Friday, June 1, 2012

Going Home to Virginia

Columbine growing by Nana's water garden

Going Home to Virginia

Dana & Kenny Koogler
May 12 through May 20, 2012
Pictures are here:

    Mamaw Sadie passed away recently and it necessitated a return trip to Virginia.
Kenny & I and our kids were all born and raised in Virginia. 
The majority of our family is still there.

It was a time of grief, loss, comfort, answers, soothing, and just felt so good
to be home.   We recognize the changes that have come and are coming and want to
savor the times we are there.   Rural Virginia where we hail from has a different quality from anywhere else.  Virginia has been the birthplace of so much history from the beginning of our nation.  It changes a person if they'll let it. The pace is slower there.

    The place where we lived is an Ag-Forestal district meaning no development except homes, farms and woods.  The roadsides there are not trimmed like they are here in Tennessee. Rather the hayfields just overflow and run out into the ditches and stay that way until maybe the state highway department will mow them.  Fields of waving, feathery green grasses and leafy woods.  Old brick homes that have stood for decades, some for centuries that folks have fixed up and are living in.
I miss this when I am in Tennessee.

     Rather than try to explain it or write alot I'm just going to post some photos with captions of the highlights.  Love our parents and all our kin. Love our Mother State.........Virginia. The Old Dominion.  You don't ever stop loving your mother.

Our farm straddles the boundary between Augusta and Rockbridge counties.  It lies within sight of Jump Mountain.
Fence building at Ma's house. The Koogler Farm.
Spring fed farm pond full of fish, turtles and frogs. Built by my father-in-law, Elmer O. Koogler more than 50 years ago.
My husband Kenny and brother-in-law, James down at the pond.   Good times!
I learned about 15 years ago that if I hiked our farm back towards RR 252 that I could come down the bluff to Moffatt's Creek and wade the stream up to this waterfall. It is also accessible by road, but what fun is that?
Gingerbread Grist Mill near the cascade on Moffatt's Creek.
Roadside spring about 0.25 miles down from the farm as the crow flies.

Where we lived don't have a name on the map, but I finally figured out that the Rockbridge County folks consider that area by its name on the road atlas "Zack".

    I don't stop hiking or exploring just because I'm out there on the farm.
There are some good hiking & recreation opportunities not far away. 
My sister lives out at Rockbridge Baths just before you head into Goshen Pass.
I got restless one day and went out there.
Goshen Pass
Waterfall on Laurel Run. I went hiking and four-wheeling here.  I had suspected there was a waterfall on this creek and there sure enough was.  I also saw three cavemen here. I ain't lyin. I was so spooked and angry at having forgotten the weirdness of Rockbridge County that I failed to take photos of them. 
I went to my nephew Cody's little league game in Spottswood. The whole family was there.
My niece Lily seemed to think it was less of a ball game and more a wrasslin' match.
Wade's Mill is still functioning as a grist mill and gourmet shop. It's about 6 miles from the house. You know you're living in a Ree-MOTE area when the highlight of your day is a trip to the mill!
Mom's house. She's living in Grandma Edna's and Grandaddy's house.
Mom's peony garden.
Dad & Irene's house and the water garden.
My Daddy. Ok so now you know where I get the tude & the craziness.
  Me wading the creek at Laurel Run. Somethings never change!


  1. Very beautiful countryside there in Virginia! I loved the photo of your dad; I bet he's one cool dude! I love grist mills too! Thanks for sharing Dana! Next trip up to TN maybe we can meet and get to know each other. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for reading. Daddy is an old mountain man. He acts surprised at my behavior, but he shouldn't be. Virginia is a lovely place. Lots of history and lots fewer people out there where we are from. I'd like that.


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