The last official meeting of the Club each year is usually the Christmas Party and so it was that members and guests gathered at Kittery Point farm, home of Club President Anne Watkins, for an afternoon of holiday cheer. Anne’s gracious home was decorated in the season, with a “carriage horse motif” most prominent.It has been said before that the PDC could possibly be just a “cover up” for some of Virginia’s finest cooks, giving them a place to show off their most delectable creations. This time — maybe because no one was distracted by cleaning harness, readying horses or loading carriages — the food hit a new high mark! Members embellished Anne’s roast leg(s) of lamb/ham with an array of creative and delicious side dishes. There were oodles of breads, deserts and assorted munchies. Spirits were high and all who came gave thanks for yet another fun, happy and safe year of driving. The Club held over 30 picnic drives this year, exceeding its own record. Onward to 2014!!!
Who knew that there would be a sleigh rally right here in Virginia? And just before Christmas? Leave it to Club Secretary Vicki Baturay to organize such an outing! She is the person who so diligently sends emails, notices and invitations out to us for all Club activities throughout the year. Could it be that after dusting off her sleigh, fitting harness and bells, deciding on a route through her Catharpin farm she forgot to press “SEND” on her computer? Or maybe she just didn’t have enough hot cider in her thermos to go ‘round. For whatever reason, no other Club members were on site but we all admire her for getting out there!!!
Five adventurous whips from the Piedmont Driving Club turned out in their Holiday finest to bring a touch of “yesteryear” to the Village of Orlean. Billed as an “Old Fashioned Christmas”, the streets were illuminated by several hundred candles, carols were sung by young and old, and the local merchants and churches opened their doors to all. It was December and it was cold but it was very special!
We were fortunate that a generous land owner offered her lovely farm just outside of the Village as “base camp.” There we met, unloaded, harnessed and hitched. Then the work of decorating horses, carriages and even ourselves began. Check out the pictures and you’ll agree that the Christmas Spirit was certainly upon us! Participating members included Chuck Akre, with Carl Cox, Pat McCann and Molly Savage on board. Al and Vicky Baturay came with bells on Nordix. Alcinda Hatfield and antler-adorned hubby drove their cute pony. Marci and Keith Bade drove their beautifully decorated NEW wagonette and last – but hardly least — Sam Davis and guests traveled behind Santa Himself…..or so it seemed. Sam had adorned her Connemara “Thor” with a COMPLETE Santa suit…right down to a red jacket, leggings and boots fit for the North Pole. “Santa” even sported a beard!!!
Thoroughly “decked out” we were led by Club Member Chuck Akre as he piloted his stunning pair of Hackney/Clydes through the streets of Orlean. We went ’round the fire house, past the Orlean Market, down a cul-de-sac that features 3 of Orlean’s 7 (yes, 7, residences), then it was past the Methodist Church where strains of Christmas carols could be heard and down the road to the Baptist Church for a rest stop. Caroline produced HOT mulled cider from somewhere in the back of Chuck’s carriage. By this time we were all quite chilly so everyone agreed that one more pass through the Village would be enough. Time to get back to the trailers and disassemble! In keeping with the spirit of the season, the Villagers invited us back to the Baptist Church for dinner — the good old fashioned kind — with everything home cooked and delicious. In a final step back in time, we viewed several dozen hand made quilts that were on display in the Vestry. Each was different, each the product of a crafter’s artistry, talent, inspiration and love. “Old fashioned” perhaps, but the experience of an Orlean Christmas filled Club members with good will and cheer that will endure through the holidays.