Slavery and Emancipation in the Rappahannock," presented by John Hennessy, Chief Historian/Chief of Interpretation, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, on February 12, 2004.

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library:

Storytelling: From the Heart of Human Experience

In the past twenty years, storytelling as a treasured art and pastime has made quite a comeback. Not all the video games, cable channels, or talk radio in the world can take the place of a fine story told face-to-face with good friends on a quiet evening as the rain splatters on the window panes.

Family Stories
Storytelling for Educators
Stories as Part of Business Communication
So You Want to Be a Storyteller
Storytelling on the Web

Making Time for Thank-You Notes

One of the most important things to teach children about the holidays is how to express their thanks for what they have received. Plan to set aside a few hours to have fun and give thanks.

Tips for Timely Thank-You's

Santa shouldn't be the only one making lists. In the excitement of opening presents, cards have a tendency to get lost very quickly. Have a sheet of paper and pen handy to jot down the givers, the gifts, and the receivers. No need to make a production of it, but this list will come in so very handy later on.

The Fall of the Bastille

 On July 14, 1789, a Parisian mob broke down the gates of the ancient fortress known as the Bastille, marking a flashpoint at the beginning of the French Revolution.

"What is the third estate? Everything. What has it been up till now in the political order? Nothing. What does it desire to be? Something."
--Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes, French political activist

Coaching Day at Stratford Hall

 On Sunday, April 24, 2005, the parade of 19th-century-era coaches came again to historic Stratford Hall, once home to two signers of the Declaration of Independence, a Revolutionary War hero, and Robert E. Lee. The triennial event is a major fundraiser for the National Historic Landmark in Westmoreland County.

Ride for a Lifetime

In a world filled with SUV's, ever-rising gas prices, and hotels that cater to their customers' perceived desires to be surrounded by plush conveniences, some eccentric souls will look for opportunities to kick back, simplify, and enjoy a break from the daily smog-encrusted rush.

On a bicycle, the world seems a different place. It certainly moves at a different pace, faster than on foot but slow enough to experience the sweet fulfillment of the day. Getting back on a bike after many years is a pleasure you should not put off.

A Return to Sunken Road

On May 29, 2005, a public dedication ceremony was held at the Richard Kirkland Monument, adjacent to the newly restored Sunken Road. Workers spent months burying power lines, removing pavement, and restoring the stone wall. All of this recreated the look and feel of what became one of the bloodiest pieces of ground in the Civil War.

Burning with Creativity: Authors Who Suffer from Mental Illness

You don't have to have a mental disorder to be a great author, but those lightning leaps of imagination and hours spent constructing fascinating stories, multi-layered in meaning and unique in style, can sometimes be linked to mental illness.

Many of the 20th century's great writers, including Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, and William Styron, suffered from mental illness. During May, which is Mental Health Month, take a moment to examine the difficult lives of these writers.