Excerpt from Finding George Washington
• Mount Vernon • The General approached the Mansion from the west. He floated up the serpentine path, around the bowling green, and through the north colonnade, until he could see the lush Potomac River Valley. He glided toward the inviting shade of the columned piazza on the east side, then soared up high near the cupola on the roof of the Mansion for a better view of the boat traffic on the river. Eventually he floated gently down toward the broad lawn, stopping to hover, two feet off the ground.
The Mansion had a preternatural glow that afternoon, golden and haloed. Bathed in the warm rays of a setting sun, yet lit also from within by the light of a dozen fireplaces. Patsy and the children must be within, he thought. I shall expect them to enter the piazza in the near future, as soon as the blistering sun takes its leave. Some of the slaves are weeding and harvesting vegetables in the upper garden now, and others are in the kitchen preparing the evening meal.
In the stable, one of the servants curried the General’s horse. But how can Blueskin be here at Mount Vernon, when I have just left him at Valley Forge? All is not as it appears.
He floated near the ceiling of the stable, absorbing the olfactory smorgasbord that accompanied the presence of horses: powerful, sweaty bodies, leather saddles and bridles, and manure mixed with straw. He took a deep breath and drank in the beloved aromas.
In the distance, he heard the sound of voices. Perhaps Patsy and the children? Ah, the genteel murmurings of a Virginia plantation family! He focused on the voices and was shocked to discover it was not his family at all, but the two young lads in California. As consciousness snuck in, the vision of Mount Vernon began to slip away. His last glimpse of the Mansion was an uphill view from near the compost dung heap.