There’s something different in the air in Mendota this fall. For some reason, people are becoming optimistic that our little community is revitalizing. I thought about this today and wondered out loud to Mike whether this was wishful thinking on my part or was it reality? Perhaps you and I together can find the answer.
It started, believe it or not, with our Mendota Cemetery Quilt sale. We sold $2100 in tickets for our quilt. For a large community, this might not be significant, but for Mendota…a community without even a store, this is impressive. Was it just a pretty quilt?
And there are other signs. Literally. Do you see two signs in the photograph below of “sprouts” of vitality in Mendota? If you did, you missed one.
Gary Barker retired from the Washington County School System and opened a garage in Mendota. The Kiser family operates a successful organic farm in Mendota. The third “sign” is that corn in the background — that belongs to River Gate Farm — one of Southwest Virginia’s largest dairy farms located right here in Mendota.
I drove a little further and recalled the Pig Pickin’ on Sunday attended by well over 100 people. I’m not sure how many were there, but there was a 250 pound+ pig and I didn’t get one bite, so it was definitely well attended. Here’s a sign directing folks to the farm…
The Timmon’s family also operate a successful wedding business called Swinging Bridge Farms. Receptions are held in the black barn with the quilt square…just down the road from Mike and me… in Mendota.
Then…as I climbed back in the truck….interruption here to say I love Luckie and she and I roll in a truck!
Back to whatever I was talking about.….I looked over at Gordon Barker Jr.’s farm and saw….more! I recalled two years ago when Mike, Marc, Mary and the boys and I drove across Clinch Mountain to a pumpkin stand and tiny farm maze. I asked the owner “where did you get your pumpkins?” He replied “Gordon Barker, Jr. in Mendota, Virginia.”
Here’s some awesome news…I’m going to the doctor next week, and I’m riding my bicycle to get there. HMG has reopened the Mendota Medical Clinic (pictured below). The days are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The phone number is 276.645.6710, and the beloved Dr. Andy Brockmyre is our doctor. Great medical care right here in Mendota. He bikes to work…we might just bike beside each other on the day of my appointment!
Katie had her store open last Saturday. She’s percolatin’
She had some cute pillow slip dresses and a stack of stuffed punkin’s…
Here’s the dresses made with antique pillow cases…nice.
There’s several folks that operate businesses from their homes….
I know of three men in the valley who make beautiful jewelry. Tom Ilowiecki made this bracelet. It sells for $35.
Like a little table with barn siding? Mike makes those. Personal note: are you happy Pat Statzer? This is for you!!!
So there’s all sorts of bits of optimism! So…another thought for Mendota. We could have our own Quilt Trail. The Timmons’ barn has one, and look what is going to go up soon at RiverCliff Cottage! Are there more to follow?
Next spring is going to be fun for Mike and me. We are working to have our property on the North Fork of the Holston work for us. There’s a business plan, there’s lots to learn and there’s a lot of work, and we’re still in the “almost decided for sure phase” of what we want to do. I’ll share it with you as each step becomes concrete. But I can tell you, we’ll be down at the shop often enough to make sure my flowers get watered.
In the meantime….we are keeping it all in perspective. One step at a time.