05/17/2011 – Day 41 – Raines Homestead, Breaks, VA

Again, we allowed ourselves to sleep in since this coincides nicely with Ernest & Shirley’s schedule.  Breakfast was predictably delicious and soon after, David joined us.  His daily visits and thoughtful assistance to his parents are obviously deeply appreciated.  He and Susan live fairly close by, and provide E&S with a substantial lifeline for daily as well as special needs.  By all measures he is a loyal and loving son.

He is also an expert birdwatcher, and has been giving Diana and me great insights on each of his visits, identifying bird calls, pointing out birds in the surrounding woods, and even a robin’s nest full of babies in a bush outside E&S’s dining room window.

We had been looking forward to a VIP birding tour which David had promised us, but the weather just won’t cooperate.  It has been raining off and on day and night.  The skies continue to be gray and threatening without an end in sight.

We reluctantly decided that a bird-walk with the “Birdman of the Breaks” was not to be, but David has given us great suggestions on what to do and where to stay at our next destination, The Outer Banks of North Carolina.  His knowledge of nature and especially of birds is vast and we really appreciated him taking the time to enlighten a couple of birding neophytes.

This afternoon, Ernest really wanted to take a walk along the river, in spite of the rain.  We took their car and the four of us drove across the state line into Kentucky to the town of ElkHorn.  At Ernest’s urging, I drove their very nice Buick down a gravel road and onto a slightly soggy riverbank.  Shirley stayed with the car while the three of us walked several blocks along the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy river.  When we encountered a bevy of ducks and one goose who thought he/she was a duck, I retrieved  Shirley and the car so she could also enjoy the sight.

We drove back through the rain with more good memories and an even greater admiration for Ernest, his surprising energy, and his great love of nature and the land he lives on.  Shirley is a perfect complement to him, and it’s fun to watch and listen to the two of them burnish a relationship that has lasted over 60 years.

We had a relaxing evening, with more interesting conversations and retired to the loft grateful that we have been able to share a few days in the beautiful Breaks with our adopted family, the Raines!

Ernest listens to his "good" angel!

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One Response to 05/17/2011 – Day 41 – Raines Homestead, Breaks, VA

  1. kit says:

    Love this story… sometimes the little moments in life are the most meaningful. Ernest and Shirley are a wonderful, inspiring couple.

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