ON THE PORCH Guest Porch Editorial
Contributing Writers & Artists A.E.Bayne Laurie Black Kevin Brown Nick Cadwallender Collette Caprara Barbara Deal Anna Katya Hvizdo deLorenzo Christina Ferber Frank Fratoe Joan M. Geisler Ann Glave Alexis Grogan Ralph “Tuffy”Hicks Karl Karch David C. Kennedy Jo Loving Brenda Martin Vanessa Moncure Patrick Neustatter M.L. Powers Sarah Perry Scott Richards Suzanne Scherr Casey Alan Shaw Elizabeth Shotwell Meg Sneed Georgia Strentz James Kyle Synder Christine Thompson Dawn Whitmore Norma Woodward
Front Porch Fredericksburg is a free circulation magazine published monthly by Olde Towne Publishing Co. Virginia Bigenwald Grogan, Publisher.
The mission of Front Porch Fredericksburg is to connect the diverse citizenry of Fredericksburg with lively features and informative columns of interest to our community’s greatest resource, its people.
Messages from our readers are welcome. All submissions must be received by e-mail by the 19th of the month preceding publication. Writers are welcome to request Writer’s Guidelines and query the Editor by e-mail. Front Porch Fredericksburg PO Box 9203 Fredericksburg, VA 22403 Ad Sales: E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.frontporchfredericksburg.com The opinions expressed in Front Porch Fredericksburg are those of the contributing writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Front Porch Fredericksburg or its advertisers. Copyright 2017 Olde Towne Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
a year of active involvement
Last year, I wrote an editorial about my goal of practicing loving kindness toward those in my life and my community here in Fredericksburg. It has not always been easy, but setting that intention has helped me approach challenging situations differently over the past year, especially throughout 2016’s divisive political campaigns. Watching conflicts, both onscreen and off, over fundamental differences in philosophy has been a test of my intention, the result of which has helped me to set this year’s goal toward being more actively involved in my community, especially regarding issues affecting the most vulnerable among us. Time and energy have always been my go-to excuses for why I am not more actively involved, and they are very real challenges. I work as a full-time educator and run a publication as a secondary career. I am a partner in a local book festival that requires year-round planning. I help to organize events for an area art gallery, and I try to write at least one freelance piece each month, whether for Front Porch or other publications. I also attempt to carve out time for creating visual art and poetry. When I am not working toward these personal and career goals, I am fostering relationships with family and friends. Time for anything else? Not really. Or is there? Like most people with access to the Internet or a cell phone, I spend a lot of unintended time online. The social media time-suck is a real phenomena. How often have I tapped on the screen to check recent updates, only to find myself scrolling, clicking and responding an hour
messages Virginia Happy New Year to you & your family, with gratitude for all you give to our community! Collette Caprara
Front Porch: What a great issue of Front Porch to start the year (January 2017). From Fritzi Newton's cover photo, to Bill Beck's editorial Pondering, to the many interesting articles---a pleasure.
Front porch fredericksburg
a celebration of life By Kevin Brown
On the Trails Sarria, traversed past woodlands and hamlets over the rolling hills of Galicia, and culminated at the famous Santiago de Compostela Cathedral (below) on 24 October, Terrie’s 60th birthday.
later with no recollection of where the time has gone? I might do this under delusion of keeping in contact with friends or remaining informed, but I understand that social media is a superficial mechanism for true relationship building. Let’s face it; social media is easy. Building lasting relationships with people who hold differing opinions than I do is not. How’s that for a fact check?
L to R: Mitt, Dianne , Terri, David James
I also love to binge-watch my favorite shows and movies as much as the next person. How often have I started Episode 1 of fill-in-the-blank show, only to find myself six hours later at Episode 8 wondering if I have time for just one more? How do I reconcile spending those hours in front of the tube? The shows are quality programming covering important issues, the writing is top-notch, and whooboy, those actors are talented. Right. Excuses. Don’t get me wrong; downtime is a necessity for everyone. A person who doesn’t practice self-care will never be strong enough to care for others; however, I am sure there are myriad other ways I could take care of myself that would leave more time for more altruistic goals. Bottom line: My lifestyle choices in my downtime chew up hours that could better be served in active involvement in my community. I will spend this year examining where that time might be and will replace superfluous activities with those that will be meaningful to both myself and others. I’ll start with a couple of times a month and improve from there. The body works as a whole. When one part is weakened by Front Porch Just picked up my copy of FP at the Hospital. Last one left and it is only Jan.6th. Popular paper! I love it. Thanks again so much! Regards, Don Chewning
I Love The Front Porch!! Thank you,
From the River Heritage Trail to El Camino de Santiago
ill use or neglect it affects the entire being. I intend to listen more, to discuss more, and to do more. This is our home. I, for one, plan to jump in and participate. Best Always A.E. Bayne is the publisher of Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, a partner in the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival, and a veteran educator. She has lived in Fredericksburg for the past two decades. Hello I always enjoy picking up a copy of Front Porch. I usually learn something new despite my residence in Fredericksburg for over fifty years. Thank you for the nice salute to Jeff Fitzpatrick in the November issue. I always enjoy meeting new locals via Georgia Strentz's column. Kathy Mahoney
Christopher Wilson, Fredericksburg Virginia, I read the Front Porch on line most every month. It is such a wonderful connection to the area that was home for almost 30 years. Mary Jane Bohlen , Cranston, RI
As always, thank you for all you do for the arts and for the Fredericksburg area community. Thanks again! Lou Gramann
Last year while driving to the Fredericksburg Train station in the mornings, I kept seeing this tall, fitlooking couple walking briskly up Caroline Street towards the River Heritage Trail. Often in the evenings after work or on weekends, I noticed yet again this same tall, fit-looking couple walking the trail with a confident gait and sense of purpose. As Fredericksburg is a small town, my wife Susan and I came across this couple during First Friday at the Art First Gallery, and we took the opportunity to say hello and compliment them on their impressive trail-walking regimen. This is how we met David and Terrie James, and learned about their pilgrimage to celebrate life on the trails. Both David and Terrie have lived in Fredericksburg for over 30 years. He currently serves as the Right-of-Way Manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), after serving for 29 years as a Reservist in the Army National Guard, where he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. She is retired after serving as the Dahlgren Postmaster, after a tour of duty at the Fredericksburg Post Office. Why were David and Terrie fervently training on our Fredericksburg trails in 2016? Well, they were preparing for a momentous personal journey. You see, Terrie was approaching her 60th birthday last year after surviving bouts of cancer in 2011 and 2015. To celebrate the precious gift of life, David and Terrie decided in June last year to prepare for a 6-day, 117.4-kilometer hike in scenic northwest Spain. The chose one of many pilgrimage routes that symbolically represent “The Way of St James” (St. James the Great’s burial procession from Jerusalem to Spain), popularly known as El Camino de Santiago. The James’ journey began on 19 October in the town of
How did our Fredericksburg trails help with Dave and Terrie’s training for this ambitious pilgrimage hike? Living downtown provided easy access to the 3.1 mile River Heritage Trail/Canal Path. The couple walked vigorously almost every day from June to October, traveling through downtown to connect with the River Heritage Trail/Canal Path, usually making a 6 mile loop. Note: They would have liked to train on more hills, like the steep Fall Hill Trail that is scheduled to open in early 2017. What were some of the James’ favorite memories from the pilgrimage? There were wonderful sites and centuriesold buildings and architecture, but the best part of the trip for David and Terrie was meeting fellow pilgrims from all over the world, not just Spain. Like Mitt and Dianne from Australia, who they encountered at a trailside Bed & Breakfast, commonly known in Europe as a "Pension". Although the Aussies went on ahead of their new Americans friends after their first meeting, the couples reunited by plan in the Cathedral Square, and then stuck around and enjoyed dinner together for the next few days. David and Terrie hope to plan another adventure with their new friends Mitt and Dianne sometime in the future! Thank you David and Terrie for sharing your inspiring “St James” pilgrimage story with us. We look forward to seeing what you come up with to celebrate Terrie’s 70th!
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