Well here we are, a full week into the new year! With all that transpired in a week, I can hardly believe we were just ringing in the new year one week ago! It flew by with a nice visit with my brother and his family. I can’t say that I’m feeling many after-holiday blues because there is just so much going on to look forward to!
For those of you in the blogging community, some fun stuff has already begun. Have you heard about Sally Russick’s new project, Focusing on Life – 52 Photos? The idea is to capture a moment in life through a single picture. As an exercise in looking at your life, Sally will send out a photo prompt each week. Many people have already joined in – who can resist the excuse to whip out the camera? – you can join in too at any time.
The photo prompt for the first week was Self Portrait. Normally one might tend to over-think this one or feel self-conscious about what picture to take of themselves. I was lucky because I just happened to take a picture using my cell phone over the weekend. I saw a beautiful silk gown and planned to take a quick picture….when I noticed the full-length mirror, I took an unintentional self portrait. Here I am doing something I love – combing through an antique show with one of my sons. More pictures from the show to come in a future post.
If you want to express yourself through jewelry, Tracy Statler over at MakeBracelets! has issued a new challenge to kick off the year. For the Inspire Change: Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge, you chose a word that represents a positive change that you would like to make this year. Incorporate the word into a piece of jewelry, and a blog hop will follow in February. Sounds like fun! I have chosen a word and will share that it most likely in my next blog post.
As for me, you may know that along with making jewelry, I love to share my other favorite interests – traveling, baking, and antiquing. I’d like to start off the new year with a photo essay…..we took a little trip down south to Richmond, our state’s capitol. My husband’s company party was held at the end of the holidays and we enjoyed the chance to dress up….and get a babysitter which is more rare than you’d ever guess.
We enjoyed our stay (the whole family in tow!) at the grand Jefferson Hotel, which was a destination in itself. Built in 1895, the hotel is listed on the American Register of historic places. I enjoyed learning about the hotel through the years in the little museum housed at the bottom of the Grand Staircase. Legend has it that the staircase is the one featured in Gone with the Wind. I remember back in graduate school, I came with a friend just to see this famous stair case.
Later, before we set out to visit the landmark Hollywood Cemetery and the Richmond Science Museum, we drove through Carytown and stopped at what looked like a nice, local bakery. Their made-from-scratch cookies were scrumptious.
I attended graduate school in Richmond in the early 90s (VCU School of Social Work) and I sure didn’t look at the city from the eyes of a tourist. I visited many communities then, like Oregon Hill (which was our destination on this trip) but didn’t dig too deep into the history. After picking up a things-to-do type of magazine at the hotel, I read that a common place for locals to take visitors was Hollywood Cemetery citing its beautiful architecture. I saw signs for Hollywood Cemetery time and again en route to the place of my first-year internship, the William Byrd Community House, but never visited. We drove by the community house for old time’s sake, and many memories came back – those of my mentor (Lisa Wever) and of the sweet “seniors” that were part of the community outreach program. Hard to believe I was in my early 20s, the last time I came down those steps. Hard to believe I never visited the cemetery, a major Richmond landmark.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about taking pictures in cemeteries. On one hand, I want to be respectful, first and foremost. On the other hand, I want to share the beauty of this place with many who may never have the chance to see it. Hollywood Cemetery is an enormous, “garden-style” cemetery that was built in the mid 1800′s along the James River. I came to learn that the name Hollywood came from the many holly trees found on the grounds. We were fascinated to learn that two U.S. Presidents are buried here (James Monroe and John Tyler), as well as the Confederate States President (Jefferson Davis), 25 Confederate generals, 18,000 enlisted soldiers from the Civil War, and many prominent Virginian leaders. You can’t help but feel a real connection, and a respect for those that helped shape our country as you travel along the many winding paths. Here are a few images from our day.
A Gothic Revival cast iron canopy surrounds President James Monroe’s tomb.
The grave of President John Tyler
Thank you for traveling with me through the first week of 2013. May there be many more adventures ahead this year!