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Lovettsville Blog: Keeping Lovettsville beautiful

Thanks to Keep Loudoun Beautiful, some community-minded residents and enthusiastic town leadership, folks driving in and out of town may notice a lot less litter along the road than there was a couple weeks ago.

Valentines’ Day Greetings from Eastern Loudoun

Our valentines: This is an open love letter to the valiant staff of the Intensive Care Unit at the Lansdowne campus of Loudoun Hospital. For the 10 days before I wrote this column, a member of my extended family was fighting for her life with their expert assistance and support.

On the front lines of the battle at her bedside was a group of highly-skilled nurses, including Zack, Lennis, Bernie, Lorrie, Kathy, Heather and Amy. I sincerely apologize to those whose names do not appear here; I tried to keep a complete list but often was sidetracked by developing events.

In addition to these round-the-clock nurses, countless clinic technicians, respiratory technicians, doctors and other staff members were on the case. It was clear to see that all of them love their work and their patients. In the event that you or someone you love ever have a need for a hospital’s intensive care, this is a very good place to be.

One of the most amazing things to me was the way the nurses were able to keep a constant eye on their patients, the patients’ many vital sign monitors and the patients’ family members. With complicated medical interventions underway, the nurses knew just the right things to say to family members, the best way to say them and the perfect time for these conversations. In this high stress situation, those talks were almost as critical as the high tech medicine at work.

One more hero: In my last visit to the ICU waiting room, I met a gentleman from Loudoun who had memories of the county dating back to the 1930s. He told me that this winter’s big snowstorms reminded him of Loudoun’s weather in the 1940s.

In the course of our conversation, I learned a great deal about the county in the days before integration. At that time, African-American children walked miles to be educated, well beyond the schools near their neighborhoods, because the closer schools had been designated for use by white children only. Once in their classrooms, the youngsters were warmed by the heat from a wood-burning stove. The older students chopped the wood for the stove themselves. The younger students were seated closest to the stove to make sure that they stayed as warm as possible throughout the school day.

Our discussion was enhanced from time to time by comments from the members of his extended family sitting nearby. Some had come from as far as southern Maryland to be with him as he waited for word on his wife’s condition. It was obvious from the conversation that this was a large, loving and warm family. I was very fortunate to spend some time with them. I will be thinking of all of them on Valentines’ Day.

Lyme Forum, Free H1N1 Shots, Fibert Art, Reading Together, Sew Along

Lyme forum: Members of Girl Scout Troop 952 of the CountrySide/Cascades area have been working diligently in recent months to spread the word on Lyme disease. Potomac Falls High School seniors and CountrySide residents Megan Garrett and Anna Humpton kicked off the troop’s Lyme disease effort with an information program developed as part of their efforts to earn a Gold Award, the highest Girl Scout honor. Nikki Dillistin, a senior at Potomac Falls High School and a Cascades resident, is continuing to move the information project forward by helping to organize the ALL (Alerting Loudoun to Lyme) forum on Feb. 5. Dillistin is also working to earn a Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Alerting Loudoun to Lyme forum features information booths and speakers including Dr. David Goodfriend, Director of the Loudoun County Health Department; Monte Skall, Executive Director of the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association; Dr. Deanna Mitchell, D.V.M., the senior veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center of Cascades; Dr. Sarah Fletcher, a family physician, and Supervisor Andrea McGimsey of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The forum takes place at Potomac Falls High School. The information booths open at 6 p.m.; the speakers’ presentations begin at 7 p.m. For more information, call 571-434-9658 or send email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Free H1N1 shots: The Loudoun County Health Department is providing free H1N1 vaccinations at a satellite clinic at Dulles Town Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m. No appointment is necessary. The clinic is located on the mall’s upper level, next to Lane Bryant, in the Nordstrom wing. To keep up with additions to the clinic’s schedule or any other new flu-related information, check the Health Department’s online flu page at http://www.loudoun.gov/flu. For more information, call 703-771-5512.

Fiber art: Quilts and other fiber art created by the members of the CountrySide Quilters will be on display at the new Town Hall Art Gallery in Leesburg from First Friday, Feb. 5, through the end of April. The quilters were invited to display their work by the Commission on Public Art as part of MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts, a statewide tribute to female artists in Virginia. CountrySide Quilter Anne Geiger, the curator of the exhibit, served as the project’s liaison with the Leesburg Town Council and worked with volunteers from the quilters’ group to catalog and hang the exhibit. For more information, call 703-409-9893.

Reading together: The Book Club of the CountrySide Women’s Club meets Monday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. at the Panera Café in Lansdowne to discuss “Knit Two” by Kate Jacobs. New members are welcome to attend. For information, call 703-858-1679.

Sew along: The Stitchin’ Ladies group of the CountrySide Women’s Club meets at Marla Brenner’s home on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m. This is the place to finish that last-minute Valentine’s Day project. Expert needlewomen will be available to offer advice and solutions. For information or to R.S.V.P., call 571-434-0667.

Magic Buses, Quilters’ Bus, Chinese Warriors, Neighborhood Watch

Magic buses: The weekend bus route that connects Dulles Town Center, Dulles Airport and the Udvar Hazy Air & Space Museum may be one of the best kept budget-friendly secrets on this side of Loudoun County. A one-way trip on the Dulles 2 Dulles route is priced at 50 cents; the $1.00 per person roundtrip fare is much less than the parking fee at the airport or the museum (or the cab fare from the mall to the airport). The bus departs from the mall door between Macy’s and Lord & Taylor at Dulles Town Center and from Curb 2E in front of Dulles airport. On weekdays, the buses also stop at the Dulles Crossing shopping center, Wegmans and other local businesses. For more information, call 877-777-2708.

A DC to Dulles bus route, the 5A, connects Dulles Airport with the Rosslyn and L’Enfant Plaza metro stations. The trip takes about 60 minutes and costs $3.10. Exact change or a Metro fare care is required. For information, call 202-637-7000 or go online to http://www.metroopensdoors.com.

Quilters’ bus: Tickets are now on sale for the CountrySide Quilters’ annual bus trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA. The day trip takes place on Saturday, Feb. 27. The bus departs at 6:30 a.m. from the parking lot of the Community Lutheran Church in Cascades.

According to CountrySide Quilters President Kathy Trzeciak of Ashburn, the early departure time was selected to ensure that the bus arrives in Hampton as close as possible to the time the Quilt Festival opens. The bus will leave Hampton around 6 p.m. when the show closes and is expected to arrive back in Cascades in the late evening.

Trzeciak recommends that bus riders pack a morning and evening snack or meal; lunch will be available at the quilt show. The biggest benefit of the bus trip, she says, is that no one has to drive home from Hampton exhausted after a long day at the show. In addition, she points out, the camaraderie is terrific. Everyone on the bus shares a common interest, which leads to some interesting conversations.

The bus trip is priced at $58 per person. An admission ticket to the quilt show is included in the cost.

Trip tickets will be on sale at the CountrySide Quilters’ next meeting, a business session and sit’n’sew on Tuesday, Feb. 2, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Lutheran Church in Cascades. For more information, call 703-409-9893.

The Chinese warriors: The Day Trippers group of the CountrySide Women’s Club heads to the National Geographic building in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 28, to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit. The trip was made possible by some diligent advance planning on the part of Women’s Club members Lisa Dieffenbach and Rose Baugh. The extremely popular exhibit requires a firm attendance commitment to be made at least month in advance. Car pools will meet at Great Falls Plaza and Lansdowne. For more information, call 703-771-2290.

Neighborhood watch: The Loudoun County Sheriff’s office presents an “Introduction to Neighborhood Watch” session on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Lowes Island Elementary School library. The session will cover crime psychology, prevention techniques, starting a Neighborhood Watch program and more. The Neighborhood Watch managers from the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit will be on hand to answer questions.

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