Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow.....finally a big one in the Pepper!

Three years ago in September I bought a new shiny sleigh for my grandkids to use on our hill in the snow.  Because we have had so little snow, in that time they have ridden it maybe.....twice.  Finally some serious snow!  I know it is disruptive for so many people, but I am retired and have the luxury of just enjoying the it.  I started this blog in December, but I am beginning with a picture I took today (February 13) because it is a nice winter shot.  Then I jump back to earlier in the winter.  Once again I am featuring some really nice people.  Let's get at it!!

Yeah, snow! 
Earlier this morning I looked out my upstairs window and saw this man shoveling the snow in his driveway.  About every fifth shovelful he would toss on one of his kids.  It looked so fun and made me lonesome for the time that my children were that small.  I walked up the street (I had forgotten how demanding it is to walk in deep snow) to meet this good dad and to get a picture.  He was willing to stop for a minute and chat.  This is Brandon Miller and he has the important job of being an air traffic controller.  He and his wife have three children.
Let's go back a ways.
This is our town and we are proud of it!  The city installed these new signs on all of the major entrance roads into the city.   Pretty nice.  I asked my friend, Amanda Mason to brighten the signs up by standing next to this one on Business 29.  Amanda is the mother of two and is married to Aaron.  She is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Fauquier County Schools.   I think that is a tough job and oh so important if we are going to successfully integrate all of the students who are coming to the United States from the various non English speaking countries.
My son and daughter in law had given us a gift certificate for "It's About Thyme" which is arguably the best known restaurant in Culpeper.  We had decided to go to lunch and were standing on the curb discussing whether to go to the restaurant or the deli when this nice gentleman came out of the restaurant and encouraged us to "come on in."  So we did and after a brief wait, since it was full, had a great lunch.  He checked with us several times to see how things were going.  On his last visit to our table I asked him if he was the manager......duh!  He told me that he "sort of" was the manager.  I am probably only one of ten people in this town that did not know that he is the owner of the restaurant, the deli and Copper Fish.  His restaurants have brought much acclaim to our town.  While I was commuting to Fairfax to work, lots of people told me that they came to the Pepper just to eat at his restaurants.  Now I am one of the people who knows the very well known  face of John Yarnall. 
During the last couple of years, I have had the pleasure  to get to know Mellissa Reynolds.  She is a doctor here in Culpeper and judging by the award she has won.... a darn good one.  Dr. Reynolds was awarded the Hamid A. Hadi M.D. Award of Excellence in Maternal Fetal Medicine.  Melissa grew up in Maryland and West Virginia.  She joined Blue Ridge OBGYN in 2011.  She is an interesting lady and says that she came to our town with, "a desire to care for the women of Culpeper."  I heard a rumor that she is getting married this year.  Stay tuned.............

I was driving past Wine St. Memorial Park the other day and noticed someone sitting on a park bench reading a magazine.  That's not so unusual unless it is 25 degrees outside, which it was.  You know me, I made a quick turn, grabbed my camera and went to meet her.  What a neat lady!  When I told her my name, she right away commented that she always looks for my "snapshot" in the Times.....big points right there!  She was at the park with her dog, Sophie, and since no one else was there Sophie could romp and have a great time while she enjoyed reading and the beauty of nature.  Her name is Susan Werner and she is a local Pediatrician. She sure seemed to have the personality for that work.  She was interesting to talk to, but I was freezing............

Just before Christmas my wife and I took friends who were visiting from Colorado shopping in the downtown  area.  One of our stops was at Pepperberries and our wives had a great time shopping while we husbands chatted.  The sales woman above, Sheila Lyles, came over to me rather secretly to tell me that my wife had admired a certain necklace if I wanted to consider it for a Christmas gift.  I needed one more gift and so came back the next day to buy it.  I really appreciated Sheila giving me the hint.  She moved to our area in 2003 and along with her husband have three daughters and 5 grandchildren. 
I noticed that a new shop had opened on the corner of Main Street and 522.  It has the intriguing name of "Custom Rocketz"  and has really hot looking motorcycles in the window.  I went for a visit.   I was greeted by Shane and Mary Hull who own the place.  This is a specialty shop that customizes the motorcycles that everyone refers to as "Rockets."   I wondered aloud if there were enough of these bikes in Culpeper to justify this kind of facility.  Shane told me that they service the entire East Coast and that even though they had been open less than a week, they had been contacted by a guy in Florida to work on his machine.  That, my friends, is the power of social media in spreading the word.  I wish these guys the best, they certainly were friendly and patient in explaining things to me.
I was at the car wash on Sperryville Pike when I ran into (figuratively speaking) Jenny Ventura.  First..... what a cute personality she has!  She was getting ready to pull her mud covered jeep into the wash when I intervened and asked if I could shoot her with her vehicle.  I thought it was a perfect example (although maybe extreme) of what has been happening to our cars and trucks this winter.
She was a bit embarrassed because of the condition with  all the mud, although she had recently been out to a friend's farm and had blasted through some serious mud holes.  The way I look at that is; why have a jeep if you are not going to put it through its paces once in a while?  Jenny is a mom and is the shop manager at Shear Artistry. 
These signs are all over the downtown area.  I agree with the message and hope all of us can support our local merchants.

I know, I know..... I have never featured a picture of myself in my "Faces" blog, but my wife took this picture and I couldn't resist slipping myself in here.  This deserves an explanation.  I have mentioned several times that I was born and raised in Idaho.  Although I have lived in Virginia much longer than I lived there, my roots run deep.  One thing that I am fanatic about is getting Idaho potatoes.  The difference between a good Idaho potato and one from anywhere else is the difference between hamburger and steak.  However......... they are not so easy to get.  The one place that I know of is a market in Falls Church.  So yesterday while my wife was at the Dr. in Centreville, I drove clear down to Devonshire Street in Falls Church and picked up 20 pounds.  You can see that I am one happy guy.  It's like having money in the bank!

MARCH 3, 2014!!
I am going to end as I began with a picture from the "big snow."  This is a neighbor, Chantel  Brausen who got dressed up and headed out for cross country skiing.

WAIT!!!!   THERE'S MORE!!!!!
Just as I thought we were through with old man winter and snow... March 3rd rolled around and look what happened.  The picture above was taken at 10 am.  It was 18 degrees!!!!  When was the last time you saw Davis Street empty like this?

A guy snow blowing on the same street.
If you look closely here you can see the snow falling and blowing.

MARCH 17TH , 2014
 photo by Andrea Crowley
That's it for right now.  Just a reminder to keep a look out for my feature in the Culpeper Times
called "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper."  It is now a permanent feature and will always appear on page A2 in the upper left hand corner.