It has been just a couple days since I’ve manage to be able to share a post of what we’ve been experiencing. Though the blog has been quiet, our days have not, in fact… we’re exhausted! Tuesday and Wednesday (July 12-13) has been spent focused on downtown Plymouth.
This area really is quite charming, even without the historic nature. It is rich with attractive and character rich homes, friendly people, and a natural beauty that is make even better by being along the water. There is nothing quite like seeing a horizon of blue water that mirrors the sunny sky above while enjoying the breeze that often accompanies that setting. However, this area IS rich with history and it makes walking through the downtown area all the more amazing. Walking from the water to the center of town up a gentle hill along the famous Leyden Street, seeing markers indicating where the families that survived the first winter built their homes was amazing. Strolling through Brewster gardens and drinking from the SAME springs that the original settlers of Plymouth used (seriously, even Wendy drank from them). This town is amazing, but, there is a shadow, one I’ll get into a bit later.
One of the highlights of our time downtown was a walking tour we took with Leo from the Jenny Museum. He is a familiar face for anyone that has gone on the DCA Plymouth trip with Mary Stauffer. He has an amazing wealth of knowledge not only about this time period but also it’s connection and impact on our current time. I have to make the time to mention that Leo and his wife Nancy are a true beacon of truth here in Plymouth. They are both Christians, and it is their mission here to not only share the history of the time, but the amazing ways God worked through those early settlers. There are so many signs of Gods providence at work through what happened with this group of travelers from 1620 and so many lessons to be learned from it, both as Christians and as individuals seeking a free society based on his principals.
Let me first say that I half expect this to sound a bit corny to many of you.
Come on Steve, we all know the story of the Pilgrims and the first thanksgiving, it’s not THAT special.
Well let me tell you, I considered myself that way until I experienced a trip with Ava and her third grade class some five years ago. We were taught from primary source material (the words actually written by the one who lived it) and I found on that three day trip that not only had I been taught a lot of inaccurate information (yeah public schools) but that what I was taught only scratched the surface. I’ll reel it back in at this point before I get myself up on a soapbox again. 🙂
We walked with Leo around town while he not only explained details of the history that often get swept under the rug, but fascinating history of how some of the first businesses on American soil began. He is also not in the least bit apprehensive about talking about how God was at work in 1620, and how there were very important lessons learned as a foundation for our country as it took root, lessons that have been forgotten by most.
I will go so far as to say that if you are visiting Plymouth, taking one of his many tour options is a MUST, you will not be disappointed! What are you waiting for? Schedule a visit and register for a tour via their website at jenneymuseum.org.
After the tour we hung around for a while and had the joy of a very rich conversation with Nancy and Leo. We also got to talk to them more the next day as we headed back to the Jenny Museum.
Through the tour, we visited a number of the historic location downtown, though not until Wednesday when we were on our own again did we have time to take in the Mayflower 2. This ship is a close replica to the original (as best as any one knows) and though not something that I’d say you need a lot of time to visit, is certainly worth a stop. The main impact of being on that ship was understanding the conditions that the pilgrims, and the others on that voyage, endured for nine weeks. They were pretty much treated as cargo by the ship crew and were rarely allowed to come up to the main deck and see the sun. Thinking about what that must have been like for that extended time, and with so many people, supplies, and even some animals onboard, starts to get me sea sick.
I have greatly enjoyed our time here as a family. I think my favorite part of it has been sharing the experience with Wendy for the first time, funny how every thing seems better when it is shared with one you love so deeply. It was also a great review for the kids as it seems they forgot a bit more then they should have from when they visited here before. The only downer is the very clear realization of how much we have forgotten, how far our culture and society have fallen away from God. Being in a very liberal area there are abundant signs of ways in which we have pushed God away and rejected His truth (not that one needs to go any further then their TV set). I won’t go into those signs here but trust me, it’s real.
Our time in Plymouth is at an end, though there are so many other things to do and see in the area (stuff beyond just the pilgrim history) that we could have easily stayed a couple more days. After all the learning and walking we’ve been doing I can speak for the whole family when I say we are exhausted (and a touch grumpy with each other). You all have experienced vacations where you come home and say you need a “vacation after your vacation” just to rest, well we are at that point and we have only begun.
Next stop is middle of nowhere Maine (a state none of has have visited, as far as I remember) for two nights. This time will be spent sleeping in, catching up on some work, cleaning the RV and truck, and just relaxing before we head to our main Maine (see what I did there?) destination, Acadia National Park!