We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I love Virginia, Bird Dog. My parents retired on the Northern Neck, out beyond Fredericksburg outside a little town named Heathsville, which held about 200 souls, when they were all home. They had a plot of "twelve acres, more or less" as they designated property in olden days, on the banks of a tidal river called the Wicomico, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay. The first time I visited them after they had built their cottage, I awoke very early the next morning, shortly after dawn, to the unearthly sound, high, thin, sweet of a man singing, poling himself in a rowboat, looking for crabs.
It was kind of magical. Everything on the Northern Neck is, if you drive down it far enough. The menhaden fishermen anchor in a harbor near The Tides Inn -- which, by the way, is a great spot for a fishng vacation. Robert E. Lee's family home, Stratford, is near Chantilly -- a grand family residence which looks more English than American and still functions as a farm.
Needless to say, if you rent a fishing boat on the Rappahannock for a half day, you can catch quite a few fish, some of them worth eating.
Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas
I see the bench by the tree but I'm pining for a couple of Adirondack chairs and a tray of coffee with the necessaries on a cool spring morning. Maybe a newspaper or a good book, some bird song and a light fishing rod to splash with after the coffee.
Having grown up in West Texas, and educated by people that would say Ayn Rand was OK but should have given a little more credit to Thomas Jefferson's view of "Nature's God"... I could sniff a good brandy and ponder Ole Virginny....