Upon This Rock…

It’s my official summer vacation now, so instead of the usual school news, you are privy to my short time away from campus instead…I’ll do my best to keep you interested.

Mr. Van and I flew to Boston yesterday to spend time with my sister, Becky (the opera singer and teacher), and our oldest daughter, Rachel (the LA/USC grad student and oboist studying east as a Yale Fellow this summer).  I’m surrounded by musical greatness in our family…

Today was an exploration day for the two of us so we hopped in my sister’s Jeep and headed South along the Cape (along with thousands of others) to enJOY some history, sun, and summer fun.  We made our way to Plymouth (the American spelling) to visit the Plimoth Plantation (Gov. Bradford’s English spelling).  If you’re ever in the Cape area, this is a definite history lesson for everyone—and it’s not the story you know from school either!  The cast of characters speak frankly with you about daily life in the 17th Century in native languages and with careful attention to historic details.  Mr. Van’s family originally came from Leiden, Holland in 1627 (which is where the Pilgrims originally came from before departing Plymouth, England in 1620 for the New World).  While his family did not originally settle this colony, they were close behind.

The Mayflower II sits in the Plymouth Harbor–an actual replica built in 1957 precisely as the original and sailed once again to America.  I honestly do not know how 102 people set sail on this tiny sea-worthy vessel.  You can climb all over the ship, ask questions, hoist the sails, and shout orders to the crew.  Here’s Mr. Van surveying the area and speaking with our captain today as he inspects “The Elizabeth” (a small dingy used to get the crew from the ship to the shore).  I was asked to climb the mast…you can guess for yourself whether I did or not.

We enJOYed a long walk through the township, visiting with the locals, and taking a long look at THE rock, yes, THAT rock—the one the Pilgrims blessed.  I was expecting something much bigger, but perhaps hundreds of years of erosion and curiosity have taken away some of the original size?  Nevertheless, upon this rock in 1620 was built a new settlement from hard work, careful alliances, and dreams.  We are blessed today in our country for many reasons; the Pilgrims are just one example.  Have a Happy Fourth y’all!  🙂

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