Getting Back to Normal

29/11/12 11:02 PM

Belle Grove
View from the Carriage side porch

Well it has been a few days since I last posted. After my trip to Belle Grove, we had the funeral for my mother on Monday. It was beautiful. And I made it through the eulogy… sort of. But the friends that came helped us with the final parts. We were so supported and loved. Both from our friends here in Chesapeake and those of you that have followed our blog! Thank you again for all your support and prayers. It was a life saver!On Wednesday, I returned to my current job. On my arrival I was greeted with 360 emails. One and a half days later, I am finally caught up. All email answered and files put away. Whew…. So maybe I can get back to normal again.

Belle Grove
View of Carriage side porch

Brett has been working hard on the zoning package. He has been in contact with the Zoning Director and has made some head way towards our goal. The Zoning Officials will be meeting to discuss our application the week of the 10th so keep your fingers crossed! Brett is also going to be meeting with the Zoning Director and the Surveyor on the 10th to discuss some correction he sees on the site plan. I am so glad Brett is here to do that! I would be so lost! Give me a wedding or gourmet breakfast to cook and I can knock it out of the park, but paperwork for government offices, I don’t know if I would get it right.

Next week, Brett is traveling out of town for his current job. What a dog! He is going for a week of work in sunny California! I will be back here in the cold weather! How unfair! Maybe he can bring some of that sunny weather back with him! He is also talking about stopping in to see one of the grandsons of the last owners if he has a chance in Los Angeles. It will depend on his time and how tired he is when he arrives. I would kill to be going with him! The grandson owns a high end restaurant in the LA and the food looks so good! If he goes, I will have to get him to take pictures and write about it for you!

So while Brett goes to take in the sunny weather this next week, I will be on my own for the weekend and week. This will be the first weekend after three weeks of family at the house in Chesapeake. I don’t know what I will do! I told Brett that I think I might take in some sushi and a movie. I have wanted to see “Lincoln” since it came out. Now I think I might have time!

Colonial Williamsburg
Governor’s Palace

There is also going to be a big event in Colonial Williamsburg this weekend called the “Grand Illumination”. This is a day of events to kick off the Holiday Season. It is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd with events happening from 10:30am to 9:30pm. To view more information on this event, you can visit their website at:

In all the years we have lived here in Chesapeake, we have never ventured to the “Grand Illumination”. I may have to see if I can make it this year!


Another event that you should mark your calendar for is at Montpelier, home of James Madison. This event is called “Candlelight Evening at James Madison’s Montpelier”.  Enjoy centuries of Christmas traditions at the Montpelier Candlelight Tour. Be greeted by Dolley Madison and learn about early 19th-century Christmas customs while exploring the Madison’s’ home by candlelight. See the Madison Dancers perform in the Grand Salon. Linger in the DuPont Gallery, enjoy light refreshments, wine, and wassail while enjoying harp music and carolers. It will be from 4:30pm to 8:00pm. Advance Tickets can be purchased on their website at:

Brett will be returning on Friday, December 7th and we have an appointment on December 8th at Belle Grove.

But you may see us there on Sunday, December 9th!

One last update:

We have been posting information on some of the historic sites and museums we are working with on our Facebook page!

Please check out our Facebook page often and share it with your friends!

Thank you so much for all your support!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 30 Comments »

30 Comments on “Getting Back to Normal”

  1. John Says:

    Glad things are getting back to normal for you. Look forward to following along. 🙂

  2. Thank you! It just doesn’t feel normal yet. But we are getting there.

  3. Mama Bear Says:

    If you go see Lincoln, make sure to give us a review!

  4. I am going to see it on Saturday night, so be on the look out!

  5. terry1954 Says:

    Husband gone= sleeping in, wearing P.J.’s longer periods, hitting all the antique stores, no cooking!!! Yeah girl, you can do it!!!!

  6. Haha! Terry you are so bad!! Of course that is just what I might do!

  7. terry1954 Says:

    it is what I would do for sure! he will be back before you know it!!!

  8. 🙂

  9. terry1954 Says:

    did you get my award I gave you?

  10. Yes I did thank you so much!

  11. Lincoln is a great movie. The kids and I went Thanksgiving night. Highly recommend it. (But remember my aunt in Richmond still talks about the “The Late War” and the”carpet baggers.” Don’t know when Brett will hit L.A. It rained there and here in S.D. today, but the weather has been very mild. Have fun. A quiet house can be an enjoyable house and you need to rest and heal right now. You’ve had a major trauma and life passage.

    Oh, and the sound track in Lincoln is amazing, too. Lovely clarinet work and brass choirs! (And I loved the clothes. When I was little, I wanted one of the hoop skirts more than anything!) Whatever you do, have some fun.

  12. Thank you! I totally agree about the quiet house and healing. I am trying. I know it will take time, but I am still finding moments that are hard. Monday is going to be one of them. Monday would have been her 66th birthday. But I will get through it. I just take it a day at a time.

    I can’t wait to see Lincoln! I have waited to see it for a while. I love the time period and history. And to see “Lincoln” come alive by such an actor as Daniel Day-Lewis, well what a treat this is going to be. I will be listening out for the track! I use to play clarinet many moons ago.

  13. We’re having rain here in Southern California right now and for the next few days!! Brett might not actually see our usual sunshine.

  14. Aw, I feel bad for him… okay maybe I feel bad for him 😉

  15. thehungrymum Says:

    so, so sorry to read of you loss. Can’t imagine what you’re going through x

  16. Thank you so much. We really appreciate all the support during this time! It means so much to me.

  17. pixilated2 Says:

    I’m glad to read that you are home and things are going back to normal.
    I love the colors on the the carriage porch. It is simply lovely! I hope to come visit someday when you are all settled in and ready for business. ~Lynda

  18. Thank you! We love the color too. It came from the last period we posted about (John Tayloe Thornton). He painted it this color. We can’t wait to meet you one day!

  19. Enjoy your restful weekend and the time for yourself. A little indulgence goes a long way.

  20. I truly believe that. I am looking forward to do just that.

  21. Hope the weekend and the week go okay for you. Just do what you can… The Lincoln movie was great – I know you will love it!

  22. I can’t wait to see it! I have been waiting since it came out! Thank you! I am looking forward to just resting and enjoying my weekend.

  23. Stacey Says:

    My husband and I saw Lincoln last week, and we were both blown away. The move was very well done. Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln – their performances gave life to photographs and stories we’ve known. I definitely sense some Oscars! Now I want to venture to Petersburg and Richmond and see where they filmed the movie!

    We drive by Belle Grove/Emmanuel Episcopal Church very often on Rt 301 on our way down to family and friends in Chesterfield and Roanoke/Blacksburg. I’m always craning my neck back when we drive over the bridge into Port Royal to see if I catch a glimpse of the house through the trees! I’m so looking forward to your opening because I definitely will come by for a tour. Do you know if you have any plans to clear some of the brush/trees that block the view of Belle Grove on the river? Just wondering!

  24. I know that I heard they both were awesome in the film together! I can’t wait to see it! I met someone that did some of the editing on the movie and met another couple of people that provided set pieces! It is so cool living so close to it!

    Wow! I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard that about driving down 301. We met a couple not a year ago that stopped by the driveway to look down at the house. We invited them to come up and get a closer look since we were going to be there. It was such a treat to see their faces! We aren’t going to clear the brush and trees on the river side. We need them for protection from erosion. But it is cool during the fall and winter months to see it as you cross over. I get a charge every time!

  25. colmel Says:

    I know it must feel good to get some normalcy back in your lives. On a fun note, have you ever noticed that one of your shrubs looking out thecarriage side window looks something like a leafy Loch Ness monster?

  26. Haha yes! You are the first to note it too!

  27. Welcome back! I am eager to see Lincoln as well. If you go, please do let us know how it is!

  28. I will be doing just that!

  29. atridim Says:

    Note taken on the weather. I used to live in NC and NY, but have enjoyed Arizona’s Valley of the Sun for the past 16 years. November dished up some of the greatest fall weather ever with 80s, 90s and sunshine every day. Wish I could send some too you. We have plenty to share. Captain Rick

  30. Aw I wish you could too! I love the sun.