No Christmas Miracles in Sight

20/12/12 11:41 AM


Well, short of a Christmas miracle, it doesn’t look like we are going to make our deadline for the Zoning Package submission.  There was one government agency that we needed to get their notes on the site plan from, but they didn’t give their notes to our surveyor yet. From what Brett heard from them, it is doubtful we will get their notes before the first of the year.

So what does this mean for us? Well, this means that the dates will have to be moved forward by one month. We will now have until January 19th to get our Zoning Package submitted to the County for them to place on their agenda for February. Then the first public meeting with the Planning Commission will be on February 12th. If we get the approval from the Planning Commission on February 12th, then we have to go to the Board of Supervisors and have a public meeting with them on March 19th. If they approve us, then we can get started and get our business license.

Sadly this means that we will not make our goal of having at least a “Soft Opening” on March 16th, James Madison’s Birthday. And that means we will not open on April 1st as we had hope. It looks like we won’t be able to open until May 1st.

Of course this makes us a little sad. We had hoped that we would have been a lot farther along by now, but when you have to work with others, not everyone has that sense of urgency you do. It’s just the nature of doing business. The number one rule for all business owners is to be FLEXIBLE.

So we could have a meltdown or let this ruin our weekend and holiday to come. But it is what it is. We can’t change it and there is no use in wasting energy on something we can’t change. We have been at this now for 526 days. We had to learn to be patient and flexible through this whole journey. I can’t say I haven’t shedded a tear or two. If I said that I would be lying. I have shedded many tears over this business, but in the end, it was only because we have wanted this so much.

I have known from the beginning that this was meant to be. I have seen the impossible happen as if it were confirmation of what we are doing.  Every time I cross that bridge and catch the first sight of Belle Grove, I know that we are supposed to be there. I feel that electric charge every time, just like it was the first day we saw it. I can’t explain why, but it was meant to be.

So we have another detour and it will keep us from opening as we had hoped. But it’s not going to keep us from finishing this journey. It will only slow us down a little. And what I have found out is that when these little detours happen, there is a reason for it. Somewhere down the line, we will find out that it was a good thing we were delayed. We just have to be patient and see what the next bend in the road has in store for us.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 50 Comments »

50 Comments on “No Christmas Miracles in Sight”

  1. lynnwyvill Says:

    I’m so sorry that there has been a delay in your plans. I would be upset. But you have a good attitude, as you say, when you start a business you have to be flexible and sometimes, we find that the delay was a good thing. And sometimes, a delay makes the “finish” that much sweeter. Can’t wait to see it!

  2. Thank you! We can’t wait to share it with everyone. I know once we do get the doors open, it is all going to be worth the time and work.

  3. John Says:

    This totally smells. Leave it to a governmental authority to throw sand in the petrol tank. Good things are worth waiting and working for though. Your big day will arrive soon. 🙂

  4. Thank you John! We have faith it will all be worth.

  5. Lynda Says:

    May 1st is May Day! I know, doesn’t have the same significance as your planned date, but it is a good day. I can see a huge basket(s) of May flowers on the front entrance for that special opening!

    Take a deep breath, let it out, and move ahead with your plans…
    It all works out in the end.

  6. Thank you Lynda for reminding us of the sunny side of May 1st! It will be a beautiful day to open. And if we can get some of the landscaping started soon, all the flowers should be in bloomed at the plantation!

  7. Lynda Says:


  8. *dislike*

  9. dogear6 Says:

    I like Carol’s response!


  10. Haha Nancy! Us too!

  11. I have to agree with your Carol. haha

  12. Rusha Sams Says:

    Sorry to hear of the delay; however, you will proceed as best you can and open when you can. Best wishes for happy holidays and a new year filled with the completion of a dream!

  13. Thank you! We have faith it will all work out for the best. Happy Holidays to you too! We hope the New Year will find us all happy and heath and down at the plantation! 😉

  14. TinLizzie72 Says:

    That is a bummer! But you never know, there is still time for a miracle! Either way, I look forward to hearing about your progress. (where exactly are you located?)

  15. Thank you! I agree it was a bummer. We are located about 20 miles south of Fredericksburg, Virginia. We are just across the river from Port Royal, Virginia.

  16. Claire D Says:

    Sorry for your delay, that is so disappointing to you I am sure. But…look at all you have accomplished – I check your site frequently and am so amazed and impressed how you have consistently progressed month after month as you move towards your opening. You are such an inspiration – this is one gigantic dream you are pursuing!! Happy Holidays!!

  17. Thank you and Happy Holidays! We are a little disappointed, but we know that we will get there. Thank you so much for following along with us!

  18. Anne Bonney Says:

    Hang in. I can’t wait for the day you will be able to look back and all of these delays will be just dim memories. Best wishes for your contineud progress and success. Happy Holidays.

  19. Thank you and Happy Holidays! We are hanging on! It will happen when it is suppose to, we know and have faith.

  20. terry1954 Says:

    I am so sorry and I can feel your pain through your words. I have just said a prayer that God perform a miracle for you and that the path to open is made easily. Big hugs and Merry Christmas my friend

  21. Big {{Hugs}} back at you Terry! Thank you for your prayers, but I don’t think God is ready for us to have it just yet. We will get there, just have to keep the faith.

  22. Sorry about your delay. You have an amazing attitude and I hope something can happen for you!

  23. Thank you! We are little past the time for a miracle, but we are okay with it. We just have to keep doing what we can and keep moving forward.

  24. Chillbrook Says:

    It sounds like planning applications in America are as difficult and frustrating to secure as they are here in the UK. Sorry you’ve had this delay but I’m sure it’ll all come right in the new year.

  25. Thank you! I have to say getting things done that involves any government agency means you have to have a lot of patience. We know it will work out. We just have to keep doing what we can now and get the rest when it is finally available.

  26. David Says:

    Sorry to read about the delay. It seems like paperwork delays are the same everywhere, especially when a holiday is fast approaching. If anything, it’ll give you some extra time to work on other parts of your plan.

  27. David, you have read our mind. After we got the call, the next thought in my head was what can I do today. Thank you!

  28. gooseyanne Says:

    Bureaucracy and red tape – yuk! Mind you, I thought it was a bit risky having your opening on 1st April – in England that is All Fools` Day! Keep smiling and a happy Christmas to you both.

  29. Merry Christmas to you as well! It’s April Fools Day here in America. You know I thought about it already. Maybe May 1st and May Day would be a better opening date! I just hate missing James Madison’s Birthday! Now we have to wait another whole year!

  30. Jen Says:

    Oh, what a disappointment. I’m so sorry to hear this, for both of your sakes. I agree with gooseyanne…Bureaucracy! Sigh. But you know, I am sure, that all things work out in God’s good timing. I’ve no doubt that when you do open it will be at the best time, and work out beautifully.

    Merry Christmas!

  31. Thank you! We think just the same thing. We just have to do what we can today and let the others work it out. Merry Christmas!

  32. gardenlilie Says:

    Sorry for you but it will work out! I’m having an awful day but know that tomorrow will be better. ;)!

  33. I am so sorry to hear you are having a bad day! I hope it gets better for you! But you are so right. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.” 🙂

  34. vanbraman Says:

    Now you can have a combination celebration for the end of your first year along with the Birthday. You will have had time to get everything running smoothly for the first big Birthday celebration. You will also have another month to iron out those last details before opening. I know, another month of waiting, but also another month of prep time. I am sure you will make the most of it and make some great lemonade out of this lemon.

  35. I like your idea! We may have to think about that one! Thank you!

  36. All in good time – Madison’s birthday seems to come around every year – like clockwork. Next year you can have a soft one year celebration. How’s that?

  37. I like that idea! We may have to think about that one! Thank you.

  38. reijosfood Says:

    Cheer up, it is Christmas time! But anyway, sad news.

  39. I will really try to. Thank you!

  40. I nominated you for the Reality Blogger award, because I love the combination of history and personal stories you write about. I hope this gives you some cheer! The information on the award is here:

  41. Thank you so much! We really appreciate it! It means a lot to us!

  42. I’m sorry about your frustration and dashed hopes. Your patience will pay off. There doesn’t seem to be much else to say that hasn’t already been said by your friends that have already posted. Hope you have a great Christmas.


  43. Thank you Leslie, but wait until you read the next posting!

  44. I SO understand how you feel. That silly boat of ours was supposed to take about two months to get operational, and here we are at a year and a half, with having actually lived and breathed ‘boat repair’ for that time, and we are still at least 4 months away. But, on the bright side, I have met so many wonderful people, and learned so many surprising skills….so, I think I’ll take it as a “win”. You have done such wonderful things so far, you need to be very proud also…it WILL happen; but on its own schedule. Happy Holidays from the Bushrangers.

  45. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. And Happy Holidays to you as well! But wait until you read our next posting!

  46. 😀

  47. Sorry to hear of the delay! When things like this happen, they usually work out ok, so I hope that is the case for you . Have a wonderful holiday!

  48. Thank you! Well, you know you are right! Read the next blog for the update! Thank you and Merry Christmas from Virginia and Belle Grove Plantation!

  49. Janet Rörschåch Says:

    Now is the time to be Greek Orthodox. January 6th?

  50. 🙂