Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 62

There's something calming about a large, still body of water that rests the
soul and eases the eyes. The gentle movement of water seems to draw air into
the lungs, pumping life into everything lucky enough to be around. The trill
of birds and rustle of fox carry across the water, as does the laughter of
people across the way enjoying a good meal with friends outdoors.
lings stays in an assisted living home in Roanoke, not
far away.
"Our mother would probably be surprised at how
well we all get along now, considering the fighting
and kicking and screaming we did when we were
growing up," Brown says with a laugh. "Family means
more to me now than it did then."
Her sister and husband moved to Smith Mountain
Lake first, opening up Bedford Landings, one of the
few fly-in bed and breakfast inns in the country that
cater to pilots and their families. Brown and Crawford,
living in Florida at the time, were so impressed with
the beauty and tranquility of the lake that they bought
a lot there too, eight years ago.
Smith Mountain Lake, the second-largest freshwater lake in the state, was created in the 1960s by the
damming of the Roanoke River at a gap in Smith
Mountain. The lake and smaller Leesville Lake, a companion hydroelectric project created and run by
Appalachian Power, have 600 miles of shoreline along
a seemingly infinite number of coves and fingers.
Brown and Crawfords' recently completed house
is about a half hour drive from her sister's inn, but it's
only about five minutes over the water. Not that Brown
or her sister has a boat.
"One day we'll have to get a skiff," Brown says.
"When we're visiting back and forth, we look at each
other's houses and say we could almost swim there."
Brown's move to the lake marks her return to the
area - she and her two siblings went to high school in
Blacksburg, Va., where their father taught at Virginia
Tech. Building a home at the lake felt like coming
home, she says. That's the way she and her husband
feel every time they return from their apartment in
Florida, where Crawford practices law.
"When we come down the driveway by the lake,
it's an amazing feeling of being back home," says
Brown, who recently wrapped up a 39-year career as
an elementary school principal. "We know everything
about that house, every nail, every piece of lumber."
That's because they built the two-level house over
the Internet. Florida being too far away to come up
often, they communicated with their builder in large
part by email, swapping photos and paint swatches.
And they've been delighted with what they ended up
with - a comfortable 2,200-square-foot, four-bed62 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

room, three-bath house that has nearly all they need
on the main floor.
The house is simple in design, with ample room for
entertaining, something Brown and Crawford love to
do. The front door opens onto the great room, a large,
naturally lighted space that encompasses the kitchen
and dining areas, as well as a rock fireplace. Large,
round-topped windows and double doors that lead to
the deck permit excellent views of the lake from the
curved sectional sofa that partitions off a section of the
room. A screened porch makes for lovely evenings
outside when it's warm. Downstairs is a large family
room with kitchenette and bar. The office is down
there, and there's a covered patio with hammock and
heater that makes a great place to watch rain ripple the
waters. The dock has an elevated viewing platform that
puts the natural features of the cove in high relief.
"Not that we have a boat or Jet Skis or anything,"
Brown says. "But we have a house and a dream." They
plan to move to Smith Mountain Lake full-time "as
soon as John decides he doesn't like to work anymore,"
his wife says. He could work at the lake, Skyping clients in Florida and Georgia in the office. He works
remotely now, so it wouldn't be that big of a change.
If nothing else, working at the lake would be much
more relaxing than working in Florida, Brown says.
"The mountains, the water, the community - I
find that when you move back into a small community
how important relationships and the friends that you
make are and how deeply you treasure those times with
people," Brown says. "We are so digitally involved now
- and I'm as bad as anyone - that it's fun to put all of
that down to have dinner and a glass of wine and look
out over the lake and enjoy relationships with people
again."
Lakefront living does that, she notes. There's something calming about a large, still body of water that
rests the soul and eases the eyes. The gentle movement
of water seems to draw air into the lungs, pumping life
into everything lucky enough to be around. The trill
of birds and rustle of fox carry across the water, as does
the laughter of people across the way enjoying a good
meal with friends outdoors. There's something about
lakeside living that makes people want to connect.
"I think that it's the calm that the water brings,"
Brown says. 


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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Table of Contents
Print to Mobile
From the Editor
From the Farm
Festivals & Events
The Hike
Creature Feature
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Potomac Highlands Adventures
Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Saving Mabry Mill
Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Signature Mountain Dishes
Waterfront Living
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Print to Mobile
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Potomac Highlands Adventures
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Saving Mabry Mill
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Signature Mountain Dishes
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Waterfront Living
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 80
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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