An Unexpected Blessing

Dennis, our gracious host #1

Dennis, our gracious host #1

Our view of the bow as we take off

Our view of the bow as we take of

 

Bill, gracious host #2 and our Captain

Bill, gracious host #2 and our Captain

First and Second Mates, Sam and William

First and Second Mates, Sam and William

My Dear Wonder,

Leonard and I see in the paper that there will be a sailing regatta in Rockland on Thursday at 4pm…naturally we want to see it.  We show up, follow the signs and meet Dennis who tells us the race for the day is over, but he will show us the teams and ships.

We walk down with him to discover that these aren’t just any sail boats, the are called Friendship Sloops hand made originally for Lobster fishing for about 50 years by a man named Wilber Morse in (you guessed it) Friendship Maine.  They are fast and beautiful.  Dennis also suggested that if we showed up at the captains meeting at 10a.m. on Friday we may get a spot as “crew” on one of the sloops.  We did and we did.

We were lucky enough to get to ride on Bill Whitney’s Sloop, With Dennis (Bill’s son) and Sam & William (Bill’s grandsons and Dennis’ sons).

It was a breathtaking day.  Nice winds, sunshine and mid 70 degrees.  We were invited to a crew dinner at the Friendship, Main Museum.

Bill was also the Commodore of this year’s race.  We didn’t win, we didn’t try – we just had fun and got to watch a family enjoy their love of sailing and being together.

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Virginia – Mt. Vernon – A Little More

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Mt. Vernon facing the Potomac River

Mt. Vernon facing the Potomac River

My Dear Wonder,

As I mentioned in my last post, Mt. Vernon has two fronts:  one facing the entrance at the road with a long “Bowling Green” and the other facing the Potomac River.  First picture above is the view of the river from the porch and the third (with Kay & Toby) is the one on the Bowling Green.  We were told this yard was cut by hand with a Sickle.   They used the bowling green for games.

Mt. Vernon remained in the family for generations, but was not kept up due to family financial issues, so a group of patriotic women of the area, started raising funds, purchased it and restored it.  It is now cared for by this private foundation. AMAZING!  It is quite a large bit of property.  The house gardens (herbs, vegetables and flowers) have also been restored (pictured below).  The pictures do not do the garden justice.  The gift shop at the gardens is where I purchased your card/ornament.  The red roof tiles are painted cedar tiles, just as would have been used originally.

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There is one last thing I need for you to see, the family memorial garden (I prefer “Memorial Garden” to grave yard – don’t you?).  This is actually where George Washington and his family are buried.  George Washington’s actual grave is within the walls of this brick building (first picture).  The second is his actual crypt and the third is the memorial stone of one of his brothers.  It says, “…yet gentle, humane and condescending.  A sincere Christian doing in all things the will of his Master.  And resting his hope of eternal happiness alone o the righteousness of Jesus Christ.”

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George Washington was the general of our forces against Britain, He was a member of the Continental Congress,  and helped form our Constitution in Philadelphia (picture and posts on this later).  He was elected as our first President – no on ran against him.

Much Love,

Mom

 

Virginia

Mt. Vernon facing the Potomac River

Mt. Vernon facing the Potomac River

IMG_3135 IMG_3142 IMG_3149We were warmly welcomed in Richmond by Kay and Toby, who hosted us for three weeks.  We joined them in their church, they introduced us to their friends and family and told us all the site we needed to visit during our stay…and there are many sites to see.

Our first weekend we drove together to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.  We had rain the day before ushering in a cool front so our temperatures on the Potomac were delightful – in the 70’s with a nice breeze.

There was an actor, on site, portraying General Washington himself – very well done.  Did you know He was over six-feet tall and fourth generation born in the colonies?  He called his great-grandfather, “the immigrant”.  He grew up at Mt. Vernon, but didn’t inherit it as he was one of several brothers.  He later purchased it from a family member.  He married Martha who brought with her a sizable fortune, which afforded him the ability to purchase a large amount of property.