Friday, May 13, 2016

The Unexpected: An Evening in a Castle

Some years back, our local newspaper did a feature article on a local couple who have a very unusual home: a castle.  (I can't link to that article directly, but here is some info including pictures, about the castle.)  At the time, I found it fascinating, but never dreamed that I would get to spend an evening there!

Sometimes life is full of surprises.  :)

The wonderful Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir that we've been involved with for years held a fundraising event at the end of last month, and one of the homes that was utilized for this gala evening was this castle.  I was delighted for Josiah when he was asked to be one of the choristers who would sing during the guests' stop at the castle--and absolutely thrilled when I was then asked to be one of the servers.  I would have enjoyed serving no matter where we were, but to get to do it in this castle was a very special treat.  :)

Awe was my first reaction when we drove up the long lane to the top of the hill where this castle stands, but our hosts were so warm and delightfully down-to-earth that I quickly grew comfortable there.  We got there early enough to have a little time to look around before the guests arrived, and I seized the opportunity to take a few pictures...but only a few.  Once we got busy with serving, my camera was forgotten, and I devoted myself to being present, enjoying each moment fully.  But later on, I was grateful that I had taken some pictures to remember the evening by.  :)
Josiah was five years old when he and Matthew first met through the choir, and they've been roommates during a couple of choir tours.
Kayleigh and Emily completed the quartet of choristers who sang at this venue.
The overcast sky kept us from getting the full grandeur of the view, but what we saw was quite impressive.
The choristers stood on this balcony of the great room to sing "The Parting Glass"...
...accompanied by violin and guitar.

Ed and Judy, the hosts, are at the bottom of this next photo, their outfits befitting their status as master and lady of the castle.  :)

After all the guests had departed, Matthew's mom Lynette and I were left alone in the castle, the other SVCC participants having gone on to the final house on the tour to enjoy the festivities there.  As we washed dishes and packed up the extra food and put away things and chatted about this and that, I had to pinch myself from time to time.  It still seemed unbelievable that I was in the castle that I had read about in the newspaper years before--and not just there for a quick visit to take a peek around.  I got to open the oven in the castle.  I got to wash dishes in the castle sink.  I got to put food away in the castle refrigerator.  I got to look out the windows and see lights twinkling in the distance.  I got to pet the dogs of the castle.  I got to go in and out through the grand entrance a number of times as I carried things out to the car.  Best of all, I got to know--for one evening--the kind owners of the castle who were so laid-back and helpful and friendly and gracious.

Yes indeed, sometimes life is full of surprises; and the unexpected pleasure of an evening in the castle was certainly a spectacular one!  :)


Carol Slater said...

Sounds like a fun evening. So glad you got to experience this.

sally said...

This is fun....and a little funny! Julia & Linden are personal friends with the owners of the castle. I'm assuming she's been all around the castle inside and out---no doubt on some business or the other, or just hanging out as friends. I'll have to ask her more about it now.

I'm so glad you got to be in a castle. It all sounds so grand and wonderful!

sally said...

P.S. It's no surprise that Julia & Linden know the castle people----they know everybody, and more than everybody knows them! I found that out while doing the doughnut fundraiser!

Davene Grace said...

That IS funny!! The next time I see Julia, I'll have to see if I can get her autograph, her being so close to royalty and all! ;-)