Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home Again

I've been back for a week. I made it home safe and sound; the flights went fine; I survived the dirty, germ infested airplanes and the cramped, crowded conditions. The TSA took my knife, though; I forgot to put it in my checked luggage. Two days before I got home my family was in a car accident, so we broke and bought a minivan in the same week. Plus the dash-lights and taillights went out on my vehicle. Car troubles: I was hoping not to have those for a while.


I started job hunting on Monday. I left home with much trepidation and a list of ten places to apply; I walked in the the second place and decided I really want to work there(Christian Manager and fifteen minute commute for the WIN), so I'm praying that works out. Then at the third place they were hiring seasonal help. Without even looking at my application they told me to come in on Saturday for orientation. So after that I thought, now what? It would be a happy Providence if after the seasonal job expires the Job-That-I-Want would become available.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Leaving the Palmetto State

The leaves have finally turned and the trees are gorgeous. The men have been burning leaves and brush around the house, so the whole house smelled of smoke yesterday. Smoke-smell is pleasant in small amounts, but rather irritating to the sinuses in large doses. 

 So today is my last day in South Carolina, and as a farewell/thank you Mrs. H took me out to tea. We went to a tiny town nearby that had a really great Tea Room, in an old mill building.

I tell you, there were fifty million teacups in that place. We got to pick which one we were to use for our tea. We thought it was funny how our teacups showed how different we are. Apparently when I arrived and Mrs. H first saw me she was really worried that I would be a judgmental skirt-wearer, but we got along fine.

So what about my South Carolina trip? It was great. I think about halfway through I realized I could relax. Especially the day I spent at Drayton Hall; everything there was so calm. The workload here has been light(compared to home) and I've had a lot of freedom, and I'm very grateful. The H's are used to having people in their home, so they're not overbearing or uptight hosts. Even the dog was amazingly calm. Now that is truly Providence!

World's smallest Police station. So cute!
And since everyone's asking, no, I'm not impatient to get home, but it's time. I had a good break and even though I'm apprehensive about dealing with my job situation when I get back, it will be good for me.

See you on the other side!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Comments on the Palmetto State

After almost six weeks in this southern state, I have a few observations to share with the world:

  • There's certainly older history here than in the midwest, despite the tragic destruction of the Civil war. I love old history, especially colonial history; especially interactive history. That's why I hauled my entire colonial outfit here in my suitcase for a weekend reenactment.
  • There are a lot of rude, stupid drivers in South Carolina. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but you know I would only use the S word if it were serious. Tailgating is common, speeding is normal, and cutting is everyday in this state. So rude!
  • But people have also been very welcoming to me. I'm grateful.
  • There are lots of trees. It's so much easier to get lost because you really can't see where you are or where you are going: there's just too many trees. If men did grow on trees, there would be a lot of them in South Carolina.
  • Also, there are no straight roads in SC. Every road is curved or crooked! There is no neat square mile street grid in this state!
  • People do sometimes talk funny(but maybe I'm just really bad at understanding people?) and people wear less. No comment on that, I'll leave it to your imagination.
  • Friend H and I agree that it's hilarious that there are signs everywhere that say "Bridges ice before road." Does anyone in this state actually know what ice is, outside of sweet tea?
  • Double e's: don't know how to end a South Carolina place name? Add a double E. Congaree, Santee, Elloree, Wateree, Jocasee, you get the picture. Apparently the double e is a remnant of an Indian language, and indicates those places are near water.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Camden, Day 2

Crown Point Baked goods, at the top of Sutler's Row.
Sunday morning I arrived in camp just in time for the final prayer of the protestant Church service. I decided to skip the Anglican service, so even though it felt odd I ended up not going to church at all. Some of my friends of the day before had already left camp for home, so I was largely on my own until Grandpa T and Mr. H arrived to see the battle.

 Grandpa T, a sucker for grandkids, bought some lemonade.

As I mentioned, the Patriots won on Saturday and the British won on Sunday. Here the Americans march to their 2pm demise on the lawn. The weather was perfect. This time around I was careful to get a seat on the good side, to get some pictures.

Check out the smoke-ring from cannon fire.

As much as I may like the American blue, the Loyalist and Hessian green is really growing on me. It's just a gorgeous color, and a surprisingly simple coat. This gentleman of the British Legion(made up of American Loyalists) has a cap made of leather, with a strip of bear's fur down the center.

Several people left Sunday morning or packed up and then left midday, and after the battle camp breakdown started pretty quick. Some people drove six hours to get there and then had to be back for work on Monday. After the battle I wandered around a bit more and was home by dinnertime.

First Rev War reenactment: Survived. Tired and sunburned, but it was fun.

Camden, Day 1

 Camden, SC. Back in the spring after my travel dates had been decided I spent some time searching for little getaways to do while I was in SC. One event I found was the Rev War days at Camden, SC, just forty minutes from my host family and happening within the dates I would be there. I emailed ahead and asked if I could attach to a reenacting unit for the weekend. I was welcomed by the RNCR, the Royal North Carolina Reenactors, who do British interpretations. While I would have preferred being a Patriot, I thought it was pretty generous of them to take me sight-unseen, just for the weekend.

 The Kershaw house. The British encampment was to the side and behind the house, and the American Patriots were across the lawn. There was a ditch running through the middle of the lawn that at least one person fell right in to after it got dark. And he(reportedly) wasn't even drunk. There was a row of Sutler's shops behind the American camp, and quite a few demonstrators arranged near the entrance.

The RNCR group was a mish-mash of a few women soldiers, old soldiers, a few token young people, and several families. There were reenacting grandparents there that had nine outgoing grandchildren present, which prompted one spectator to say we had our own private colonial daycare. I also found out later the family was Mormon. Despite hearing some rough language I could have done without, I was happy to have a place. There was a tent for my bag and an occasional free stool to sit on.

This lady was visiting from Florida. She had a great outfit.

Whenever I go to away-from-home events I always feel apprehensive that my outfit might not be up to snuff. So far, I haven't had cause to worry. There were a few neat and tidy gowns at Camden, but mostly there were a great many bedgowns. A lot of gaping, open bedgowns on girls and women of all ages. By the end of the day I was so dazed and tired I kept thinking "Bedpans. There's a lot of bedpans here."

This cute girl had an adorable lilac linen dress.
On Saturday I got stuck by the house during the battle. There were trees in the way and we were far from the action, so I didn't get any good photos that day. On Saturday the Americans won the battle, and on Sunday the British won the battle, and I guess that way everyone was happy. There were three cannons, I believe.

After hours on Saturday everyone relaxed and ate dinner, and then, what else? We burned Guy Fawkes. At 7pm, when it got dark, there was a bonfire. Guy(shown above, getting his pants stitched on) was stuck on a stick, marched to the fire, and cast to his doom. Then there were fireworks and Chinese floating lanterns. You know you have issues with gravity when watching Chinese lanterns float away makes you nauseous. After the fireworks there were appetizers served in the house, and there was more food and drink to be served in the tavern, but I figured at that point it would be just as well if I went home.