Posted by: Brian Andrew Davis | July 17, 2009

Legacies and West Virigina


Legacy #1: The Shaws’ Houses
Last weekend (sorry we’re playing catch-up on our visits at this point) Bethany and I stayed with her uncle and aunt–Mike and Carol Shaw.  The house we stayed in was the birthplace (last house listed on the linked website) of American painter William Robinson Leigh–a western style painter who was a colleague of sorts with Rembrandt.  The house is only a few minutes drive from the Potomac river to cross into Maryland, and the whole area has a lot of history.  Mike and Carol stay in this house on the weekend as they are currently working on restoring another amazing house–the George W. Washington House–that is further west in West Virgina, an hour and a half away from where we stayed with them.  They have a beautiful vision and humble understanding of what it means to live in these houses and restore them as they work to preserve these beautiful places for years to come.

IMG_0568The Incomplete Silo Apartment
We also got to walk around and look at a project that one of the previous owners IMG_0563started by did not complete: one of the two grain silos next to the house has been partially converted into a multilevel apartment.  With a basement, four stories, and then a top floor with the beautiful skylight, Bethany and I were intrigued and dreamed about what the space could have been like if the owner had completed it.  To access the other floors, a spiral staircase circled the perimeter inside.  The first floor has a wonderful open area of wall space that goes up four floors.  We thought, “What a neat area to decorate!”  The skylight at the top could also be really cool.  Bethany thought about putting a piece of stained glass over the skylight and I thought about making the area into a library…or a spa.  We thought that if finished it could be a great home for a family with two or three kids–definitely a unique and special place to live and grow up.


Legacy #2: The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
Mike and Carol also took us to a walking / biking path that runs alongside the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal–a trail that runs for 184.5 miles from Washington DC up north into West Virginia.  Apparently there are places to camp alongside and people will bike the entire way!  (we want to do it!)  The canal used to be used for shipping goods on long narrow shipping vessels.  Uncle Mike showed us one of the locks and explained how the water level was changed inside to allow safe passage.  A lock-man lived in a house nearby the lock and had to come out at whatever time a boat came through to operate the lock.  A mule would help pull the boat through the stagnant canal by a rope and walking along the tow-path, which is now the walking and biking path.  Interesting that this canal which worked for years and has now been rendered useless due to railroads, semi-trucks, and airplanes, has been converted into something useful–a great way to make a legacy something new.  This is what we at Chick-fil-A call ‘Reinventing Continuously’.

IMG_0594Legacy #3: The Jade Tree
That afternoon aunt Carol allowed Bethany and I to take one of her  jade plants.  She has one of these plants that she has been growing for 40 years–the whole time she and Uncle Mike have been married!  The plant sometimes can break or lose limbs, but if put into water, these loose branches will root and become their own plants.  The small jade plant we have is a sprout from the massive plant that they have.  We hope to carry on this ‘legacy’ of sorts by having our jade plant from them grow and last for years to come as well.

Legacy #4: The Dining Room Table
IMG_0569Before we left, we loaded up our car with a dining room table that Bethany’s grandmother had and the Shaws had been storing in their barn.  We managed to fit not only the dining room table, but the five chairs that go with it into the back of our Xterra!  We are honored to have the table that her grandmother had and will love setting it up in our new apartment in another week or so.  This is another legacy we get to be a part of–another way to carry on the legacies that family and tradition and some bit of earthly goods allows.  Packed to the brim, that’s when we went up the road to Pennsylvania.


Leaving a Legacy
Bethany and I are wrapping up our ‘road-trip’ summer and will start to get settled soon.  As I continue to seek to find a job and where the Lord wants the two of us, we’re trying to figure out how best to make sure we’re planning to leave a legacy.  We want to minister and work together all the time and it seems really tricky to figure out how to set yourself up to do that when you have to actually live life and pay bills and get medical insurance and all that ‘stuff’ that seems to get in the way of what we really want to do.  Bethany and I both know that our ultimate legacy is one that lies in a different Kingdom–Christ’s Kingdom.  That is to say, we believe what Jesus says in Matthew 6 about storing our treasures up where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal.  We really want to seek God’s kingdom and be about what He’s doing, because in the end it’s the only thing that will last through the ages and have true significance.  As Isaiah 2:17 says, “The proud looks of man will be brought low and the haughtiness of man will be humbled and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”  Pray for us as we get started in life and get the details of our gameplan rolling.  We know the Direction and the Way, but the rest is tricky in the present.

IMG_2773Us with Uncle Mike and Aunt Carol



  1. So…did you know my mom almost named me Jade?? True story. pretty tree, and nice work on packing the xterra!! i like the ideas of the silo! very cool!

  2. Jade tree! I met her…him? Silo APT! I want to live there and fix it up neeeext summer!

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