As this winter of our disconcertment tried to become spring (and is still trying, here at the way-too-windy end of March), our little production company in the suburbs of Little Washington, Va., somehow got two more videos out the door this month. They were both great fun to shoot, and both turned up some of the best footage we've managed, but health challenges for both Charmaine and me began not long after New Year's Day and kept me from editing and composing for nearly two months. Oh, and in the middle of all the bed-riding and bedside-manner development (and I am so far from graduating with honors from the latter) — the iMac died. Thanks to macofalltrades.com, and the kind folks at Foothills Forum, for keeping us up and running.
Our first project of 2019 was actually shot by Luke and me the week before Christmas. The assignment from the Foothills Forum, a unique community news nonprofit based in Rappahannock County and partnered with the Rappahannock News, allowed us to film the many volunteers of all ages who — every December, going back some 40 years — shop for, sort through, assemble and deliver boxes of food, and fruit baskets and flowers, for those in need in the community of Amissville.
Amissville spans both Rappahannock and Culpeper counties, and a bit of Fauquier County, and with the help of local churches, fire and rescue folks and the 4-H, the Amissville Community Foundation manages to identify more than 100 families in Amissville who could use some help at the holidays. You really need to see the video to watch this wonderful program (and its 100-plus volunteers) in action.
Working with Foothills Forum executive director Bud Meyer and reporter Randy Rieland was the usual pleasure — and it was an honor to be a small part of a three-part Foothills series for the Rappahannock News. Our video was posted as Part Three — A Community Thing — came out on March 14; regarding Randy's writing and reportage (and Bud's editing, and contributions by Bob Hurley, John McCaslin and Dennis Brack, with photos by our own Luke Christopher), it was a series that got better with each installment.
The second video, posted to our YouTube channel just this week, is a short but seriously stunning view of a unique property up on Aaron Mountain — a spot with a seriously stunning, ever-changing view of the Blue Ridge, and an equally impressive renovated one-time Sears & Roebuck home that owner Kelly Bauche turned into a work of art.
In her travels, Kelly became entranced by the fields of Provence lavender in France, and on her return to the hills of Rappahannock County, borrowing both a name and a notion from Virginia Woolf, created Woolf Lavender Farm — "a farm of one's own," as she thinks of it. And, except for the amazing kitchen cabinetry, countertops and interior accents by Rappahannock master craftsman Peter Kramer, much of the transformation indeed took place at Kelly's own hands, including the wraparound decks and the stone retaining wall and fountain out back. Hope the video spurs some interest, Kelly, so you can put your feet up and get some rest.