Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It's been a long time since we reported on the whereabouts of the Silver Box, so let's catch up.

On November 25, we loaded up the Box with too much stuff and headed south of the border for Thanksgiving -- the destination: Susanne's sister's house at Greensboro, North Carolina. The evening before, I had pumped up a sagging tire, and all seemed to be well. I knew I would have to keep an eye on it, though.

Our first stop was at Staunton, Virginia, where we stayed at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, a member of the National Trust's historic hotel program. We had a nice room in the beautiful old hotel. For dinner we walked to a popular restaurant across the square -- it had been a flour mill at one time.

In the morning, Thanksgiving Day, I joined a small congregation at Trinity Episcopal Church, surrounded by Tiffany stained glass windows and music from a beautiful organ built just outside of Staunton. We had visited the organbuilder's shop on a previous trip.

We continued on to Greensboro, which is a pleasant southern town. Susanne's sister Robin lives in a charming home in Fisher Park, a 1900s-era neighborhood close to downtown. Soon friends arrive for an excellent -- and filling -- Thanksgiving meal and after-dinner conversation.

On Friday, we went to a popular annual antiques show in nearby Winston-Salem, followed by lunch, a visit to a Christmas shop, and to a bakery for Moravian sugar cakes. Yum! In the late afternoon, we went to the movies (that's become a tradition of sorts for us), then dinner at a Thai restaurant with Robin's friend Ellen.

On Saturday, Robin had to work at Replacements, Ltd., where she is a top-flight manager. We love that place, so after a lazy morning, we drove out and inspected the many pieces of china, silverware, glass, collectibles, and seasonal decorations in their showroom. Susanne decided that we needed yet another set of china (did you know you can never have too many?), so she bought a reproduction of an old pattern featuring a turkey, fruits, and vegetables.

In the evening, Robin's friend Andrew came over for dinner and conversation. He is a lawyer at Replacements, and very personable. He always asks about our kids and granchildren, and we are always happy to see him.

On Sunday morning, I went with Robin to her church for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Some of her friends from Thanksgiving Day were then, and I joined them for lunch while Susanne was home sleeping it off. (LOL.)  The afternoon was spent decorating the house for Christmas. With the help of Ellen, Robin decorated the mantel with the more than 120 antique brush trees she has collected.

On Monday, Robin went back to the daily grind, and we filled the Box and headed north toward Charlottesville, Virginia, for the next step in our Thanksgiving adventure.

Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, Staunton

Tiffany window at Trinity Church, Staunton

Robin's world-class apple pie

Beautiful Thanksgiving table setting

Thanksgiving guests

Pennsylvania coverlet at antiques show

Robin invited friend Andrew for leftover turkey.

Robin and Susanne in their natural habitat

Moravian sugar cake -- a real treat from Salem!

Robin's friend Ellen came to help decorate for Christmas.

On Monday, Robin is off to work while we pack to leave.

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