Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Down Round House Road…

Did you ever see a street sign that just piqued your interest? Where does it lead? What hidden treasures can be found just by taking it?

I have driven past this sign many times over the past 6 months or so and wondered to myself, “Now WHY would they name that ROUND HOUSE road?  Could there be? Would there be? A round house somewhere?”

This time I didn’t pass by.

I bravely turned my van Moby and rumbled across a fairly narrow concrete bridge, and made a left hand turn onto a gravel road that seemed to run along the river.

It was the best choice I could have made that day.  Sometimes we can be swallowed up by routines and to-do lists that drown out the possibility of discovery.

I gave up the deadlines for discovery and I’m so glad I did!


The New River runs wide in this spot.

And previously I had only seen it from the “OTHER” side, from the main road with only intermittent glimpses through the trees as I drove.  Yesterday I stood here and listened to birds, to crickets and locusts.  Just lovely.


Further up the bank, alone and empty.

Oh, this place has stories.  I just know it does.


I love how it is half dug into the side of the hill.

This front porch overlooks the wide spot in the river. I can imagine the mornings spent on this porch, sipping a hot mug of coffee and just keeping watch.

Wanting to travel more, I slowly drove up the long and winding dirt road, windows down, breeze in my hair, just seeing what I could see.


I heard it before I saw it as I began to climb.

No one was coming or going so I just parked on the road and got out to appreciate this beautiful wilderness. Still no round house yet, though!


Some great old barns and lovely old trees.

Could the sunlight be more perfect?


An old mountain top beauty, hidden away out here.

But it’s not quite round either.


But oh, what a view from this spot!

The goldenrod lets us know that autumn is surely on its way.


And then I see it!  This has to be it!

I had actually passed it when first coming up the road because my eyes were on the river, not on higher ground.  Holy wonder of wonders, what is the story of this place?


Coming around to the front.  Look at those windows!


Oh, there must be a story.

Not really round, more octagonal, but I can see where Octagonal House Road just does not have the same ring to it.

There were more stops and photos on the way home, but I couldn’t wait to get to my desktop to google this.  And guess what I found?


This is it.  And here they are.

During the last part of the 19th Century, there was a brief fad of building round (really octagonal) houses.  Evidently they were quite popular here in the USA including the Appalachian Mountains.

Dan Idol built this "Round House" in 1874, very close to the New River in Mouth of Wilson, VA.
According to several sources, the house was completely submerged with only the very top of the chimney still visible above the water in the great floods of  both 1916 and 1940.

The river may be beautiful, but perhaps they should have chosen higher ground when looking for a site to build?

The house has been abandoned for many years and is in terrible shape. Besides being vandalized over and over, time and the elements have not been kind to it.  Who knows how much longer it can stand?

So glad I was able to capture it before it is gone forever!

I love to stand and envision myself in the house in the time when it was busy and active and full of life.  Can I hear the voices and laughter?  I’m sorry that it has come to this stage of decay, but I have a hunch some very happy memories were made here.  It has heart.


My view last night!

The string snowball and nine patch center is DONE!  Here I am putting in the last seam while watching “I am Sam!” on Netflix.  This one makes me cry every time.  What a fabulous movie.  If you haven’t seen it, please do – but just know that you will stop sewing and spend more time watching.  Such a feel good!


Today’s index card is full.

I start my busy “work at home” days with a blank card and add to it and cross things off through my day.  It’s the only way I can stay on track.  You can see that #1 is happening later because I just couldn’t sleep last night, which meant I slept too late this morning, and the cycle will likely continue.  Stress does this to me.  But keeping busy also helps.

The things above the line are MUST HAPPEN TODAY items.  The other two can fill in the blanks if there is time, or they will be moved to the top of tomorrow’s card.

I know there are more techy ways to do this, but this card is something I can hold in my hand.  Writing the words down by hand gets them in order in my brain. 

It’s a busy index card day!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Easy words to say, sometimes harder words to do, but we keep at it!  Mark has 4 more bouts of radiation and chemo as of today.  We are counting down.

And I just noticed that I took this photo without knowing the price tag was still visible – just above my signature line.  Funny!

Some days you just go around with your price tag hanging out!

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

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  1. Like Minnie Pearl's hat! LOL
    I live in an octagon house (actually a dome, but the footprint is an octagon). I always thought the odd shaped rooms were more of a modern phenomenon, so this was fascinating to me. I wonder how they dealt with the issues the odd room shapes create?

  2. πŸ‘πŸ», Janet O.--My first thought was also of Minnie Pearl's hat! I guess I am showing my age πŸ˜‰ And she was a great person, so nothing to be ashamed of. Thanks so much for yesterday's block tutorial. Got my China visa back last week (finally). Getting SO excited for this trip!

  3. Yup, first thing I thought of was Minnie Pearl. There is an old octagon house in south east Michigan that is 4 stories with the top being like a widows walk. Every year locals trade stories about it being haunted. Love the pink Atlas.

  4. Just the trip I needed today ~ ~ thank you for tucking me in the van with you:) It was a wonderful drive and moment of "storying" ~ ~ Oh, there's always a story and I love to imagine what they might be.

    Wishing you unexpected moments of peace and quietude.

  5. Prayers for Mark and all his family while they move forward on this journey. Sending you hugs Bonnie as we know how hard it is to be a bystander in all of this but the strength of your love will a valuable part of his recovery.

  6. That beautiful countryside is a balm for the soul, so glad you took some time for you to explore it :) that house looks fascinating what a shame it's in that state now but thank you for sharing it & the other interesting sights on your explore! Yup I'm a fan of old school physical lists too, which has the rest of my family shaking their techs minded heads at me, but each to their own I say lol! Today (in an effort to calm stress levels so not to have a label hanging out week!) I'm taking a little sewing time. I just managed to get my hands on an essential triangle tool here in the U.K. (can't afford international postage) and I'm making scrappy hour glass blocks - oh my word!!!! It is fantastic!!!!! Really love how I just need to cut one size of strips for these & for the four patch blocks that go with them :) huge big thank you's for this tool which I think will become one of my most used rulers!! Have a great day! Helen in Scotland

  7. There are 2 round houses made of stacked rocks on the road leading to my mother-in-laws house in Adel, Ga. Like you I always stop to look at them and wonder about the story. I heard that one was the parents house, the other a son. But never heard the story about why they are round or stacked rock. They are quite interesting. Thanks for taking the time to look for the story of your house. I enjoyed it. And like you, have lots of stress so I also needed the peace.

  8. I find it comforting that with all the technology at your fingertips, you still use index cards to keep the daily roster. I use scratch paper, but I am happy that I am in such great company. May your index card be completed before your day is through! Happy quilting.

  9. Oh thank you for sharing the round house. I love antiques and old homes and their stories. I wonder when was the last time someone lived in it. It's a cool old house. I love the other house that you posted too. :)

  10. Thank you Bonnie for taking us on this beautiful journey. I often did trips like this when we lived in San Jose Ca many many years ago. They were always calming. Love the idea of an index card. I try to use a planner, that doesn't always work, going to try this method. Prayers for your brother, sending hugs and love.

  11. Isn't it wonderful when you take the road less traveled and find such beauty. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  12. Your curiosity is enthralling, wonderful, and refreshing. Thank-you so much for taking us all with you. Such great stories. . .

  13. Anonymous2:22 PM EDT

    God bless mark forces strength and perserverance may the Light continue to be with him, his family, and all involved in his care, as well as you, Dear One!

  14. Bonnie, thank you so much for showing and telling your "daily planner" index card. Digital lists are okay for longer deadlines or main goals, but not handy or tactile enough for me for the day-to-day to do list. And with everything on it, the "overwhelmingness" stops me. I have wondered how you keep on task with so many things on your list. I am going to try you 3x5 card method. Looks simple enough for me.

  15. You sound so much better this morning than you did Sunday! My heart was aching for you. I'm glad you were able to take some time to restore your soul and feed yourself. We all need that!
    Thanks for the info on the Round House. Would love to see it.
    Blessings on your brother Mark and his family. Your support means a lot to him!

  16. Sad that so many places just become abandoned. I'm happy you took the path and satisfied your curiosity. Surprising you could use google to find the "round" house as it was so many years ago. Two new kitties coming to my home on Saturday. Hope you have opportunity to meet Kosmo and Katastrophy one day. =^.^= Sandi

  17. What a cool story. It is good to take the road less travelled! Thanks for sharing. I wish the best for your brother and all your family. Tough time for everyone.

    I had to laugh about the price tag. I call it a "Minnie Pearl" quilt!

  18. The house is cool and it looks like you had a nice little adventure. Sometimes you just have to go off your route and see what's there! And as to your index cards, I'm a paper planner kind of girl, too. I need to write that list, cross things off and doodle on the page, keeping it all in my phone just doesn't work for me. And sometimes I wait to add things to the list until they are done so that I know I have something to cross off!!

  19. My grandfather used to say "run to the roundhouse, Grandma! He can't corner you there."

  20. I tried the high tech options for my To Do List and they just weren't helpful. Writing out my list helps my brain remember things better. Plus, deleting with a keystroke some finished item is never as satisfying as looking at a chore with a line through it marking it DONE.

  21. And you're going to get ALL OF THAT done in one day????? You're better than me, I'd be lucky to get a third of it done.

    And thanks for the drive and exploring. I love old and being built houses. Neat Bonnie.

    Barby MH

  22. I'm an index carder, too--mostly for grocery lists, things like that. I read recently that it's much better to take notes by hand rather than to type them or use some digital form of note-taking, that the act of writing them down helps one remember the content. So you are not old school, you're cutting edge. :)

    It's so hard to be the support system, when you can't control anything, can't change anything, can only love. But you are perfectly suited to that role, right? No doctor or nurse can be you, can give what you can, can allow the space for Mark to relate to you in the way that is familiar to you two. So, you can do this. You know it by heart.

  23. I had pads that were headed: The 5 most important things to do today! Limiting you to at least five but a few more lines too. It made you focus on your priorities and I have encouraged others to try writing done tasks as well. Your carry cards with the line are great to add more along the way.

  24. You are awesome! We are so fortunate to be sharing your journey!

  25. Loved reading about your little trip to see the round house. My husband also asks why I take different roads to get places and it's because I expect an adventure. And I quite often find them. I use scratch pads daily for my chores and today mine is to finish long arming a quilt. Floors need swept, trash to go out and binding on two quilts. Will I get it all done ? I sure hope so.

  26. Thank you for sharing your little adventure. I'm now adding this to my bucket list of things to see.

  27. Such a lovely post, Bonnie. So enjoyed reading and viewing this morning.

  28. cannot resist adding my thanks for taking and sharing the adventure... makes me glad to know you know how to just breathe! Am picking up "En Provence" from the long armer this a.. which displays progress of a sort... now, in order to move along, i must decide on binding fabric!!! No more procrastinating... as always, love and prayers for Mark and all y'all... thank you for what you do and your contribution to my life. Love, Cats

  29. Thank you Bonnie for sharing your adventure. The pictures are gorgeous I really enjoyed them all.
    I did not know about the flood. I was raised in The Netherlands. Love History and like you adventure.
    What a gorgeous area stunning pictures we do not have anything like it here at the beaches in FL.
    Thank you so much.
    Happy Quilting,
    Yoka Bazilewich

  30. I think that is the best feature of the GPS. You can just take the turn, that looks interesting and when you want to go home or where you were supposed to go, put the destination in and be on your way.

  31. I very much enjoy reading your posts and this morning, you 'Rounds House' road post was another great way to start my day. I love how you share your trials and tribulations along with all the joys. Please know that you are loved and admired by more folks than you will ever know. You reinforce the fact that we are all human and have to keep traveling down the road we are on. Keep being wonderful you and sharing your life with us. Now, I am off to pin another 'Lozenges' quilt. This is my favorite L-E go-to quilt and although this will be my #2 finish, I have 2 more in progress. Thanks again for ALL you do! Also, sending good thoughts for Mark! Quilty Hugs!

  32. Did you see this directory of where there are or were octagonal houses:

    You might find more in your many travels!

  33. Bonnie, I love that you do real stuff. I would totally have done that, I love just turning down a road and seeing where it goes. You unearthed a (sunken) treasure and thanks for the story and all!

  34. The couple on the porch in the old photo (my sister has the original) are my great-grandparents, Thomas and Jeanette (Murray) Duncan. The younger of the two girls is my Grandmother Mattie Duncan Cox. Tom & Jeanette purchased the house in 1892. My dad lived there as a child as did I. We left there in 1961. Appalachian Power Co bought the house by eminent domain because they were going to build a hydroelectric power dam and flood the valley. That project was stopped when the North Carolina portion of the New River was made a National Scenic River as part of the National Park System. I have happy memories of Mouth of Wilson and the round house. Duncan Cox

  35. I like your index card idea. I write my to do list in a notebook I keep beside my bed. I find I need to get everything down on paper before I go to bed, otherwise I lie awake thinking off all the things I have to do tomorrow.

  36. Lol, speaking of price tags... Google Minnie Pearl.... a comedian and singer; she wore a price tag on her hat while on stage.
    So wonderful to have time to sit and listen to nature... glad you had time to enjoy it.


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