Saturday, November 27, 2010

One Last Look

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving got your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie!  We had a wonderful day filled with family and too much food, but it was good to all be together again!  Even the dogs had a great time visiting with so many people!

I know many of your have already begun decorating your homes for Christmas, and some of you probably braved those crazy Black Friday sales...but I did neither of those things.

On Friday I stayed in sweat pants and a sweat shirt all day, and took the dogs out to play and watched a movie with Mr. Tide and my daughter.  Our son went out to dinner with friends and is camping out at the cabin with no electricity and only a small wood stove...brrr!

It was so nice to just have a day to hang out and do nothing, so even though I was tempted, I left all of the bins of Christmas decor in the garage.  And I even left all of my pumpkins and turkey stuff up.

I was completely unplugged for the past few days and it was truly wonderful!  Now I'm trying to get caught up on emails and work stuff...3 stories due in just 2 weeks, so I'm back online.

I've really been enjoying seeing everyone's beautiful photos on their blogs of all of their Christmas decor and clever crafty inspiring!

So I think today I will attempt to put away my fall decor and break out a little Christmas cheer!

The other day I had to drive an hour from home to pick up fresh greens for my garden club.  The greens hadn't been delivered by the time I got there, so I decided to kill a little time by driving to a particularly beautiful church up that way called St. Ignatius Church at Chapel Point in Port Tobacco, Maryland.

It is a gorgeous old historic Catholic church founded in 1641, and it sits atop a hill overlooking the Port Tobacco and Potomac Rivers.  The whole area of Port Tobacco is full of interesting history, it was once a wealthy colonial port town which rivaled Williamsburg, Virginia in it's importance to the colonies.

There is also a gorgeous old manor house which is attached to the church and was built in 1741.  Known as St. Thomas Manor it was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War.  And just down the road near Port Tobacco proper is where John Wilkes Booth was hidden before crossing over into Virginia after assassinating President Lincoln.

I've never been inside either the church or the manor house, but I find the whole property to be simply breathtaking and have been here before to take pictures!

Today, parishioners still worship at this church the way they have for hundreds of years, I'm sure that those who helped build and found it would be happy about that.

With southern Maryland being a land of large tobacco plantations years ago, there were once slaves on this property as well.  Their accommodations were far more meager, and this little white house would have been their home while living and working at Chapel Point.

In the bottom left corner of the photo above you can see a reddish metal cellar door.  The doors are a 20th century addition and are now locked, but underneath and just inside the wall of the building are the remnants of an old tunnel that led all the way down to the water's edge.  Some say it was used to hide priests from the British, others believe that it was used to smuggle goods and escaped Confederate soldiers to or from Virginia during the Civil War.  And some believe it was part of the Underground Railroad.  

Whatever its use, this place is an important part of Maryland's history and a beautiful place to take one last look at autumn.  I'm now ready to join the rest of you and break out my candy canes and cookie making supplies.

I have savored fall this year in a way I never have before, and I wasn't quite ready to let it go until today.  I think we all do that a little more as we get older.  Where we once couldn't wait for the school year to end or for Christmas Day to arrive, now I just like holding on and taking one last look.  So goodbye sweet autumn and hello Christmas!

What have you needed to take one last look at lately?


  1. Your post is all I neededforo one long last look at autumn. Your photos are stunning {I'm glad those greens weren't ready for you!} I love the history behind this little town and husband would appreciate it as he is such a history buff when it comes to President Lincoln. And the leaves on the old grounds are breathtaking.

    I am taking a little pause, too, before breaking into the Christmas goodies. I need to wrap and pack my boxes of fall things and then start the task of carrying all the Christmas stuff up. Since we get a fresh tree, that has to wait a bit.

    I'm so happy that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Misty was probably floored by all the company and food! I know my dogs were in heaven!

    Good luck with your stories and so happy to see your post!


  2. I like your day!

    I'm having mine today... fleece and a bowl of chili and the mac!!

  3. Great shot, Kat. What a pretty historic church and home. I didn't get out yesterday either. Spent it playing with the grands and cooking which I am getting tired of, but gotta do what I gotta do. This is their last day here so tomorrow after I clean up the rooms they stayed in I will break out the Christmas stuff, too.

  4. i hope my last look is the 40 plus bins of xmas decorations!!! i swear what i don't put up this year it is going to goodwill, or garbage, gettin to old for this

  5. Hi Kat!! Im your newest follower and im CRAAAAAAAAAAAZY about your blog! Your home is BEAUTIFUL, the pictures are BREATHTAKING and I LOOOOVE your story! I stayed in Lazy clothes all day too :) I would BEYOND love it for you to visit my 14 days of Christmas trees! I have a giveaway too... so glad to have found your lil slice of Heaven here!

    *ENTER CUSTOM FLORAL Give-Away Here *


  6. Hi Kat! I've resisted the pull
    of the computer the last few days
    and will probably stay unplugged,
    today. I sewed a gift yesterday and
    want to make a slip for an ottoman
    that is looking tired, today! I know
    EXACTLY what you mean about holding
    on, sweet friend. I am there, too.
    The last thing I wanted to have a
    last look at was my parent's sweet faces
    as we said good-bye to them last month.
    We'll see them again over Christmas,
    but it is always harder and harder to
    say good-bye; to seem them both, with
    snow-white hair, now; to be 1500 miles
    apart most of the year. I am so happy
    that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and
    break! Keep that wonderful calm in
    your heart as you face the busy next
    weeks. Big hugs, today...
    xx Suzanne

  7. GOOD FOR YOU! Unplugging for a couple of days. Yesterday was the perfect day for sweats and movies, imho. Beautiful photos here, Kat. Simply stunning!

  8. Kat,
    What a beautiful post. It is important to resist the rush and whirl to take some time at home. What a great way to refresh and rejuvenate.
    The pictures are breathtaking.

  9. Beautiful photos. Wow, 1641! Thanks for sharing the history.

  10. Kat, I love how you are enjoying the process with such quiet reverance for all the beauty around you. Lucky for us that we get to see it through your eyes.
    I have kiddos here so we are making tents, snowflakes and now they are throwing a nerf football down my hallway with Papa. I knew a 30ft long hallway would serve its purpose. I have been taking a break to look at blogs for a bit and enjoying those that have already started or those who are holding on to Fall. I will start on Monday, very excited, I just love the Holidays, Kathysue

  11. Absolutely gorgeous picture Kat! That church and area is just beautiful! So much history there I can almost see it through your pictures! I am going to have to forward this to my mom! She will just love it! I am so glad that you had a restful day, it does feel really good sometimes! :) I can't wait to see your decorations! Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

  12. A beautiful post! I am glad that you have enjoyed your Fall so thoroughly and that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving so much. This year, I'm more excited about Christmas and decorating then I have ever been before. So, I have been busy changing my house over from oranges and yellows, turkeys and pumpkins, into red and green with lights! Loving it so far! :D

  13. Love the photos, and 1641! WOW.

    I did all the decorating today, what was I THINKING?...

  14. Beautiful beautiful photos! Staying at home yesterday sounds like it was a great day!

  15. Great post and ofcourse fhotos !!!

  16. To be able to experience such a distinct change in seasons must be the most amazing thing. Here in the Valley we have 2 seasons in the year - "the wet" (which we are experiencing right now) and "the dry". I have loved seeing all the beautiful photos of your Fall and then how this season relates to celebrations like Thanksgiving. In our little corner of the world it feels quite strange decorating fir trees and stringing up pine cones when it is so hot and humid outside. Christmas is the tropics is more like watermelon and bar b ques! However through the magic of blogland I am able to experience just what it must be like to be preparing for Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. It is like opening up a page of Charles Dickens' - "The Christmas Carol" every day. Your photos Kat are just like a living history lesson - the Civil War, slavery, the Confederacy - these are things I read about growing up in the Australian bush. Your photos and descriptions have made them real for me. The beautiful cross in the church cemetery reminds me so much of the Celtic High Crosses I saw in Ireland. As for what I have taken one last look at. Well, my 12 magnificent Poinciana trees (which line the driveway leading up to our house on the top of the hill) come into flower at the beginning of November. By the end of November their brilliant red/yellow petals create a lush carpet on the ground and by the first week in December they are gone. Yesterday I took one last look at the fallen petals. For me they are the symbol of another year ending and a time to reflect on the achievements of my family, the happy times we have shared and my dreams for the future. ;)Sharyne

  17. Beautiful late fall photos, Kat! We celebrate Thanksgiving with the family tomorrow, so I am cooking tonight! I like to hang on to fall also, but Minnesota weather often pries my fingers loose and drops me right into winter...whether I'm ready or not LOL!

  18. Your photos are as beautiful as ever.
    I've never understood the concept or attraction of this Black Friday. It has always seemed to me that after the warmth (and work!) of a Thanksgiving gathering that most would want to rest, spend time with family, take a walk - anything but spend a day in shops!

  19. Kat - there's so much history around you! It's so interesting to hear the stories from years ago and see the photos. Love it!

    I stayed home, too. Lounged around and did absolutely nothing but a few little crafty things for Christmas. I'll be dragging out my Christmas tubs tomorrow to start decorating. Don't know why I'm procrastinating so this year......? lol!

    xoxo laurie

  20. Kat ..
    when I lived in southern Maryland, I was much like you..exploring, finding myself in total awe of the historical sites all around me..
    loved Port Tobacco..and La Plata..Rosehill Farm was also very beautiful..
    My home was in the hamlet of Pomfret,in a gated subdivision called Camelot, which backed up on a 600 acre family farm, which was an original land grant from Lord Baltimore. I adored the two elderly sisters living there just as they had their entire lives..they would invite me over for tea and to stroll their flower and vegetable gardens.. what delights!
    ahh! sweet memories always come to mind when I visit with you!
    thanks for sharing..
    warm sandy hugs..

  21. My goodness - what stunning photography! Beautiful photos and such a lovely post. I love your new seasonal blog header also! Happy Holidays to you~~


  22. Today is my 1st day back on the computer since Tuesday - it was nice to be unplugged. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and were surrounded by everyone you love!


  23. Kat~ You are my kind of girl..just cannot do Black friday! Your pictures are outstanding!!! enjoy your weekend!

  24. These pictures are stunning! Have a lovely day, Kellie xx

  25. Hi Kat! I'm finally really starting to get back into the blogging swing and this post reminds me of why I love it so — you never know what you'll run across that tugs at your heart strings and just makes you smile.

    My family has been here since 1607 and when I see historic buildings it always leaves me with a feeling of awe. You captured it so well, but then you always do.

    I had to read back and do a little catching up and must say I LOVE your new puppy. What a bundle of joy. I'm staying with my daughter and granddaughter and I've been trying to get photos of their two dogs to share, but honey, I need some pointers from you, lol. Cute, cute, cute!

  26. After Thanksgiving I become a little antsy for Christmas. So I am ready to let fall go. Hope Misty isn't getting into too much puppy trouble. Of course it isn't really big trouble with a face like that

  27. I'm glad you survived Thanksgiving and all that food. I can feel the tug of Christmas myself and I'm not one to decorate before December usually (remember I have rules about these things, but apparantly they are about to be broken this year). I love your new header, by the way.

  28. One last look? At my clean house before I started decorating today! lol I love the photo with the shadow of the tree on the old white wall! I'm going to take another look at your photos! Hugs! ♥

  29. ohhh I love how all my fav blogs are teetering on the edge of just bursting into Christmas! You can actually sense the holiday energy in the blogosphere!!! :) ps: thank you for reminding me that it is OK to disappear for a few days, esp. when it involves loved ones! I have to stop apologizing when I do that :P

  30. Kat, Your photos are beautiful. I especially love the ones of the old cemetary. I am glad to hear you had a happy Thanksgiving. Take care.

  31. Nice post, beautiful photos.
    Hugs from Brasil.

  32. That is a stunning property Kat. I took several days off from blogging and spent them with my family and read two book and cooked a bit. I will miss the fall days and I do not like being cold at all. You new header is full of holiday goodness!

  33. Kat,
    I love your holiday header so much! The phtots are as beautiful as ever. I have started only the tiniest bit of decorating...still trying to decide on colors...sick I know!!!

  34. So glad you had a chance to really savor all the last bits of the autumn season! We had our first snow yesterday and our first slippery roads of the season. So now I am officially ready for Christmas and I'm really digging your new header. I enjoyed your photography today along with those fascinating historical tidbits. xo ~Lili

  35. My husband and I got married at St. Ignatius! It is even more beautiful on the inside. You'll have to go back and check it out sometime!

  36. Hi Kat... you don't know me... I forget how I found your blog, but I love following it because of your photographs. They inspire me!!!!!!! I live in Charles County which is another reason I love your blog.... you at times photograph things & places I'm familiar with!!! I was married in St. Ignatius and so were my parents and grandparents!!!! My grandfather is buried there and my 2 children were also baptized there!!! So I of course loved this latest post of yours!!! You really should go inside the church because it's just as beautiful! Each kneeler was sewn by a member of the church (my grandmother did one)!!

  37. Thanks so much everyone for your sweet comments!

    Lyn and Anonymous, I'm so happy this post hit home for both of you. What a gorgeous place to get married! Next time I'm up that way I will try and go inside the church, I know it must be breathtaking! Thank you for commenting!

    Kat :)


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