When JOLO winery had their grand opening in April, the restaurant's chef remarked that Surry County is "the other Napa."
We have 20 wineries now in Surry County, NC. Some elegant, like JOLO and Shelton's, others more rustic, but all of them enthusiastic about making wine.
We're equally enthusiastic about drinking it!
We love living in an area where we can drive half an hour or less and visit a tasting room and relax in lovely countryside.
JOLO has beautiful grounds on a hilly site just west of Pilot Mountain on highway 268.
The winery has plenty of outdoor seating--around the reflecting pool, or down the hill near the pond and bocce court.
They invite guests to bring a picnic lunch and add a bottle of wine from their winery, or from their selection of other fine wines. (The restaurant, End Posts, isn't open for lunches yet, but for dinner Thursday-Saturday. The menu is linked here.) We returned on Easter for the brunch. The dining room seats thirty, and has large windows on two sides. It's bright and attractive. I felt pampered as soon as I sat down. The table was beautifully set with crystal knife rests, silver bud vase, chargers and dinner plates. The table linens were heavy and rich feeling. The server made us feel welcome, met every need, and negotiated a slight menu change for me. Dinner was beautifully presented, simple but delicious, with fresh peas and their crunchy pods. I asked the chef if I could come back with my garden peas for a cooking lesson. He laughingly said sure, and I may ask again when my peas are ripe.
We accompanied the meal with JOLO's Vidal Blanc, Grey Ghost. I think it complemented the meal perfectly, and tasted even better with food than it did when I sipped it at the tasting earlier in the month. I also took home a bottle of their Happy Endings, a sweet Vidal Blanc. I think of it as a happy beginning too, triggering the memory of our first sunny afternoon wandering the grounds. I'm sure there will be many more.
Welcome to Surry County, JOLO. We're so glad you're here.
The flash of warm weather and ample rain forced one of our trees into exuberant blooms. Usually redbud flowers progress along the subdividing branches to the tips of smallest twigs.
As if it has more flower power than it can contain, colorful clusters have sprung along the larger branches, back toward the trunk.
They put me in mind of pink barnacles* attached to a host. I'm curious to see what becomes of them once they're done blooming. Are there more steps in the peculiar cycle? Will they turn into leaves? New twigs? Spring is so much fun!
* Did you know that barnacles actually attach their foreheads to whatever they call home?
Other Christians may find they can balance the secular and the sacred without eclipsing the redemption story.
I do not choose chocolate, dyed eggs, or new spring clothes as means of celebrating my relationship with the resurrected Jesus.
I distrust the hoopla around Easter because I believe it distracts people from the focus of Christ's sacrifice. A girl once made the comment to me "Have you noticed how it always falls on a Sunday?" I think she missed the reason for the commemoration.
Certainly, our secular traditions are fitting for those looking for an Easter alternative. Those who have decided that he never existed. Or that he was a man that whose torture and death were unfortunate and unnecessary. Who would want to celebrate that?
C. S. Lewis clearly identified our intellectual options when thinking about Jesus,
the assumption being Christ was a historical person. In that case:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
My point and shoot camera couldn't capture the grandeur of this weeping cherry tree. It's a very tall tree, well over thirty feet. I'm just guessing because I didn't measure the length of its shadow and compare it to a something else of known height to calculate x. (Remember those awful math problems?)
The blooms, light and airy, cascaded down from the crown of the tree, and put me in mind of a fancy gown's full skirt. Something pink and pale and sheer like organza, embroidered over with flowers. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! Cinderella's Fairy Godmother saw a pumpkin and transformed it into a coach. I saw this tree and somebody else turned it into a dress. Magic, once removed. The above paragraph is a perfect example of synaptic activity. I saw a tree, my brain fired an electronic pulse associating the tree with a dress, which correlated me and the FGM. However, my brain noted, unlike the FGM I did not design or create the dress. The process was once removed, a relationship with a distant link. I'm curious, did your brain follow my synaptic bunny trail or did I leave you confused?
In the fall I wrote about the day lilies I dug and layered in peat moss inside of insulated containers. Six months later I opened up the first batch. I was amazed to find that they sprouted in tune with some inner clock, and had developed lengthy roots. The shoots were pale, and long, as the plants sought light.
But once I transplanted them back into the yard, they greened up quickly and look robust. I have more than I can use, so if you want some--holler!
We all know regular exercise is important. But some of us just don’t like it.
My friends go to the gym and work out on treadmills, weight machines, and stationary bikes. I have chosen an at-home method. I garden.
Since I need my husband's help, he says he has a free membership at Pam’s Gym.
In the spring season there is lots of shovel and rake work, good upper body training. That moves seamlessly into high gear weeding and mulching--all that standing and stooping is good for legs. We really gear up in the summer when we "work out" for three to four hours a day. Ours is not a city lot smaller than a tennis court. We have two acres. It's big enough for a baseball diamond. And don't think weed eaters, riding lawn mowers, mini-tractors and gas-powered hedge trimmers. We do things the hard way around here.
My work crew inside and out.
Last September we dug up over 100 day lilies from a plot that had turned ugly. By the time we hoed, raked, seeded for grass and covered it with straw my hubbie claimed he was forced labor in the Glover Gulag.
Our goal isn't a 10K run or tennis match. Unlike the Scottish games where work has evolved into sport--like throwing hammers, rocks, and logs, gardening doesn't have competitions for straightest rows planted, or fastest pea-picking. Even if there were dirt work-out contests, say distributing mulch, I’d lose to my friend Sue who can shovel, tote, and spread nine scoops of mulch in a week-end.
I may not have an opportunity to come in first (or second or third)--no ribbons, no little gold trophies. But I win big when I cook up fresh veggies grown and harvested by me and my one-man chain gang.
Artists are masters of serendipity: they have an aptitude for making desirable "discoveries by accident and sagacity." (Horace Walpole)
Their creator, is a local artist named Priscilla Williams. Describing her process she says, "when I start...I have an abstract idea, ...however, as I work with the materials my artwork takes on a life of its own."
Sunday Morning, for example is embellished with black metal curlicues on top of sheet music. The spirals add a dimension to the dress that it wouldn't have if they'd been drawn on.
This collage is made of metal flowers, colored seeds (I think), feathers and egg shells. The textures are interesting in their juxtaposition. Flowers are fragile while aluminum cans are nearly indestructible . And the broken shells are unlike our smooth skin. Maybe they represent a person's vulnerability to being broken. (Now I think I'm an art critic!) I would never think of putting these materials together.
The curly slices of Coke cans add sparkle to the skirt of the dress at the right. The title is "Can we Dance." Shimmying in this frock would give the dancer bling and jingle. I love the whimsey of Lady P's imaginative, recycled creations, and they induced me to return to the library to take more photos. The collages are rich in texture and invited me to reach out and touch. I resisted! I contacted Lady P via Facebook, and here's a link to her art page, A Creative Mind. She teaches classes at the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts in Winston Salem, and provides free classes for kids in her own program called Wings. I wish her well.