Last Friday we were sitting in the shop, happily stitching away our last hours when our intern, Emily, perked up her ears and said, "Is that a train?" "No," I trilled happily, "that's the Fife & Drum Corps!"
Which can only mean one thing: spring is on it's way! I know it's only the second week of February, but in Virginia, that is like the end of April, Wisconsin-time. The Fife and Drum Corps will start their programming up again in March, so now is the time to practise. Yay, spring. Warmer weather, more humidity and militia! Which means breeches and money. Huzzah. Two things I like very much.
I spent Saturday in Smithfield, exploring a corner of Virginia with a new friend. Smithfield is a preserved historical town, full of Victorian "painted ladies" that are covered in gingerbread and latticework. Unlike Colonial Williamsburg, the houses are still privately owned, but the city requires the owners to keep them up to the original standards. A nice way, I think, of keeping the feeling of the city without having to put all the expense on a single foundation. After lunch (although Smithfield is known for its ham, I had a turkey sandwich on sourdough and the best damme German chocolate cake evar) we wandered through an antique store that featured period shirts and shifts with period sewing, which resulted in major geekery--no, no, that's actually a backstitch, not a machine stitch. Wow. Then through an art gallery featuring historical artwork (including a cheeky portrait of Thos. Jefferson) and finally home to dinner on the James River.
I took the ferry back to Williamsburg, over the James, and saw the second sign of spring: the Harley riders. Hordes of leather clad bikers, out for a spin in the upper-sixty degree weather. On the ship they were gathered together, comparing notes and talking shop before driving off on their solo ways again: at least sixty bikes, all of them polished so bright it was hard to look at them. Kizzy hesitantly sniffed a tire, and I made it very clear to him that these machines were not to receive his special blessing. Standing up, I caught a biker grinning at me: "What can I say?" I grinned weakly, "he's got good taste."
All in all, this was one of the most relaxing weekends I've spent in Virginia, just lazing around, no need to be anywhere on time. It reminded me of driving to Point at the end of August: the stress of summer jobs over with, the stress of classes not set in yet. The lack of AC compensated for by open windows, the open windows compensated for by a blaring radio, the smell of dried hay and dust getting caught in my hair. Virginia is beautiful. Life is good.