Wednesday, April 8, 2009
How Seven Oaks Got Its Name
Friends passing the hand-painted sign on our driveway announcing they've reached Seven Oaks often ask me, "How did you come up with the name for the farm?" It's also the name for my writing, editing and marketing consulting business.
When we were building the house, we'd stop by to check in with the building crew. On many occasions, we noticed seven large birds majestically soaring over the fields and creek. One day, John and I stood with Jonathan, one of the workers, watching the birds. I waxed poetic about them.
"Look at the hawks! Aren't they beautiful? We'll call it Seven Hawks Farm."
"Ah, ma'am?" Jonathan cleared his throat. "Those aren't hawks. They're...buzzards."
(For the uninitiated, vultures or buzzards are carrion eaters...and the black buzzards of Virginia are especially hated by farmers. They will take down livestock, especially smaller stock like sheep or goats, or peck the eyes out of newborn calves so they can kill and eat them. They are mean creatures. Useful in nature, but mean).
Since Seven Vultures Farm sounded awful, we searched for another term. We liked "Seven" for some unknown reason. It's lucky, but neither John nor I are superstitious (I owned a black cat for 18 years and often find my best luck on Friday the 13th).
On another trip, we checked on the acorns we'd planted along the edge of the field. John had carefully gathered acorns from the 100-year old white oak trees in front of his parents' house on Long Island so we'd take a bit of our home with us when we moved.
And there, growing in a little circle, were precisely seven oaks.
Thus we became: Seven Oaks.