Virginia Johnson

Chiggers and Blisters and Bears, Oh, My! Get Ready for Summer Camp

Once upon a time, families might take an entire month or more to go on low-key vacations to the countryside or the beach. The idea of spending a long while way from the hot stagnation of a city's summer heat in the mountains and woods had a lot of appeal to those who could afford it. Another choice might have been sending the kids off to Grandma and Grandpa's farm. Today, with our modern, air-conditioned homes and the grandparents likely still working or possibly retired to a Florida condo, kids who are inexperienced in the sweet art of enjoying themselves in the outdoors sometimes need a special place where they can go and have fun in a low-tech, high-energy way. We call this carefully crafted extracurricular activity summer camp.

Arthur Miller: Modern Theater's Fiery Spirit

Throughout the 1950s, a generation of artists, many of whom had helped America triumph during World War II, recoiled in horror from the growth of faceless corporations, government watchdogs, and bigoted citizens' groups. The pounding of the keys of hundreds of typewriters sounded a cadence of rebellion. They resisted the new order and created a road of written pages which gave other rebellious souls encouragement for the revolution to come. Arthur Miller was in the forefront.

Virginia Haunts

At times, a sense of things past seems to envelop tourists and residents who stroll quietly along Fredericksburg streets at twilight or drive through a countryside still scarred by the battles of the Civil War. Some swear that more than a general sense of the history of the place overwhelms them. At twilight, at midnight, or even at high noon, specters and shades of those whose place this was may return to their homes and habits to pray, to flirt, to dine, and to stroll, to fire their rifles and march in formation, or lie wounded in hospital beds, wearing uniforms of gray or blue.

Savor Coffee's Many Flavors

With the coming of artisan roasters in the last few decades, coffee has become more than just a "cuppa joe." People want to know more about the beverage they savor, flavor, or just plain swill. Read on for a bit of vocab, a touch of history, and a list of local, independent purveyors of the blessed bean.

The Blue, the Gray, and the Crimson: A Quick Examination of Civil War Medicine

When Christmas morning dawned in December of 1862, the sun rose over the battered town of Fredericksburg. Once a bustling colonial port, more recently a pleasant stop for travelers by coach and boat, on this day, the little town lay in ruins. And, if the brick and mortar firmaments suffered such catastrophic damage, what of the flesh and bone of the human armies that had battled there mere weeks before? What became of the wounded who survived the first days of battle?

A Visit to Aquia Church

Travelers who take a turn off of busy Route 1 near Aquia Harbor find themselves viewing a living monument to colonial Virginia's past. Protected from the surrounding sprawl by its location, nestled on a hilltop surrounded by trees, this beautiful church dates to the decades before the Revolutionary War. Its long and sometimes difficult history--preserved in bricks, stone, and written memories, includes tales of preachers, firebrands, soldiers, and star-crossed lovers.

Gleaning Dusty Treasures

Got itchy wheels on the weekend? Feel like becoming a low-budget Indiana Jones or Marion Ravenwood? Hit the flea markets to find bargains on just about anything that can be tagged, bagged, and toted. Your wanderings may take you to New York, London, Paris, or the Virginia Bazaar in Caroline County.

Iran: Tradition and Revolution

Iran, once known as Persia, is an old, old land. Ancient mountain ranges ramble through a landscape that runs out into the Caspian Sea. Tradition-bound, yet at the crossroads of many an expanding empire, Iran has struggled to adapt to changes while maintaining its culture.

Beginning in Bird Watching

If you enjoy any outdoor activity—hiking, boating, or just strolling downtown—why not add bird watching to your itinerary? Our area has an abundance of birds. The Rappahannock draws migrating waterfowl, and our woods, tree-lined streets, and backyards provide more safe havens for these amazing creatures. Read on to get started.

Caring for the Caregiver

The man in this photo might need a caregiver's help, or he could be the primary caregiver for a family member. Thousands of families open their homes to chronically ill and simply lonely family members. It's a gesture of love and commitment, but care giving can bring emotional hardships as well as rewards. Even the most loving relatives can feel burned out after months or years of providing care in their homes.