If You Would Not Be Forgotten

It was my second trip to Colonial Williamsburg, and I felt as if I couldn’t soak in enough. I love the place, everything about it,  but most of all, it is the History I love.  It would take a life time to see it all, and the rolling farmland so full of history captured my heart.

dsc03685Colonial Williamsburg, though, is something special. I could never get tired of it, I don’t think.  A lot went on her during the forming of our Country.  We stepped back into the year 1774, and life in some parts of the town, carried on as it did, except of course for the multitudes of visitors, who like us, had come to learn and experience and enjoy the old town and the past it presented.

My brother got chosen to be on the jury of the old court cases, we wandered through gardens, admiring the tidy rows and discovering plants we’d never seen growing before (Okra for one!)  and laughed at a random scarecrow who wore a straw sunbonnet and a dress.?

We got to watch the “Militia” march, and listen to the Fife and Drum Concert. When we went into the post office, I wished I had a letter to mail, but I’d left them all in the van and decided I’d just have to remember next time.

We went through so many little shops, and  I even got to play a little on one of the harpsichords colonial-ccthat they make there.  I didn’t make it out of the town, either, without one of those beautiful straw bonnets, complete with bows and ribbons and a ‘hat pin’ that they sell there. Mom and Dad kindly paid part- for an early birthday present, and I carried it in my hand and guarded it the entire rest of the two and a half weeks we were driving around the states.

I even convinced my brother to buy a three cornered hat, and my sister, who thought the hats were quite silly, decided to buy a fife instead. It was a day that will long be etched into my mind, a happy day of new memories, mixed with a deepened love of our history, and this land that I am blessed to live in- for it’s heritage, if nothing else.

As we walked down the streets, I couldn’t help but think of those who had gone before- George Washington walked these streets, as did Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Peyton Randolph, and even Marquis de Lafayette and George Wythe.

But perhaps it was Patrick Henry, “re-living” through one of the re-enactors, who stood up and dsc03647gave a speech that made all the many volumes of books I’d read on Patrick’s life and manners come to life before me, that captured my attention the most that first day. I think I could have stayed for hours to listen to the most ‘alive’ history lesson I’d ever had.

But all things come to an end, and when I left it was reluctantly indeed, for there was so much more I wanted to know, so much more to experience and so much more to see. Who knows if I shall ever have a chance to return just one more time, though I dream of it often.  I’d go back in a flash if I ever could!  I’m thankful, so thankful for the two happy days that I was blessed to spend wandering the streets of such a beautiful place, and to catch a little vision of what the lives of those great men, and those every day people of our past was like. It made my heart feel some sort of kinship with the past- for though our lives today are so very different from theirs in many ways, there are those ties of commonality, of hopes and dreams, of heartache and joy that every human being shares, and I will not forget my glimpse into their lives- both the “good” and the “bad” who made our history what it is.

Yet-if time should last, some 200 years from now, what would those who come after us see? I doubt they’d read -or even write- volumes on any one of our lives, unlike those who lived and worked in Williamsburg, but as Mr. Franklin said, just in case, perhaps we’d better be careful:dsc03725

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing.” –Benjamin Franklin

Pretty good advice this, don’t you think? Not for the sake of being remembered alone, for I don’t know that any of those great men particularly thought that 200 and some years from now we’d still be reading and remembering them as we do, they simply lived and struggled for what they believed and understood to be right and best for their country, and for their families. So we should live, and write and work – not for our own honor but to honor Him who gives us life, and no matter what should happen, or who should look at what we’ve left behind, or who should read what we have written hereafter, they will find a life well lived and words worth reading after all.

Chantel

Chantel

Social Media Manager at Virtual Assistant
A born and raised country girl who is lucky to be married to her best friend. Mommy to our sweet baby Charlotte. Blogger. Virtual Assistant. Writer and Social Media Manager for @kindredgrace & Adornabelle
Chantel

@cbrankshire

country girl married to my cowboy sweetheart. Blogger. Virtual Assistant. Writer and Social Media Manager for @kindredgrace.
We had a record breakingly rainy summer. It was so damp and so cool and I almost feel like Summer never... http://t.co/IlzXJw78I3 - 2 hours ago
Chantel
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conversations between sisters in Christ

  1. Ruby Brown says

    Chantel, I enjoyed reading your comments about your visit to Colonial Williamsburg, and they match my feelings perfectly. My husband and I had the privilege of visiting there about 20 years ago. It was with a sense of awe that was almost overwhelming to me as we took this walk back into time, and saw re-enacted all the beauty and struggles of our ancestors. You can almost smell the tug of war between the rich and the poor. It tells the truth about a peasant people whom I admire and thank with all my heart for not given up on the struggle for liberty and religious freedom. This struggle for liberty and religious freedom must be passed on to your generation and I hope you will continue to fight the battle for truth, because it seems to me America is losing the battle, and not many are willing to stand up for the Biblical principles that our ancestors were willing to die for that their children and descendants might have the good life, found only in Christianity. I admire all the parents of preschoolers who have had the courage and faith to bring their children out of the “Sodom and Gomorrah” of the decadent halls of Humanism in this country. The Holy Bible promises up the Victory in the end, and that CHRIST will fight for us in the battle for truth. We may have to go back to the lifestyle depicted in Williamsburg, VA, and I for one, look with longing eyes, back to the romance of childhood, where we could dream of that perfect place, which exists not on earth, but in heaven. I would like to wear the long dresses and have servants like the rich had–however, the forced war enactment, and the sound of the trumpet call to war, alarms me–because I fear your generation, and my children, and grandchildren will face a war of terrible proportions–maybe the war of Armageddon–because our whole world is in turmoil–the war between good and evil! We fight it every day, but we have hope because our Redeemer liveth and again on the earth will stand. The New Jerusalem will be the perfect city, because it will be the City of GOD, and nothing unholy can enter there. I’m so thankful that I was blessed this morning by the innocence and childlike faith of this blog.
    Ruby

  2. says

    Chantel,

    I am so glad you got to go Williamsburg! I would love to go one day. It would be even more to “live” it though. I often thought how fun it would be to dress in corsets and frilly dresses, and play the role of an accomplished lady. Perhaps someday I shall have the opportunity to visit but thank you for showing me what it was like during your trip. Great bonnet by the way! I love it!

    Because of His Grace,
    Maiden Princess

  3. says

    I went to William and Mary! :) Williamsburg was my home for 4 years, and it was always amusing to go for a walk or even go to the grocery store and run into one of the “actors”! I didn’t appreciate it nearly enough while I was there, but I do think it is a great way to pass on history, almost like an oral tradition.

  4. Cathleen says

    I went to Williamsburg a few years ago, and personally, not being particularly captivated by period costumes or battle re-enactments, did not find it very fascinating.

    However, I can definitely see why someone with different tastes might find it more enjoyable. :-)

  5. Kiersti says

    Thank you for a delightful post, Chantel! It brought back special memories of a family trip to Williamsburg when I was nine–almost sixteen years ago! I recently learned a good friend of mine is going to be moving near Williamsburg for the year to housesit for a family member…I would love to visit her, and take my little sister.

    Lisa, my family loves Riley’s Farm! We live near Pasadena and our homeschool group has a field trip to Riley’s nearly every year. Thank you for the wonderful work you do!

    • Lisa says

      Kiersti, thank you! I’m so happy you like it so much. I originally thought it would be a job I would do for a few months, but now I’m seriously considering staying there and working throughout my life. I hope to see you there someday! :)

  6. anne says

    Our family went to Colonial Williamsburg and we enjoyed it immensely! That was rather long ago…so I wish I could go again!! Thanks for telling us about your time there!

  7. Lisa says

    It’s so wonderful to see an article like this here! I work at a living history farm: Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, California. I love it! I teach (mostly schoolkids) about life in the Colonies during the Revolutionary War. I would love to go to Colonial Williamsburg someday. I’m so glad you had a great time, Chantel. :)

    • Chantel says

      I would absolutely love to work at a Living History Farm, myself, but as of yet, I have never had that opportunity. Virginia has a couple- besides Williamsburg, there’s Jamestown right by it, and then down near Staunton, there’s another Living History Museum that shows the molding of American farming and building and lifestyle from the nations who immigrated the most during our forming years. It was fascinating, as well, for farming holds a special place in my heart- any of those places are well worth the time to see, I think, at least once in your life. :)

      • Lisa says

        If you’d like to work at one, maybe you could e-mail them and ask them if/when they hire. That’s how I got my job!

        I would love to visit any of those living history museums! I’ll have to write them down so I can visit them on future vacations. Thanks for telling me about them. :)