The Christmas trek Dave and I make each year includes Harrisonburg (VA), Middletown (PA), and Salisbury (MD). The drive from our home in the flatlands of Portsmouth (VA) to the mountains of Virginia something I anticipate with enthusiasm. We usually experience snowflakes at points during our trip and we often get to see horses drawing Mennonite and Amish carriages along the way. My aunt Kitty Lee lives in Mennonite country and my mom lives in Amish country.
Arriving in the foothills of Virginia.
I always love the first glimpse of Virginia’s mountains on Interstate 64.
Headed up Afton Mountain.
Sunset off I64.
Almost to the top of Afton Mountain.
Arriving in the Shenandoah Valley. Almost to Harrisonburg on Interstate 81. This is Mennonite country.
Between the Laymans’ and Mom’s we pass through northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. I thought this was “THE” Woodstock, but the McClures, upon reading my error, sent a text to let me know THE big music event happened in New York, not Virginia. (I learn something every day!)
Arriving near Mom’s house we love to see The Star Barn.
On December 24 we had to sail past it….
…so we could get to our favorite market in Lancaster before it closed for Christmas.
The anticipation of seeing our favorite cheesemonger!
Dave at Mandros.
Lovely downtown Lancaster…
…in Pennsylvania’s Amish country.
Introducing my Massie grandparents — Layton (Pa) and Lillian (Ma) Massie. They are my Dad’s parents, and they used to live in Staunton, Virginia.
Layton McCarthy and Lillian Forsythe Massie.
Heather with Lillian (Ma) and Layton (Pa) Massie.
Amanda and Lilli with Lillian Massie a couple years ago.
Although Ma and Pa are no longer with us, most of their kids and grandkids (as well as their great grand kids and their great great grandkid) gather at my aunt Kitty Lee’s home each year to celebrate Christmas.
I enjoy this outing and the chance to catch up with Kitty Lee and Glen (who live in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley), as well as my Dad and the rest of the Massie tribe.
This is the way we’ve celebrated Massie Christmas since the mid-90s. Before that, we’d all gather at my grandparents’ cozy bungalow at 414 High Street in downtown Staunton, Virginia.
The pictures below were taken December 22-24, 2012.
Arriving at Kitty Lee and Glen’s house for Massie Christmas.
Kitty Lee and Glen Layman at home in Harrisonburg.
Kitty Lee always decorates so beautifully for the holiday.
Dave playing with Kitty’s cat, Whitney.
Kitty Lee’s most recent needle point project (one of two angles shown here).
Enjoying the Layman sunroom (that I helped design many moons ago).
A view of the Shenandoah Valley on a clear day…
…and then the snow rolled in.
And the hills and silos were shrouded by snowflakes.
Kitty watching the snow start to fall.
Massie family dinner. Thanks Dad, Kitty Lee, and Glen for hosting dinner.
The kids aren’t so little any more.
Michelle, Kitty Lee, and Dave looking over my grandparents’ high school yearbooks.
Pa was in the drama club…
…and on the baseball team…
…and on the basketball team too!
Dad and Kitty Lee trying to find their parents’ photos.
Kitty Lee Layman, Buddy Deaton, Heather Massie, and Maureen Deaton.
My cousin Michelle and her daughter Ryleigh.
Ryleigh and Michelle admiring ornaments that record our family history.
Lilli keeps us all in stitches.
Amanda (Lilli’s mom) and her sisters Chelsea and Kaitlin.
Exchanging Christmas gifts with Dad.
Birds enjoying the snow, including a cardinal (the Virginia state bird).