First Catholic Church in DE Under Reconstruction

#Travel Theme: Dried #Delawarechurch #1 Day 21 Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Ezekiel 37 1The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of theLord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

Save the Old Barn
Save the Old Barn

As I drove to my mother’s cousin’s I passed a sign in front of this old building that read, “Save the Old Barn.” When I inspected the “barn,” Ezekiel came to mind.

I tried describing the building to Hal, and he couldn’t place it even though it was two minutes walking distance from his home. It’s really a church!

Years of sunshine and rain
Years of sunshine and rain have left nothing but a dried up shell. Kind of scary in this light!

Delaware is the first state in the United States, and St. Mary’s is the first Catholic Church in the state. Even its bones are interesting.

Dried up plaster, dried up wood frame
Dried up plaster, dried up wood frame

The danger fence they wrapped around the project had gaps that I easily slipped past and hiked down inside the old church barn. I wonder if this was once a stained glass window?

Life is no respecter of dried up bones.
Life is no respecter of dried up bones.

Life marches on growing up, around, and within the old structure even as the dried building crumbles around it.

Human life left its trash
Human life left its trash.

Scattered across the floor of the structure I found litter and more weeds, lying with brittle wood and stones that had fallen from the once useful edifice.

Would you contribute to this project, or bury it?
Would you contribute to this project, or bury it?

But are the dry bones truly dead? Even if no one comes to restore them? The living communicates mortal thoughts on the deceased. Will the dried up edificial bones will preserve these shallow expressions?

Rhetorical questions. Nonetheless, this stain is part of the structure now. From the looks of the progress on this project, I doubt that anyone will come to paint it over. So the paint becomes part of the drying process. Soon the words will be bleached and faded, or painted over with new life.

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It probably wasn’t safe to go into this building, and I did not waste time. I felt like an intruder first.

Someone besides the building's owners painted a warning to others.
Someone besides the building’s owners painted a warning to others.

As I looked at all the fallen stones, I hurried less because I was an intruder and more because of the danger of being there. No one could predict when the next bit of decaying mortar would give way, and a shower of stones would rain down on my head. But I would be the one to suffer if the dried bones let loose.

Large stones crashed to the floor of the old barn
Large stones crashed to the floor of the old barn.

For that matter, a huge beam or a large boulder might be the next to fall without warning.

Arch, tiny windows that did not let in much light
Arches and tiny windows that did not let in much light called out to my camera, “Look at me!”

But I couldn’t leave.

The dried up barn-church begged me to shoot it. Not to put it out of its misery, but to make it known. It really wanted to be on my blog. I was just waiting for the right time to show it off.

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The sun sets on another beautiful day within these walls.

Alisa’s challenge gave me my first opportunity to showcase the decaying building. Although I have more pictures of this old church, I don’t want to bore you all at once. I hope you enjoyed traipsing through these dry bones.

What dried up ideas do you have to share with Alisa at Where’s my backpack?

Travel theme: Seasonal

#Delaware Trip Winterthur Gardens #2

A Summer Stroll

In Winterthur Garden visit #1, we visited began our tour in the Enchanted Woods. I arrived in Delaware on September 1, too late for spring flowers, and too early for fall trees. Did I enjoy it anyway?

You bet. I hope you will, too.

“Let’s start at the very beginning…A very good place to start.”

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Chandler Farms /Winterthur Gardens

Too Many Choices!

I did not worry about getting lost with all these signs. - I should have!
I did not worry about getting lost with all these signs. – I should have!

Down by the Quarry Garden

On the first day we walked, we headed towards the Quarry Garden. We walked mostly in the shade which meant that we walked for hours in about 75-degree weather. This is heaven for me because it is 75 degrees where I live for about two hours, four days a year.

Down by the quarry
Down by the quarry

We had not walked too far when Hal informed me that when he walked with his young Chinese friends, they took off and left him to take pictures while he checked out the various benches. I was quick to take a hint, and I headed off to the Quarry.

Henry Francis duPont wanted the view kept open forever. It's easy to see why.
Henry Francis duPont wanted the view kept open forever. It’s easy to see why.
Could I be on the yellow brick road? It felt that magical.
Could I be on the yellow brick road? It felt that magical.

As you can see, the gardens were not crowded. We ran into another couple out on their morning walk. A couple of families, thousands of crickets, birds, and other noise makers were there, but other than that we had the entire 1,000 acres to ourselves.

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Stones are everywhere in Delaware: streets, houses, churches, fences, and pathways. The quarry must have done a lucrative business. I could not wait to get closer to the stream.

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I maneuvered myself along the stone path by the water without falling one time. Since I can fall just standing still, this is quite an accomplishment. I never stand near cliffs or on tall bridges without railings.

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Focus on Flowers

Age is not the reason I struggle with names of plants, in fact, names of almost anything. Details escape me. I’m too busy taking in the vista. I hope you’ll forgive me and just enjoy these summer flowers also.

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The delicate purple tips fit perfectly on the mild summer day. I traveled light on this trip so I took all these pictures with my iPhone.

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The garden was more natural, not groomed like Longwood Gardens. Hal said he would rather have a job here.

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The water trickled down the rocks into a larger stream eventually winding down to the quarry lake. As a child, I would have dipped my feet into the water and squished muddy sand in between my toes. I contented myself with admiring flowers.

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Time slipped by quickly. I did not worry about Hal. What I really mean is that I forgot about him, but eventually I came back to reality and headed up the hill towards the Enchanted Woods where he waited on a bench watching the kids playing. As I ambled back, every flower along the path called out like a child, “Look at me, Marsha. Take my picture.” So I did.

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They did not stay segregated like they were at Longwood Gardens but mingled freely together.

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Some of them looked large in the picture but do not be fooled. They were tiny.

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If these were children you would rumple their heads, they’re so tiny and sweet. Since they are flowers, I let them be.

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As I approached the top of the knoll, I could see Hal enjoying a bench, but I still did not hurry. He seemed to enjoy the fact that it took me so long to get back. We came back for another walk two days later.

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Thanks for joining us on our seasonal stroll. Thank you, Hal for such a wonderful day.

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Be sure to visit Alisa at “Where’s my backpack?” if you have some seasonal pictures you would like to post.

 

Travel Theme: Entertainment

Of course you would expect anyone who calls herself TC History Gal to find museums entertaining. Unfortunately I forgot to take what my dad always called the “Record Shot.”

Photo by DrFumblefinger.com found on Google Images
Photo by DrFumblefinger.com found on Google Images

Traveling with Mr. and Mrs. Eternal Traveler and my hubby on Maui, HI, we all bought a “Passport to the Past.” This passport doesn’t expire, and allowed us to visit four museums for the normal price of visiting one museum. Below is the kind of building material used to build the walls in a home that lasted for over 180 years.

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The Reverend Ephraim Spaulding built the Baldwin House around 1834, and lived in it for only two years before he got sick and went home to Massachusetts. It was a great find for the Reverend Dr. Dwight Baldwin and his wife, who by this time had two children and lived in a nearby grass hale (hut). Hold onto your hats as we take our first look into the Baldwin House Museum.

Did you get dizzy? Carol and I enjoyed the quilts.  With six living children, Mrs. Baldwin probably had plenty to entertain herself and keep busy.  Somehow she squeezed out time to teach the Hawaiian women to sew. This pattern looks daunting to me, and features common creatures found in the Hawaiian landscape like the cute snail in this picture.

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These beds were in the boy’s room.

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In addition to the three or four boys, they often housed guests in this room. Whew!  I wonder if they had longer days back then than we have today.

According to the docent, the Baldwins had a rebound romance. Dwight Baldwin was thirty-two when he met Charlotte. His fiance jilted him because she did not want to travel to Hawaii. However, the missionary society wouldn’t let him serve in Hawaii if he wasn’t married.

Not to be deterred from his calling,  an hour after meeting Charlotte, an advanced maiden of twenty-five, he proposed. A week later they married, and within three weeks they were on their way on their five month journey to the island of Maui. I wonder how his former fiance felt about being so easily replaced?

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This netting kept the Baldwin boys safe from mosquitos. Hawaii didn’t have mosquitos until a Mexican ship uploaded them to the island. Actually, practically everything on the island is imported from somewhere. It all came by boat – except for the few birds that showed the first Hawaiians that there was land in the vast Pacific.

I hope you have found a brief excerpt from our trip to the Baldwin Home Museum in Lahaina, Maui, HI entertaining.  Click to see more entries to the Travel Theme.

Graceful Is As Graceful Does

KLUTZ AWARD

You all know that I am the Klutz Queen of the Universe, but there are other kinds of gracefulness. Last week I looked around my yard where grace and beauty abound thanks to my hubby, Vince.

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To me there is nothing more graceful than clouds, and if these seem to be a bit upside down it’s because they are dancing on the water. I dare anyone to be more graceful than that!  🙂

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The cloud queen even impressed Puppy Girl, princess of our home.  This is as close as PG comes to getting in the water unless held tightly by her mom or dad. She is anything but graceful in the water.

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The trees  bow their limbs in honor of her majesty. These cloud rulers of the earth are graceful, yet they get puffed up at their own beauty. Beware, “pride cometh before a fall,” my lovely sky beauties.

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And lo, up springs a little competition for the rulers of the sky from these little buds that spread their fingers and toes and dance gracefully in the wind.

For more on the theme of graceful from Alisa’s Travel Theme, Where’s My Backpack, click here.

 

Travel Theme: Belonging – Colonial Williamsburg or Not?

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Life is defined by belonging:  our family,  town, organizations, belongings, even the time into which we are born.   I attended a teachers’ institute at Colonial Williamsburg a few years ago.  That town preserves what belonged to another time period, so that we, of the 21st century could understand somewhat what it felt like as patriots and loyalists, all British subjects, clashed, and then hashed out new plans in the taverns, church, and legislature all situated on the mile long walk down the main street.

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Our trainers immersed us in the life of the time.  Four of us from Tulare County joined six others from California, a few from Pennsylvania, some from Georgia, one or two from New York, and we lived as a group for one week.  We belonged together for a week.

 

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Our guide, Bunny, embroiled us in an 18th century court case in which a Baptist minister was tried  as a criminal because he preached from a  Baptist pulpit, not from the one true church the Anglican Church.  “The law of the land from 1624 mandated that white Virginians worship in the Anglican church (Church of England) and support its upkeep with their taxes.” ( Religion in Early Virginia.) We had to decide his fate.

 

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One of our members, Jami Beck, volunteered to participate during the trial.

 

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We learned how to fire cannons and muskets.

 

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We danced, and sat around a properly set dinner table sharing the latest colonial gossip.

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We visited with tavern owners who served George Washington on a regular basis.

 

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Slaves let us enter their farm-house, feel the tobacco they harvested, smell it hanging in the barn.  But in all the authenticity of belonging to that time period.  There was always something that didn’t belong.

 

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Actually there were many things.  What do you think belonged, and what didn’t?