I took the Interstate, because the weather made for less than ideal driving conditions on the country roads that I prefer. The farther I drove, the better the weather got ... until the rain stopped, and the sun emerged, and we had a beautiful day!
The funeral was for the father of one of my dear rose friends. His family has been in the Shenandoah Valley since the mid-18th Century. His father was being laid to rest in a family cemetery, beside his father. The drive to the cemetery wound us past some beautiful countryside.
As we reached the top of the hill, and I parked my car, this is the view I saw.
I cannot imagine that it is possible to spend eternity in a more beautiful place. (Regular readers here already know how much I love cemeteries.)
The service was incredibly uplifting. We were reminded that my friend's father has gone to live with the Lord, and there he will wait until it is time for the rest of his family to join him.
As I left the cemetery, with a two-plus hour drive ahead of me to get home, I was marveling at the beauty in the countryside along the road. The scenery was framed by the spectacular vistas created by the mountains with the leaves on the trees just beginning to don their autumn colors.
The drive along the narrow country road that led to and from the cemetery provided some beautiful country vignettes. I would have loved to stop and get a better look.
The row of weathered mailboxes to the right of this grey barn would have been a wonderful subject for a photo shoot. The light was perfect, and they had such character.
(In case you're wondering, the photos in this post were taken with my point-and-shoot camera, most of them from my car while I was driving. I had to crop them to fix the composition to make them look right, because I was shooting blind ... keeping my eyes on the road, you understand.)
This huge formation on the side of the mountain is called Chimney Rock, according to a sign.
With the clear weather, blue sky, and lovely scenery, I headed back home through the Shenandoah National Forest, up and over the mountain, instead of taking the Interstate like I did earlier in the day. The views along the way were just as uplifting as the minister's message at the funeral.
The mountains in the distance had me humming "America The Beautiful". I can see where the words "purple mountain's magesty" came from.
It's awfully hard to photograph the lovely farms and towns I passed while zipping by at 55 mph.
Here's the Shenandoah River ... sort of.
The bright sun and crisp sky made for a beautiful drive, as the road wound up and down the mountain itself.
There were peeks of a lovely valley view off to my right ... most of them along deadly curves in the road, where photography is definitely an ill-advised distraction.
The drive home, alone in my car, with the beautiful scenery outside, provided a perfect sense of peace. It was exactly what I needed.
(written by Hartwood Roses. Hartwood Roses blog.)