Enon Hall

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July 2, 2007

Things are starting to look kinda patriotic around here. (And yes, that's framing that you still see in the center hall. I need to get to that.)

I think we will have an opportunity to get some new aerial photos tomorrow! -- Bill

July 3, 2007

Well, I didn't get very good photos from the air, but we had a beautiful flight anyway. Our neighbor offered to fly us over to Tangier Island for lunch. Tangier is about 25 miles offshore out in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Other than a ferry, it's very isolated and the same families have been living there since the 17th century. (Crocketts and Pruitts everywhere!) The Tangier accent is very distinct, said to be "Elizabethan" as it has changed little since the earliest settlers.

The island is about 3 miles long and 1 mile wide and there are probably less than a dozen cars and trucks on the island. Everybody walks, rides bikes, or has a golf cart. The landing strip is unmanned and bumpy! We were the only plane there. Very interesting place. -- Bill

July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

July 6, 2007

One of the pleasures of this site has been how it has connected me to other Hathaway descendants that I probably never would have met otherwise. Often they have wonderful information to share that helps flesh out the story of Enon Hall.

In my April 23rd Journal entry I was wondering about the specifics of a Union Raid on Enon Hall.

Recently I have been corresponding with a great grandaughter of Henry Straughan Hathaway (my ggg grandfather). Because she is fewer generations removed, she has a wealth of stories that have been passed down to her which she is kindly sharing with us. Some relating to the Union Raid!

    Felicia (who came to live with my grandmother "Mam" for the last years of her life, after Walter died and Enon Hall was closed) told my mother (who was then 8-9) about the night she thought the Yankees were coming to Enon Hall during the War.

    Henry was out patrolling that night with the Home Guard because there were rumors of a Yankee raiding party. Felicia was at home, in bed, but not asleep. She tossed and turned, anxious about what would happen. Then in the distance she heard hoofbeats. The hoofbeats grew louder and louder...and then she realized that the "beats" were her heart.

    And then one day months or years later, a small party of Union soldiers, commanded by an officer, did indeed ride up to the door of Enon Hall. I don't know where Henry was, for at least in Juliet's recall of this story her grandmother had told her, he doesn't appear.

    The Union officer told Felicia that he would have to strip her household of provisions. He was completely courteous, Felicia emphasized 55 years later in recalling that day to her red-haired grand-daughter, Juliet. (Felicia herself, I've heard, was a red-head.)

    "I know this is a disaster for you, Madam, but I must feed my men," the officer told her. And he proceeded to take every morsel of food from the kitchen and the smoke house.

    Juliet always followed up this account by saying, "and how Grandmother managed to feed everybody on the place--black and white alike--after that, I don't know."
    -- Ashley Williams

It's fascinating to hear this story and visualize it playing out here. Perhaps this is when the "blue pig" was stolen. One mystery is that the account doesn't mention anything about Henry's body servant also being "stolen." -- Bill

July 8, 2007

We caught some of the Live Earth concert yesterday and it had the desired effect. The three of us sat down and came up with some ideas for ways that we can conserve more electricity and resources. Most of the ideas are pretty low impact on us, but will definitely save resources. Here's our list.

  • Unplug electronics/appliances that are on standby. This was the main new thing that I learned yesterday. Here's an article on the subject.
    • William and I are going to start unplugging our electric toothbrushes until they actually need to be charged. (Gay uses a manual model, so she's already saving energy.)
    • I usually keep my electric razor plugged into the charger all the time. I've unplugged the charger and will only plug it back in when I need to charge.
    • We have a set of powered speakers that we plug computers or iPods into for music. The speakers have been staying on 24/7, mainly because the power button is hidden in the back, as well as the little light that indicates that they're on. Now, we'll only turn them on when we are actually using them.
    • A biggie...we have a laser printer that stays on all the time waiting for somebody to print something. I'm sure it has consumed far more energy in standby mode than it has ever consumed actually printing. This one's the only one that will be a bit of a pain. We'll have to remember to turn the printer on and let it go through its startup mode before printing. And then turn it off when done. But it's a big offender, so we'll give it a shot.
    • The only battery charger that we have is for my cordless drill. I have two batteries and keep one on the charger at all times. My thinking has been that if I don't do this, then the backup might be drained when I need it. We'll see how this one goes. It might just require a little more thinking ahead to make sure its charged when I need it. And they charge quickly, so it really shouldn't be a problem.
  • Less paper towels. This has been an ongoing process of breaking the paper towel habit. We try to use a hand towel instead of tearing off paper towels to dry our hands. And we try to use a dish cloth to wash the countertops.
  • Use cloth napkins more. This was something we always used to do. But then during construction we turned to paper since we had no washer & dryer. The paper napkins kind of stuck with us while we have a whole drawer of cloth napkins that we should be using.
  • Ceiling fans - We're bad about leaving them on all the time. Our worst offense is leaving the two screened porch fans on 24/7. We won't be doing that anymore.
  • Lights - Another no-brainer that we are already pretty conscientious about. Since we have recessed lights downstairs in the addition, I have been keenly aware that flipping one switch is actually turning on 6 bulbs in some cases! So we try to keep them off when they're not needed. We do leave our front and back porch lights on all night. We discussed not doing this, but we all agree that we really don't want the house to be a total black hole at night.
  • Compact Flourescent Bulbs - We bought a pack a while back and we're slowly trying them in lamps here and there when the old bulbs burn out. But because they look so funky, their use is pretty much limited to under lampshades and inside fully enclosed light fixtures.
  • Shopping bags - We already take cloth bags to the grocery store and I decline bags at most other stores unless I really need them to carry my purchases. We'll try to do even more of that. There's no reason that we can't start taking our cloth bags to other types of stores too. We keep them in the car, so they're always ready to go.
  • Laundry - William is going to try to stop throwing clothes in the laundry after wearing them for just five minutes.
We're generally pretty good about not being wasteful, so this list represents pretty painless incremental improvements. For instance, whenever possible, we open the windows instead of running the AC (which we've been able to do A LOT so far this summer). We recycle everything we can. We do have two cars that are 10+ years old and aren't very fuel efficient. But they are in great shape, have been paid for for years, and we just don't put many miles on them. (My '96 only has 85K miles.) So it would cost us a lot more to buy new cars than the fuel savings can justify. But when it comes time, we'll definitely be looking at hybrids.

So how about you? Have you found any similar ways to be more energy efficient? Get some ideas and find out what your "carbon footprint" is here. -- Bill

July 14, 2007

Every time we dig a hole around here we find pieces of old broken ceramics...blue transferware, flow blue, crockery, etc. Some of it's really kind of cool to look at because you can make out enough of the pattern to imagine what the whole piece might have looked like. These pieces have been scattered here and there in the house, but now we're trying to find ways to make them more visible. We filled this vase with shards and it looks pretty cool. And it will make a neat conversation piece for guests.

Boy! Bumper crop of peppers so far. Especially jalepeľos!

We love 'em. Gay's gonna pickle some of them, freeze some, and we're looking for ideas for the rest!

Later the same day...

Mmmmmm...pickled jalepeľos.

Hmmmmm...jalepeľo jelly. (A new one for us.)

Gratuitous happy puppy photo.

Gratuitous house photo.

July 15, 2007

So cool!

I was in the hammock reading this afternoon when I heard a heavy thud on the dock about 30 yards away from me. I was stunned to see a huge bald eagle standing there! I sure wish I had my camera because I'll probably never be so close to one again. I saw him two more times this afternoon and was able to get a couple Sasquatch-quality photos, but nothing compares to the first up-close-and-personal sighting!

Speaking of artifacts (yesterday), William has been organizing other artifacts on some of the shelves in the library. Only a tiny percentage of our finds is in the display, but it will be nice to rotate things out from time to time. -- Bill

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© 1999- William H. Chapman