Nov 25, 2010

Happy (Educational) Thanksgiving

We're doing Thanksgiving a bit differently this year.

We are currently sitting in a hotel room watching the parade. Guess where? Plymouth, Massachusetts. We arrived yesterday and, while traveling, went back in time to 1620.

Our van transformed into this vessel:

As we came aboard, J was selected to help out on deck. First job was learning to swab:

Then he and L helped to "batten the hatches." Below those hatches is the 'tween deck. That's where we (all 102 of us) will be living throughout the voyage. Only the crew is allowed on deck for the most part.

Below I attempt to create a "cabin" area for our family. The curtains provide a bit of privacy, but 100+ people, 40 of them children, will make for a dark, noisy, smelly situation.

Finally, after 66 days, we arrive. The Native People are reasonably friendly considering that some of their group had been kidnapped five years earlier by other Europeans. We stay on the ship for the winter. By spring, half of the Mayflower's inhabitants are dead. The men that are healthy enough begin work on the shelter needs.

This house size would be comfortable for a family of six.

Some of the men pause in their work as they discuss the important matters of the colony.

Only four married women survived the winter. As each dwelling is completed, we begin to make it as homey as possible. The curtains provide privacy and a bit of warmth, but it is very, very cold in the house. The Native People live in what they call a Wetu. They are considerably warmer because they use woven mats on the wall to trap the heat as it rises. Perhaps I can construct something like that for our walls . . .

Despite the friendliness shown by the Native People, it is still wise for us to be wary. Other tribes in the area are not fond of the fact that we are here. Armor needs to be at the ready.

These strafing guns are positioned so that the streets can be defended if there is an invasion.

Despite the constant concern about attack, we must continue to prepare our homes and take care of our livestock. Each adult 16 and over will be granted 100 acres of land. J, being 8, will be granted 47 acres. It takes only 2 acres to feed four people, so the extra land will take quite some time to cultivate. That means we have land to pass down to our descendants. In Holland we lived in poverty. In this new land we have the potential to live like kings!

Fresh eggs from the chickens that wander about the town are much appreciated.

For those who have survived, life is good. We have much to be thankful for. We are blessed.

(Returning to 2010 . . .)

What a contrast. I'm typing this on a wireless computer while sitting in a climate-controlled hotel room. We just finished watching the parade. Life is filled with comfort and ease and I am grateful for all that I have. More than that, though, I am grateful for the people in my life.

No matter what the circumstances--I am blessed.


Mary R. said...

What a good history lesson!

Anonymous said...

What a neat adventure and a great reminder to us all how very much we have to be thankful for.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

What great parents you are!!
This was so fun to read.
Thamk you!
Have a pretty day!

Roxanne said...

Mary--I have continued in this history cloud ever since getting back. "Obsessed" might be appropriate LOL!

Trixie--That has definitely been on my mind as I've wanted to be less than thankful about things. I just recall their situation and hush my mouth!

Kristin--Thanks. J LOVES this sort of thing as much as we do. We have a great time.

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