Winchester, VA suffers major storm damage after powerful storm Friday

Winchester, VA was hit by a severe storm Friday evening.  High winds and driving rains combined to knock out power throughout the area.  The storm started close to 10:00 PM with violent winds that literally shook our house.  It felt a lot like the tornado winds I experienced in Tulsa, OK.

The city of Winchester looked a lot like a war zone today.  The trees down in the city made it was difficult to navigate portions of the area.  The two local power companies have been working around the clock to restore power.  Shenandoah Valley Cooperative announced today that some areas of the Winchester / Frederick County area may not see electricity for two to three days.

Comcast and Verizon both lost feeds throughout the area.  My Comcast Internet and TV feed was restored at approximately 8:00 pm this evening, nearly 24 hours after the storm.  Many major retailers were forced to stay closed today due to the power outages.

This was one for the local record books.  It moved through very quickly and left destruction in its wake, but the local folks are resilient.  Today, neighbors were out helping each other clear broken limbs and fallen trees from their properties.  People are sharing resources, and in no time you won’t even know that anything happened.

You will be my . . . for life!

I love those few simple words, “You will be my . . . . for life!”  In my case, that could be Realtor or contractor.  Yesterday, it was contractor.  A very distressed client called with an electrical need.  He is an out of the area homeowner, and his tenant had no electricity on 50% of their second floor.

He had called another contractor first (from the Yellow Pages), and the estimate the guySurprised man gave him was stunning.  To look at the problem and assess it was $75 to show up and $500 to assess it.  When the client called and explained his previous estimate, I laughed.  It sounded a lot like someone was trying to get a few bucks for his next vacation.

We dropped in yesterday morning, and in 60 minutes we had everything working and we were on our way for $147.00.  When the wife called, she said, “So how much is the bill going to be?”  I asked what the previous estimate was and she told me.  Silence.  (I love a little suspense.)  I said, “Well, (silence) it’s not that much.”  When I told her, she burst into laughter.  I thought she was going to cry.

They had just had another company in for a repair that cost them in excess of $3000.  It was a $500 repair.  Some contractors love to take advantage of out of the area clients.  They’re easy game.  People need Realtors and contractors they can trust.

If you’re in the need of a reputable contractor for your home, call Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and we’ll share our experience with local contractors.  We work with a lot of talented companies and we only recommend the best.  I love to hear those simple words,“You will be my . . . for life!”

Wine-King Galleries – Artwork with a Soul

If you’re into beautiful unique art, you have come to the right place.  Wine-Jess King - An WineKing Galleries provides some of the most unique and fun art you will encounter.  An Wine and Jess King, co-owners of Wine-King Galleries, provide you with a great array of photography, painting and physical art.

An is a native of Virginia, and Jess is a Las Vegas, New Mexico born artist.  Both ladies are personal friends.  As a matter of fact, I’ve known An since she was 13, and I have watched her art develop and continue to impress since she was in college.  I had the privilege of meeting Jess while she was still in college at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.  I call An and Jess the “daughters I never had,” and like a proud dad, I think they’re amazing.

Both ladies are gifted and talented artists.  Jess dazzles us with her camera
and effects, and An paints, screen prints and creates art out of “stuff.”  When you put the two together you get some of the most entertaining and impressive images you will see.  They have an online presence where their art is displayed and available for purchase.

An has blessed our family with a number of her artworks over the years, and we display them proudly. Take a minute to check out their website and read through their bios.  They have great things for you to see, and they have some pretty good ideas to share.

Wayside Inn – America’s Oldest Continuous Inn – Middletown, VA

The Wayside Inn in Middletown, VA, has the distinction of being known as the oldestWayside Inn, Middletown, VA continuous Inn in the United States (there may be some question about that claim).  When you’re there, you can see why. It still has the flair of an early American Inn.  It opened in 1797 for travelers passing through the Shenandoah Valley, and it is open today for modern day travelers.

A number of years ago, I had five office assistants.  During the Christmas holidays, I gave each one a gift of a night at the Inn along with a wonderful dinner there.  They all raved about the accommodations, and they loved the food.  I also love the food at Wayside.  It’s always very well prepared, unique in its presentation and delicious to the last bite.

The Inn survived the Civil War as both northern and southern troops dropped in for a respite from the stress of battle.  Stonewall Jackson’s valley campaign took place just aWayside Inn, Middletown, VA few miles down Valley Pike from where the Inn is located.

As the Inn entered the age of automobiles, it became known as “America’s First Motor Inn.”  Valley Pike was transformed from a pot-hole pitted dirt road to an asphalt coated highway, and more and more visitors arrived at the Inn.

The Inn is furnished with 100s of antiques throughout, and because of that, it maintains its 18th century charm.  The Inn boasts of several dining areas, and it hosts weddings, receptions and local events.  I often took my fitness studio and church staffs to lunch there.  We all loved it so much that it became a regular stop on our calendar.

If you are passing through the Winchester / Frederick County area, plan to make a stop at the Wayside Inn.  You can feel the history as soon as you walk in the door.  It’s a real piece of Americana.