Monday, April 13, 2009

Life in Salem, Virginia

We are living in Salem, Virginia. We arrived on March 27 and we will be here for a month. Salem is a town of approximately 25,000 population (according to AAA 2008 stats) and lies in a valley surrounded by the Appalachian Mountain Range which includes the Blue Ridge Mountains on the eastern edge of the valley. It is early spring and all of the trees have not leafed out but they are getting there. All in all, it is still a beautiful part of Virginia.

This is a view of the town of Salem from the East Hill Cemetery. Salem is next to the larger town of Roanoke. Near Salem is Fort Lewis which was built in 1752 to protect the early settlers. The town was chartered in 1802 upon land previously owned by the son of General Andrew Lewis.

Throughout the area are these beautiful, flowering Red Bud trees. Even though the name is Red Bud the blossoms are a pinkish purple. We were able to get a photo of a couple of great specimens.

Our past 2 weeks here have kept us busy by visiting with our cousins that live in Salem.
My first cousin, Gail, and her husband, Rick, have lived here since the 1980's. Gail's daughter, Lisa, and her family...husband, Randy and children, Nicholas & Natalie live here also. (More about all of them later). We have gone to local church services on the past 3 Sunday's and eaten at about a dozen restaurants so far. I have also attended a Thursday morning Bible Study that Gail teaches at her church and that has been fun.

We have had some cloudy or rainy days lately but here is a picture of Bruce sitting on our patio at the Salem Village Park in the beautiful sunshine. We took advantage of the day to pull our lawn chairs out and catch up on some reading. We also took cousin Gail to her radiation treatment one day when their car had broken down...she has 2 1/2 more weeks to go. Our dog, Annie, when to Pet Smart and got a haircut that she needed badly.

Here is Annie showing off her new hair do.

After church on Easter Sunday we put Annie in the car and took off into the rural hillsides seeing what was there. We had no idea exactly where we were going but went for the adventure of it. We went south of Salem down to a small town named Shawsville and then took a left turn (heading East) into the mountains. We passed a lot of dairy farms and interesting homes along the way. Eventually we ended up at a T-intersection and took another left turn which we assumed would lead us in the general direction of Roanoke. It did, and about an hour later we ended up in familiar territory.

Later that afternoon, we joined the rest of our cousin-family at Lisa and Randy's for Easter dinner. More about that later.

In postings over the next 2 weeks I'll write about our family and some of the places we are planning to go to before we have to leave the area and head for Florida. Please check with this blog again for new information and photographs.

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