My wife and I had a bit of bad luck. When we moved to Virginia about three years ago, the real estate market was still high, and we had to pay through the nose for our current house. Values have plummeted, we’re a lot poorer than we used to be, and we concluded we would do better to take our losses on this particular real estate deal and move on.
Happily, we have found a new place. We’re moving to a smaller, but much older, house. The good news is that we are leaving six acres and moving to 131 acres, and the new place is a lot cheaper. You go through some stone gates and drive a few hundred yards before you even see the house. Karen was over at the new farm the other day, getting the invisible dog fencing installed, and along came the Old Dominion Hounds, hunting across our new property. (We know them and have been out with them on joint meets before).
Old Dominion descends from a private pack which used to be called Mr. Larrabee’s Hounds. Their button bears a griffin because they used to hold opening meets at the Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill. Mr. Larrabee founded his hunt back in 1924, at which time there was a shortage of foxes down in Fauquier County. So Mr. Larrabee imported a male European red deer, and proceeded (in the English fashion) to hunt the carted stag. I’ve run into old people who could remember the stag and the pack of hounds trotting home to kennels, companionably together, down the dirt roads after a day of hunting. Old Dominion’s country today includes the former territory of the Cobbler Hunt, whose MFH before WWII was George S. Patton, Jr. Our basset pack hunts the same territory. Appropriately for a skeptical person like myself, I will be moving to a town called Hume. We are still marveling at having moved so recently to Virginia, and finding ourselves not only hunt members but owners of a fixture. We’ll get to serve port and ham biscuits to the Old Dominion crowd when they meet at our place.
I have already concluded that Confederate forces could very possibly have bivouacked on our place on the way to the Second Battle of Manassas. I look forward to bringing in the metal detecting crowd. I’ll be a short distance from the Rappahannock (the shad and striped bass run into the river in the Spring) and there are brook trout in the upper reaches of the Rapidan. We may be in an economic depression and living in Obamistan, but things could be worse.