The Journey

I haven’t mentioned this before, but my mother and stepfather have been in poor health.  My mother has dementia, COPD, and kidney disease.  She requires 24/7 care as her dementia makes her quite confused on occasion.  On one of my last visits with her at her home in Wise, VA, she made a full breakfast of fried eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon and jam and woke us all up.  It was delicious.  The only problem was it was 3:00 in the morning.  Mother was getting her medicines mixed up and she even had a fall and broke her wrist.  Due to these and many other examples, my siblings and I found an assisted living facility to help care for her.  She has been a resident at Mount Pleasant House in Mount Pleasant, NC since last winter.  My mother seems to love it there and we are very glad that we can have her so much closer to us so we can help with her care. 


Our stepfather is 85 years old he has been in the hospital in Wise.  Mother’s health has been stable lately and since she was having a good week we took her to Virginia to visit her husband.  She was so happy to see him and all his children.  I believe that our stepfather was also very happy to have her come for the visit and was a good dose of positive medicine.

I know that many of us in my age group have either already lost our parents or may be in the same situations helping to care for them.  Dementia has been so hard for me to deal with.  Whether it is your body that gives out first, your mind, or your mind and body together, it is a very hard load to carry.  It is hard not only on the individual but on the extended family as well.   We are taking it one day at a time and I find comfort in knowing that my parents are saved and they will be dancing with the Lord whenever he chooses to call them home.  I also find comfort knowing that God will also help us as we continue to love them and care for them while they are here on the earth with us.

The trip to VA is only 5 hours from Mount Pleasant but my mother’s doctor gave strict instructions that we must stop often.  We adhered to those guidelines and stopped many times and also found 2 wonderful places for lunch. 

First came our Saturday adventure.  We stopped in Wytheville at Key Ingredients at the Fort Chiswell Mansion.  This gem is right off I81/I77.  Saturday was my day to find the restaurant and Urban Spoon pointed me in Key’s way. 


the mansion

 the mansion

This mansion was built originally in 1840 and was the home of a family that owned a lead mine in the area.  My sister pointed out that it made sense that there was a lead mine there because just a little further down the road was the Shot Tower on the New River.  This is where they dropped molten lead into the cold river to make the shots that were used in the Civil War.

Mother and Rosa


Our server was very attentive to our needs and the mansion was really interesting.  The food was delicious. 

Here’s my veggie wrap and pasta salad. 

Veggie Wrap

Very, very yummy.  It was piping hot and there wasn’t a sauce on it that I could tell.  The veggies burst with flavor! 

Mother got the pulled pork sandwich and coleslaw.  She loved it and Rosa said it was good too but I didn’t take a taste.

Pulled Pork

Rosa got a salad and a crab cake.  She said it was very delicious and I agree.  I love crab cakes and this one was one of the very best I have ever tasted.

Salad and Crab Cake

Mother and I have a huge sweet tooth so we couldn’t pass up dessert.  Key offers creamery ice cream. Here’s my Lemon Crunch.

Lemon Crunch

Rosa got Peach, and Mother got Black Raspberry.  We all tasted each other’s but the one that we chose was our individual favorites. 

If your travels take you near Wytheville and you want a very relaxing, beautiful, and tasty lunch, you’ve just got to give Key Ingredients a try. 

the dining room

 I’m giving Key 4.5 fat cucumbers out of 5! 

Complimentary Cukes

On Saturday for dinner we stopped at a Pound, VA iconic drive-in.  Robo’s is famous for their foot long chili dogs.  All 3 of us got one.  Yes, even me.  You can’t go to Robo’s without getting a hotdog.  



Check out Rosa’s new hybrid Camry.  We really were traveling in style!

Rosa's new Camry 

This weekend was the Bristol Speedway race weekend so we had to travel about 9 more miles away to the little town of Clintwood to find a hotel.  A brand new Sleep Inn had a vacancy and was a wonderful place to rest our heads.  

Look at what was right across from our hotel. 

Dickenson County HS

That’s the Dickenson County Memorial and Industrial High School.  It is always so cool to see my maiden name when we come to this neck of the woods. 

For lunch on Sunday it was Rosa’s turn to pick the restaurant.  She came up with Harvest Table also located right off I81 in Meadowview, VA.  This awesome place was the 1st place winner in the Southwest VA farm to table category. 

Harvest Table

 Harvest Table is surely #1.  Every single thing about this place was perfect.

me and Mother

We had called ahead to make sure it was handicap accessible but what was so neat was that they met us at the side door for easy wheelchair entry.

The oven

the kitchen

The place was bustling and our server informed us that on Sunday at brunch, they offer all of their best dishes.  She assured us that we’d love whatever we chose.

Harvest Table Sunday Brunch menu

Mother got chicken salad and she loved it!

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I got this doosey of an omelette.  Wowzer!  So delicious!  It had shiitake mushrooms (the healthiest of all), caramelized onions, and  goat cheese. 


 Rosa’s entrée was the best!  A Trout Cake Benedict.!  This was so good. 

Trout Cake Benedict

Next came dessert.  Mother got the mocha fudge cake and I got the oatmeal cake.


Rosa was just going to share with us and that would have been fine.  However, when Mother pushed her chocolate cake to the side and started in on my oatmeal cake and then Rosa started in on mine as well, we waved to the server and proceeded to order a 2nd piece of the oatmeal.  We loved the first piece so much but when the 2nd piece come out it was obviously from a new cake that had just come out of the oven.  Man was it good!

Chocolate Mocha and Oatmeal Cake

Now don’t get me wrong.  That chocolate cake was delicious but one bite of the oatmeal and you were in heaven.  

Mother and Rosa at Harvest Table

I have to give Harvest Table 5 farm to table fascinations out of 5.  It is truly top notch!

I used to be a huge Nicholas Sparks fan and I read his book, Three Weeks with My Brother quite some time ago.  New York Daily News describes the book as a healing journey that will remind us to live life to the fullest. I remember that as the 2 brothers were planning a 3 week trip together, Nicholas was finding himself too busy and wasn’t at all interested in the details of the trip.  His brother said to him, “You’re missing it you know,” and that one statement has stayed with me ever since.  I’m a planner.  I love to search out memorable things to do and dream of upcoming trips.  I find a lot of joy just in the anticipation.  I also love making memories!  We didn’t head to Virginia on the happiest of occasions and the trip had its share of stressful moments.  However, what I will remember is the fun that we shared and the love along the journey.

May your journeys be filled with peace, love, and happiness always.

Pilot Mountain

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