Category: Faith, Family, & Country

SFH Journal: 2018-05-11

Daily Highlight: This is the last full day of the visit. We’ve decided to keep it quiet and private. Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah National Forest are just part of our backyard at Serendipity Farmhouse. So, we went to the Shenandoah Skyland Resort for lunch. The clock might be ticking and saying Sister-in-law’s visit is coming to a close, but the view from Skyline Drive is timeless and enchanting. We’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes. For now, let’s just be family.


Weather: Today, was a little warmer and the humidity is beginning to climb. Yet, it was five degrees cooler on Skyline Drive – absolutely perfect for a quiet drive and lunch. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: One more asparagus spear was ready for harvest today. It’s been a good first season so far. (You can learn more about harvesting asparagus here.)

SFH Journal: 2018-05-09

Daily Highlight: Today, we (beautiful wife, dear sister-in-law, and I) made the hour-plus drive to Daughter #2’s new home. The ladies had tea and/or coffee and shared in plentiful conversation. Lunch consisted of of sandwiches, chips, and more conversation. Following tradition, and in accord with my better male instincts, I concentrated on my food and let the ladies talk.

For me, the visit also included playing peekaboo and other important games with Granddaughter #4. Today, she invited me to join her on a walking/running tour of the whole first floor – six laps were enough for yours truly. And, when the house tour was complete, there was an obligatory viewing of at least three episodes of “My Little Pony”. Although I personally prefer Winnie the Pooh, My Little Pony is perfectly acceptable for the purpose of grandfather – granddaughter bonding.

Weather:  This has been a week for good weather. The high of 78º and sunshine invited outdoor activities. My body did take notice that the humidity was somewhat elevated. (Be forewarned – I will complain and whine profusely as the heat and humidity increase.) (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: A few more asparagus spears emerged this week and grew rapidly. Today, they were ready for harvest. Friday’s menu will certainly include fresh asparagus in some form. (You can learn more about harvesting asparagus here.)

SFH Journal: 2018-05-08

Daily Highlight: They are sisters. They shared in their childhood. They have shared throughout their lives. So, in this visit by my sister-in-law I once again see them sharing. They share in ways that I can see and they share in ways that can’t be seen.

Today, we we toured Jefferson’s Monticello. I followed them as they walked down Mulberry Row. I watched as they viewed gardens and toured Jefferson’s home. There were moments of cherished silence, followed by episodes of wit and levity.

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All in all, it was a beautiful day. Why? Because they are sisters.

Weather:  It was partly cloudy with a high of 77º. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

For the Garden: While at Monticello, we had the opportunity to purchase more seeds for our vegetable and flower gardens:

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

Living by Chapter 49 – Lent

Saint_Benedict_Medal1 The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. 2 Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure 3 and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times. (Excerpt from the Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 49)

We said on day one of this blog: “He [God] has led us and guided us through the years and He has given us aid and sustenance all along the way. One very important gift was the grace to become Oblates of St. Benedict and to live in that calling.”

We have passed the midpoint in Lent. Our observance has not been perfect. St. Benedict knew that few “have the strength for this.” Yet, we do our best to deny ourselves “some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing.”

At the very top of the obverse side of the medal of St. Benedict is the simple word “Pax” – “Peace”. Here at  Serendipity Farmhouse, our simple observance of Lent – the quiet of the evening meals together, the moving of dirt and preparation for planting, and blossoming daffodils – brings us to that Peace.

Just thought you might like to know.

Dedication to Our Patrons – St. Scholastica & St. Benedict.

My beautiful wife and I chose this day as the launch date for Serendipity Farmhouse blog for a very specific reason. No, it’s not because this is the anniversary of our arrival at Serendipity Farmhouse. No, it’s not because some important event happened here on February 10th.

The reason is because our marriage and love for each other has endured and grown over four and half decades because of the grace of God. He has led us and guided us through the years and He has given us aid and sustenance all along the way. One very important gift was the grace to become Oblates of St. Benedict and to live in that calling.

St. Scholastica

Today is the feast of St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict and our dear patroness. So, today and every day we dedicate the Serendipity Farmhouse blog to her and her brother St. Benedict.

As we relate our stories about life here at Serendipity, we will also tell you about the Benedictine life of prayer and hospitality and , most of all, Prayer and Work (Ora et Labora).

To learn more about the Oblates of St. Benedict, please visit:

Conception Abbey – About Oblates

Through the years, we have met a number of wonderful and inspiring Benedictine religious nuns and monks. Please visit the following sites to learn about their lives of dedication to Christ, to His Church, and to St. Benedict:

Queen of Peace Benedictines

Monastery of the Ascension

The previous two owners of this farmhouse made wonderful and enduring restorations and improvements. We can only build on what they started. Our deepest appreciation and thanks go out to Lisa & Josh.