Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Walk With Lauren

This is my lovely granddaughter Lauren.  She visited here a couple of weeks ago to spend her spring break with her father and her Virginia family.  Luckily my wife and I (Grandma and Grandpa) got to spend time with her.  She lives in the West and so our time with her is limited and that is hard because she truly is the sunshine in our hearts and we love being with her.  We so look forward to her visits.  She also loves to spend time with us.  Lauren is 14, just weeks away from 15.  This visit she had matured so much and we talked like we never had before.  She spent one overnighter  at our home and lots of other assorted time, but that night she told me that she just wanted to talk to me.......and so we did.....way into the night.  Shortly after she was born I wrote a song for her just called, "Lauren."  One verse goes:

Lauren my child
Lauren my beautiful child
Oh how I long to be
The shoulder that you lean on
When you're hurtin
The one you tell your secrets to
And share your joys with
Cause you know, Lauren
I love you

This late night conversation was as close as I have ever come to being that special guy and she did share things for just me and her.  It was great.

Lauren told me early in the week, and then reminded me over and over again, (no doubt afraid that I would forget) that she wanted to take a walk with me in downtown Culpeper and take pictures. Well... we did and below are some of the results. 

First I took her to East Street and the historic homes that are there.  Honestly, we spent most of the time we had right there.  The first six pictures were taken by Lauren.

Here is a historic house photographed by Lauren.  She loved to shoot these homes accenting angles and framing with trees or bushes.  I think this is very interesting. 

Here is a picture of her grandfather (me) with an address that not only shows where we are, but also one of the dates one historic house was built. 

Here is one of the cooler and most unique houses we saw.  I am impressed that she used the flowering bush to give perspective on the house in her photograph. 

Interesting angle!

Here is a picture of   Bob.  He owns a very cool historic house.  He and his wife were doing spring yard cleaning.  He chatted with us and told us about the history of the town and the civil war.  Right across the street from his home is an ice house.  He said it is the last remaining ice house in Culpeper.  Before refrigeration was invented, people had special buildings or sheds where the floor was dug fairly deep and where ice could be kept year round with minimal melting.  Amazingly, neither one of us took a picture of the ice house.  

Now.....this is a great picture.  Notice how she controlled depth of field in order to get  Rich  who owns this property  and the house all in focus.  Plus she got a great expression on his face and the composition is perfect.  I wish I had taken this one.  This house is called "Wysteria" and was built in 1868.  Rich and his wife, Jacki have lived in this house for twenty years.  They had come from Elko, Nevada a lot of years ago and moved to a farm outside the Pepper.  When this house became available they jumped on it. Before they owned it, Wysteria was owned and occupied for 44 years by a very special single woman.  They told me that at that time Culpeper had no kindergarten so this lady voluntarily taught kindergarten in this house.  She must have been something.  Rich told me that such luminaries as Butch Davies and Jim Swann attended preschool right here.
 As I watched my fourteen year old granddaughter talk with Rich and earlier with Bob,  I realized that she should become a news or entertainment reporter some day.  People respond exceptionally well to her; she is comfortable with adults who readily talk with her and share; plus she is intelligent and extremely articulate.  Diane Sawyer watch out.....or maybe one of the hosts of "Access Hollywood" or someone similar!!  I have no doubt that would be a terrific career for her.

We drove to near Davis Street, parked and walked along the old stores and over to the Courthouse where her Dad often practices law.  After a few more pictures I dropped her off with her Dad at his law office where he is a partner in the firm of Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn and Edwards PLC.  What a great had been a dream 24 hours for a grandpa. I left them walked back to my car a few blocks away.  

On the way I ran into this lady on the way to her office.  She is Rachelle Hill and she is the co-owner of Real Estate Magnates LLC.  She has been involved in that business since 2007.

I saw this handsome couple accross the street at It's About Thyme having lunch.  I took my life in my hands and dashed through the traffic (well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration....more like I strolled) over to take their picture.  Notice that there is a reflection of a very handsome man in the window.  :)  It looks like he is taking a picture.  This is Kate Bradley who is and HR Asst. at RRCSB (Rappahanock-Rapidan Community Resource Board....small wonder that she just gave me the initials and I had to look it up) and Jonathan Krawchuk who is the Manager of the Culpeper Media Network.  I think they are a bit more than friends. 

And finally for today, this is Amanda Veasey.... I know her.  If I did not I would have to find out who she is because I see her everywhere, usually doing something physical.  I swear this woman knows how to cram more into a 24 hour day than anyone else I am acquainted with.  She has five kids and she is not even thirty yet.....she is everywhere!

That's it for now.  This was very fun for me because I got to collaborate with my granddaughter, Lauren on the pictures and to  spend special time with her while we did it.  It is hard only seeing her a couple of times a year.  Maybe someday........

Remember, I will be posting second blog on tattoos later this summer.  If you want to be in that one or know someone who should, you can contact me at: