March 13-16, Jim’s Birthday weekend!

Jim and the dogs arrived on Thursday evening around 9pm. It was a cold night, so the dogs didn’t want to be outside long. Jim relaxed by watching to first two episodes of House of Cards, season 2. Then off to bed.

Friday morning, the dogs woke up early as usual and the trio went for an early walk as the sun was coming up. Jim’s goal of painting the rest of the living room/kitchen was delayed by a surprisingly busy work day – but working from the cabin is still a treat! Billinda arrived at 5pm to find Jim wrapping up the last conference call of the day. After a nice walk to the field and creek with the dogs, Billinda and Jim got going on the painting. Then, a late pizza dinner and some well-earned Miller Lites! All were exhausted and the dogs didn’t even bother with a before-bedtime potty visit.

Potty time for the dogs arrived on Saturday at 5:30am. Fortunately, we were treated to a cloudless sky, stars, an amazing “full moon set” view over the southwest ridges of the Massanutten range. I wish a camera could do that justice.
Over coffee and cereal, Jim got Billinda hooked on the first 2 episodes of House of Cards season 1. Then, it was off to cut up a small tree that had blocked the driveway to the field. We also cleared some other downed limbs, etc and cleared a creek overlook spot by a large fallen tree. After a picnic by the creek, J&B took a cat nap on the front porch in the 60 degree sunshine. They were awoken by the surprise arrival of Alison, Abby & Austin walking up the driveway with a massive array of balloons for Jim’s 52nd birthday! Austin helped Jim split cut logs with the maul that Papa gave us. Very satisfying work once we got the hang of it. A very relaxing afternoon of napping and a walk of the property was followed by fun dinner, gifts and a firepit! As we were ready to go inside, Rusty took off after an unknown critter. His collar light was all we could see, but we knew he had something by the telltale side to side thrashing motion of the light. As we approached, he fortunately, let go and followed us back to the house. After getting a flashlight we saw it was a possum – apparently playing possum – laying still, yet breathing. It was long gone the next morning.

Sunday was much cooler temperature and overcast skies – snow was heading our way again. Alison left early to attend church back in Fairfax. J&B watched another 2 episodes and all finished the movie started the night before. – The Pianist. Austin and Jim loaded up 2 bed loads of dirt in the Ridgeline to complete filling the raised garden bed to the proper depth. Not exciting work, but good to do it on a cool day. Always a bit sad, we packed up and headed home to beat the snow. It had been a long break between visits, so it felt great to be back – especially with a taste of Spring temperatures!


First Year Summary

February 18, 2013 – our first visit to the property.  Jim, Billinda, Alison, Abby, Austin and Scott Collins.  Made an initial offer the next day.

February 23, 2013 – JIm and Billinda walked the property on our way to Harrisonburg.  Accepted the counter offer!.

March 22, 2013 – Closed on the property!  Full moon illuminated the property during our champagne toast!  Assembled beds and a mini-van load of stuff.  Billinda and Jim

March 23-24, 2013 – Alison arrives and helps Jim with more set-up.

March 26-28 – Abby and Dad pack-up the U-Haul and drive down only to realize 5 miles from the cabin that Dad forgot the keys!  Spent time at Edinburg Public Library and Wal-Mart.  Mom, left work and drove all the way down and back – our hero!

March 31 – Day trip to introduce the dogs to the cabin.  Immediately out of the van, they ran away towards the Fitchett’s house (they eventually came back). 

April 6-7, 2013 – Jim, Abby, Austin, Alison and Michael Owens.  Firepit!

April 14, 2013 – Day Trip!  Jim, Billinda & Abby.

April 20-21, 2013 – Jim.  Beth, Jarl and Mackenzie stop-by for a first look and bring a basket of white towels!

April 27-28, 2013 – Jim, Billinda, Austin, Scott Collins, and Ibn Earl.  Scott’s second visit.  His first was when we first looked at the property on President’s Day.  The boys played lots of baseball catch and lost a few balls down the hillside.

May 4-5, 2013 – Jim, Billinda & Abby

May 11-12, 2013 – Jim, Billinda, Alison, Abby & Austin

May 18-19, 2013 – the first time the entire family was together!  Rainy weather, but we were able to have a firepit!

June 1-3, 2013 – Jim solo.  Lots of clearing of debris in the woods.

June 6-7, 2013 – Jim and Abby

June 21-23, 2013 – Jim, Abby, Alison and Scott Fowler (first night).

June 28-30, 2013 – Jim Billinda, Abby, Austin, Alison & Scott Fowler

July 2-3, 2013 – Jim, Abby & Austin – on our way to Bliis’ at SML.

July 12-13, 2013 – Jim, Austin, Corey Berry, Ibn Earl.  Tubing on the creek!

July 20-21, 2013  – Billinda, Austin, Scott Collins, Scott Friant (Jim arrived Sunday) – BEAR Sighting!  Whitewater tubing after the thunderstorm!

July 26-27, 2013 – Jim

August 2-3, 2013 – Jim, Billinda, Alison, Abby & Austin

August 9-11, 2013 – Jim, Billinda, Alison, Abby, Austin, Ibn Earl, Michael Owens, Rachel and Keith.  Yard crawl and Bear sighting on hike!

August 17-18, 2013 – Jim, Billinda, Abby, Austin, Ibn Earl, Mitch Rebholz, & Corey Berry.  Tubing, basement lacrosse.

August 22-24, 2013 – Jim solo- Rain!  Flock of Wild Turkeys!

August 30- September 1, 2013 – Jim, Billinda, & Abby.  Neighborhood Party!

September 6-7. 2013

September 22, 2013 – Jim and Billinda – Day trip – Shenandoah County Fair with Nana and Papa.

September 28-29, 2013 Jim, Billinda and Austin.

October 3-6, 2013 Jim, Billinda, Alison, Abby & Austin.  JMU Football game and Bliss weekend!

October 18-20, 2013 Jim, Billinda, Alec, Cassie.

November 15-17, 2013  Jim and Billinda.  Jim went to JMU game.

November 29 – December 1, 2013  Jim & Austin.

December 15, 2013 – Jim Day Trip.  Snow!.

December 26-30, 2013.  All plus Jim Dawson, Greg Hamil, BIll & Michele Tebbenhoff visit

January 19-22, 2014 – Jim and Dogs – Snow storm!


A new Chapter – March 22, 2013

We are blessed to have found this wonderful property in Shenandoah County that we will use for relaxing weekend getaways with Family and Friends.  Our blood pressure and heart rates drop as we arrive and soak-up the beautiful atmosphere and majestic views of Fort Valley.  We hope that this blog will allow us to remember and share the joys of our cabin.