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One Woman's Opinion

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A Walk in Urbanna

by Mary Wakefield Buxton

Urbanna, Va.— A day never passes when I don’t walk in Urbanna from my house to the Methodist church and back with “Dandy.” This walk is one of my daily treasures.

I head out the front door of the “Pineapple Palace” on Kent Street ever watching my cocker spaniel skipping ahead of me. He loves to take a walk! While I look at the blue river assessing the wind and wave action and formations of any clouds overhead, Dandy checks out leaves for interesting new smells. If a raccoon has been by in the night, or maybe something as exciting as a deer or coyote, his little tail wags like a spinning top.

At the corner where Jack and Diana Pitts live, I think of the turtles that live in their ravine. Jack clanks two rocks together to call the turtles for their daily feed. One by one these massive creatures, seemingly from prehistoric times, rise up from the depths of the water and inch their massive bodies to the food. They eat most anything. After feeding, they lumber back to their dark and watery abode. 

At the Waterman’s Park I look for “Lance,” the big golden retriever that always comes running to me to roll over and “belly up” for a happy pat on the tummy.

At the next corner I look for more golden retrievers, “Belle,” “Lincoln” and their son “Max” who come running out to meet us. I have never gotten over my lifetime love of golden retrievers but now I have to enjoy other people’s goldens. I’ve never met a golden retriever I didn’t love!

A glorious sight waits at the corner of Cross and Howard streets in the form of a lush garden that was planted last spring and bloomed beyond belief. Tiny one-sprig plants the gardener planted last spring magically flourished and soon spread into a mass of orange, yellow, blue and white flowering plants. How we have enjoyed the colorful flowers!

I like to look at the children at the Methodist church preschool playing in the fenced-in back church yard. They always spot “Dandy” and I hear “Doggie! Doggie!” from some little tot. The yard worker, Fred Thornton, always calls a cheerful hello. It is Thursday and he is mowing the grass and edging to prepare for church on Sunday. 

Once or twice I have passed the new minister, Rev. Bruce Johnson, sitting in his front yard swing reading a book. Once I stopped to introduce myself. The Methodists change ministers every few years and we have met many of them since arriving in Urbanna in 1984 and they are always such positive additions to our town.

I suddenly hear the gaggle and honk of a skein of geese flying by. They always make as much noise as possible as they zoom south over Urbanna, as if they want to make sure everyone in town knows of their journey to warmer climes. The black lab “Molly” and her master, George DeVries pass by with a pleasant greeting. We see “Jack” in the distance turning the corner walking with Don.

By now “Dandy” is on a leash as the traffic is too frequent and fast on Rappahannock Avenue for an unleashed dog. “Dandy” is happy to comply as I snap on his leash. By now he is totally “sniffed out.”

A Democrat must own property on Rappahannock Ave. because, if an election is approaching, there is always a massive sign in support of Democratic candidates. A sign urging a vote for Hillary Clinton was there last year and has now been replaced by a huge sign for Sheila Crowley. I also note a sprinkling of small signs for Marcia Jones nearby, a candidate for local office.

I see the Mayos on nice days in their lawn chairs. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of Noah and his new kitten, “Thomas.” I notice the latest additions to Andy Anderson’s gardens. He has added large stones under his knockout roses and lined the beds in brick.

The leaves on the maple trees are beginning to turn gold, orange, red and yellow. There’s something so romantic about leaves floating down from the tree tops. Then there’s that pleasant crunch under foot when it’s sunny and dry or the earthy smell of autumn leaves glistening and heavy in rain. We will soon be raking them into bags for curbside pickup provided by our great new collection serviceman, Michael Burch.

The Hudnall’s dog “Zoe” greets us as we near home. Susan says Zoe had been asleep in the kitchen but suddenly made such a clatter she had to let her out. “Dandy” and “Zoe” dash about as happy as dogs always are in each other’s presence. The feeling is contagious. What a wonderful place to live!


Read about Urbanna’s Carl Dize, WWII vet and other local heroes in Mary’s new book, “A Middlesex Morning,” for sale at the Sentinel office.

posted 10.18.2017

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