Thursday, July 30, 2015

American Rehab Virginia

I hope you’re enjoying American Rehab Virginia on the DIY Network.  Homeowner couple Catherine and Tayloe Emery are the hands-on hosts, who are occasionally juggling their two young boys (and rambunctious dogs) as they take on a room at a time.  Four episodes have been shared already on DIY, but it’s not too late to see any missed episodes to get caught up. 
The home is named Mt.Airy and located on the  Rappahannock River.  This 450 acre homestead has been in the Tayloe Family since 1682!  Wow!  The thing that grabs my attention first off is two-fold; the size and the symmetry.  When I think of this as a builder, it’s impressive because it’s so massively ambitious.  Right and left side, everything has to be the same or the entire effect will be tarnished.  This building could not have been easy to build back in the mid 1700’s, but they obviously did it right.
My initial reaction to what I see inside is about potential.  There appears to be amazing opportunities to make major improvements and I'll enjoy learning more about how this home was built.  I'd love to be the one to tear it apart and put it back together.  I love history and this house has plenty of that.  It's flanked by two dependencies which are all connected as a trio by two curved passageways, one of which is the Kitchen that gets renovated on the show.  Square footage details weren’t part of the first episodes, but some basic math tells me this five part building is over 7,500 square feet!
As always, I don't want to serve as a spoiler.  Watch Friday, 10pm to 12 on DIY and see for yourself. 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Holy City Mourns

On my first visit to Charleston almost two decades ago, I felt as if I had stumbled onto something of a secret; tropical looking plants, old world architecture, special people, and history that I thought I knew, but discovered was endless.  That day made a big impression and inspired me to move here as soon as I had the chance.  Even years after I had relocated and settled here, it still felt to me as if the rest of the world and the country didn’t know enough about this area.  However, those days are over and for some time now it’s been apparent that the world knows what a special place we call home.

Savannah, Georgia is two hours away and Atlanta is a four and a half hour drive.  It has been said that people living within this triangle go to Atlanta to shop, Savannah to drink, and they come to Charleston to eat.  I’m not a big shopper or drinker, so I’m not sure how much I can really lend to this philosophy.  However, with Atlanta being the biggest city in the south, I’m sure one can get some serious shopping done there and drinking seems to be a big part of the Savannah culture.  Charleston has more than it’s share of amazing restaurants and I should really brag on the food around here another time. 

Getty Images
However, within the weeks following the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church, I wanted to talk about Charleston as a spiritual place.  It seems as if the world now understands that this is The Holy City and since the tragic events of June 17th, folks have started traveling here to mourn and grieve and show respect for the victims and support for the families and congregation, and with that they’re coming here to pray.  As we’ve all witnessed, forgiveness is a powerful unseen force and so is prayer.  We are certainly all thankful for all the praying.    

AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

There is mystery in faith and prayer.  I’m no expert in either area, but please keep launching up the prayers for the families of the nine people lost.  Pray that they’ll find strength and comfort daily.  Pray that they’ll maintain their spiritual strength.  Pray that they’ll be cared for and looked after as they work through their grief.  Pray that those around them love and support them as needed.  Please pray for our local officials and law enforcement as well.  The funerals are now over and there is still a lot of healing to do in the weeks and months to come.   

Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties in countless ways form a large city, but this tragedy has reminded us here that we are a small community.  Thank you for praying for Charleston.