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Homesteaders of America in Virginia  …it takes a Community!

As dreams grow, the coordination of “pieces” intensifies!  And a dream was realized the weekend of October 7th and 8th in Front Royal, VA.

We participated in the Homesteaders of America weekend and it was a fantastic couple of days!  Sometimes, making these events come to fruition is nothing short of a miracle and a whole heap of coordination.

Huge thank you to Jill Wolfe who kept us all informed about changes, made the maps, schedules and hotel reservations.  She and her husband drove up from GA.

Miranda, our Community Director, started her travels Wednesday evening with an all-nighter flight to Dulles airport in D.C. so she could meet us early in the day on Thursday.  She wins the award for bravery and courage!  Coming from a very rural hometown in Idaho, she was given a rental vehicle, the equivalent of a tiny clown-car,  and she braved the horrendous traffic of D.C., all on very little sleep during a flight to meet us at 1pm!

June, our newest member to the Executive Staff, self-acclaimed “night owl”, drove from Ohio in the early morning hours.  It is safe to say, much coffee was consumed to make this feat happen!

Trina, a former Executive Staff member, fully cognizant of the work and craziness of these events, willingly gave of her time to come and help us out at the booth.  Even a vehicle break down on the side of the road could not dissuade her from spending time with all of us.

And I hustled across the country from Montana to PA, unloaded the car and played with the grandkids before repacking and heading to VA, with Piper, my travel buddy (dog) in tow.

We all converged at the Luray Caverns before heading to the hotel for the evening.  Thoroughly exhausted from all the travel, we all fell asleep….even our night owls!

Next morning, after a less than sumptuous breakfast, we headed in the dark toward the Homesteaders of America expo at the Fairgrounds.  The sun was barely peeking over the edges of the Shenandoah Mountain as we unloaded and headed to our booth.  Procured and carefully carried cups of coffee were handed to Miranda and June.  Then we all hustled about trying to get everything set up.

The excitement for the next two days filled the air as exhibitors stuffed shelves with goods and information in the anticipation of a very successful and profitable show.  Attendees began to fill the aisles, smiles and excited hellos as they headed to the morning main event. A few of us quickly ran up to the big barn which was filled to capacity.  We missed the first of the opening announcements but we didn’t miss the collective singing of…

“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh,say does that star-bangled banner yet wave,

O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

A soul stirring, heart filling reminder of the blessing we share in our right to pursue the homesteading lifestyle and self-sustainability.  It is a freedom I don’t take lightly. This very freedom allows the mission of the National Ladies Homestead Gathering  (to share knowledge, build community, and grow friendships) to move forward into counties all across America, bringing hope and encouragement to those women looking for like-minded Community.

And you know what?  As the big barn emptied of all the eager guests looking for homesteading answers, our booth space began to fill up with women from all over the country, looking for encouragement  and support as they traveled their homesteading journey….

…the beginning of a fantastic time in Front Royal, VA!

Cyndi Ball
Founder and Executive Director

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