month in review: 11/2012

November is difficult to summarize because I can barely remember what happened before Thanksgiving. I think I’m finally at the point where calling these posts, ” …months in C-Ville,” is unnecessary; I no longer think of my life here in terms of my moving date, which is a sign it really feels like home.

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Thanksgiving table, sans Turkey

Last month, I:

  • toured Luray Caverns and Woodstock, VA with Daniel and his dad
  • found a limited edition, made in Israel, art print for .50 at Circa
  • went on an invigorating walk on the Saunders-Monticello Trail with two new friends
  • had to wear a jacket every single day
  • thrifted a ton of vintage (and a few things for myself)
  • drove to Richmond twice in one week to pick up and return my sister to her Florida carpool
  • took my car into the shop twice
  • watched Waitress and sipped hot chocolate with a friend
  • promoted Water Lily Thrift‘s first annual Black Friday sale
  • edited a product information email for my boss
  • got another raise at work
  • finished ballet classes for the season
  • wrote an article
  • got halfway through The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • visited Carter Mountain with Daniel and my visiting friend, Andrea
  • spent Thanksgiving week with two friends and my sister (who also happens to be my friend)
  • hosted Thanksgiving
  • attended the Tree Lighting ceremony downtown
  • bought lots of Christmas gifts
  • hosted a church mini-potluck (where everyone brought dessert!)
  • bought my first real Christmas tree
  • began an ornament collection
  • tinkered with the blog layout

I’m so glad I sit down to make these lists. Without them, I wouldn’t realize how much I actually do and accomplish each month. It looks like we had quite an adventure after all! Guests, parties, outdoor trails, holidays. We’re regular Charlottesvillians, it seems – all settled in and welcoming people into our home.

December is here. It’ll be an exciting month.


Luray Caverns

Yesterday, Daniel and I met up with his dad and a friend for an epic day of natural grandeur perusing.

Our first stop was Luray Caverns. Discovered in 1878, the caverns are both extensive and ornate. At one time, air from the caverns was pumped into a sanitorium for patients with respiratory conditions, keeping the house at a cool 70 degrees in the middle of the summer. It was one of the first air conditioned buildings in the country.

Although I enjoyed the dim, cavernous, immensity of the entire tour, my favorite stop was at Dream Lake. Standing water reflects the ceiling, making the relatively small and shallow “lake” look deep and mysterious. The more you look down into the lake, the deeper it seems.

Luray Caverns is peculiar in that it holds the world’s only Stalacpipe Organ, which also happens to be the largest instrument in the world. Leland W. Sprinkle created the instrument over the course of 36 years, connecting a sound system and rubber mallets to various stalactites. When a key is pressed, wiring sends a signal to a mallet, which taps gently on the side of a stalactite. The sound is amplified through a speaker system and funneled into the Cathedral, one of the largest underground rooms. I never in my life thought I would have the opportunity to literally hear the earth sing. (In my research for this post, however, I see that the earth actually produces a bird like song called the dawn chorus, which the human ear can pick up – how marvelous!)

It reminded me of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees:

“I tell you, if [my disciples] were silent, the stones would shout out” (Luke 19:40)

and of the Psalmist’s words:

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! (Psalm 148:7)

Luray Caverns was just the beginning of a beautiful day. Next stop, Woodstock, VA.

november moodboard

nov moodboard

nov moodboard

This month, I intend to enjoy:

  • taking Skyline Drive over to Luray Caverns for a day of exploring
  • loved ones coming to visit
  • Green Bean Casserole on Thanksgiving
  • all the books Daniel recommended to me: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, House of the Spirits, and The Madonna of 115th Street
  • wearing boots all the time
  • getting started on Christmas shopping
  • layered outfits
  • my peacoat
  • fun, cold weather accessories (I wish I had that fox scarf)