If March was the doldrums, April was a blustering storm of activity.
The Daughter and I started a new term, which always provides a sense of freshness. Mr. Garner and I renewed our walking schedule. The Norfolk Botanical Gardens permit bike riding in the late afternoons certain nights of the week from April through October. Last spring we committed to a weekly bike ride, and it quickly became a highlight of our week. So, we renewed that commitment this month as well!
#1 Son turned 20. Sigh. For his birthday he wanted his father to join him for a card tournament in Sterling, Virginia on an early April Saturday. The Daughter and I tagged along to keep Mr. Garner company on the drive, and then take the car into DC to enjoy some Architectural Field Tripping at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, otherwise known as the National Cathedral. It’s one thing to look at pictures of gothic architecture. Quite another to look up, up, up at sky sweeping arches and rib vaults, sparkling stained glass, stone carved into delicate tracery here and massive pillars of towering grandeur there, to be immersed in the glorious geometry of intersecting line, arch and space. One visit is not enough.
The following weekend we were on the road again, this time to Richmond, Virginia to visit Agecroft Hall, another Architectural Field Trip, this time to visit a 14th century English manor house from the Lancashire region of England, rich in history, but poor in pocket. Sold at auction shortly after WWI, the subject of outcry and a debate in the House of Commons, the house was deconstructed, numbered, crated, shipped across the Atlantic, and reconstructed on a hill overlooking the James River by Mr. And Mrs. T.C. Williams, Jr. After years of serving as an elegant home, the owner chose to dedicate it to serve as a museum of 15th Century Tudor living, more or less. We will visit again to see the garden in summer, and hopefully enjoy a Shakespeare performance!
The next day we drove to Lynchburg to see #1 Son play Ultimate Frisbee in the Sectionals on green mountain-top fields at Liberty University. The team had a fantastic day beating Old Dominion University, College of William & Mary and Radford University. Papa Gene drove up from the farm to join our cheering section and have a bit of lunch. Despite a sprained ankle in January, a mildly twisted back, and a bad cold, all of which set him back physically, #1 Son still got some time on the field, and in that bit of time, we were thrilled to see him score a point!
We managed to mostly keep our Lenten discipline of a psalm with each meal, and appreciate the feeding of our soul at the same time that we feed our bodies. We are determined to keep this going. We’ve also found Christina Rossetti’s Lenten and Easter poetry beautifully convicting. On Maundy Thursday we watched the first half of Ben Hur, and on Good Friday we finished it up. Ben Hur has always been a gorgeous, compelling movie, but in Blue Ray – Wow! After early church on Easter Sunday, Mr. Garner grilled out. Papa Gene drove out to Pungo to pick up Grandma Midge and we all shared a simple, but celebratory dinner. We missed the #1 Son.
My April reading included The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton, and North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell. I followed up with the BBC version of North and South on Netflix, and found it a fairly faithful adaption. The Daughter and I also learned a lot from a great series on Volcanoes entitled Life on Fire which originally aired on PBS, but is available for streaming now on Netflix. We also managed to get out with some friends to see God’s Not Dead before it left the theaters!
The month closed out with gorgeous weather! The Daughter had school out doors a few days. I weeded our thorn-infested ground, raked up our spring leaves (Our Quercus laurifolia drops its leaves in the Spring) and put plants in a few planters. We have enjoyed the celtic sounds of Baile Ceilidh, a group of talented young musicians at The Daughter’s co-op. The CD puts a smile on our face and a bounce in our step!
While everyone else complained about the cooler weather last summer, The Garners were very grateful for mild temperatures. A constant sou’ westerly breeze, our mature shade trees and a surprisingly powerful aqua-colored fan (circa the 1950’s) borrowed from Papa Gene helped keep our house fairly livable despite the loss of our downstairs heat pump (air conditioning). But, this month we went ahead and replaced the downstairs unit. This act produced an enormous box which was carefully saved by the HVAC crew, brought in to the kitchen, cut, decorated and then slightly collapsed in order for it to be lugged upstairs where it now takes up half of The Daughter’s bedroom. (No pictures; the room was rather untidy at the time of publication. sigh.)
I do have other pictures: