Yesterday I drove down to Virginia to be there in good time for a friend’s (Jared Stutzman, for those of you who know him) wedding today and to go to the pre-rehearsal dinner last night and catch up with some of my Mennonite friends from my Rosedale days. I decided to get up really early in the morning so that I would get to Virginia early enough to meander down the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and to do a bit of birdwatching. I’m not sure that bit was worth the trouble. Here’s roughly what the Shenandoah Valley looked like from the mountain tops:
I’m sure it would have been spectacular, had it been less hazy. As for the birdwatching, well, in the middle of the afternoon on a really hot day is pretty much the worst possible time to go birdwatching. But I did see a couple of nice birds.
The dinner with old friends was great, though. The wedding this morning was also lovely. One of the lovelier weddings I’ve attended, I think. Which, given my general sentiments about these affairs, is saying a fair bit. Of course, good four-part congregational singing is always bound to warm my Mennonite heart and we got to sing a number of pieces.
Jared, incidentally, gave Erin and me a delightful book by G. K. Chesterton, Manalive, when we got married. He suggested that it made for good marital advice. I’m looking forward to seeing how Jared is going to apply this in his marriage. And I hope Rebekah is ready for this.
In other news, about twenty minutes from home I was reminded of the fact that I was back in Ithaca, home of winding roads and aggressive/incompetent/insane drivers not from here. I’ve done enough driving in my life to have experienced a fair number of close calls, but I think this was the closest one yet. Some idiot decided to pass a string of four cars in a no-passing zone. Around a curve. With forest on either side. In the dark. So I come around this curve and suddenly see someone in my lane coming from the front. Worse, he can’t move back to his lane because he isn’t even quite caught up to the front car of the pack that he is trying to pass, let along far enough past it to be able to swerve back into his lane. I figure a head-on collision with both of us going around 60 mph is the worst possible choice, so I swerve to the right. Fortunately the paved shoulder was just wide enough so that I didn’t have to hit the trees. Anyway, I’m now rather thankful to be home alive.