I’m writing this blog as we celebrate July 4th, our Nation’s birthday. My husband and I started taking road trips a few years ago when his work schedule slowed down a tiny bit. I think I caught the road trip fever from my Pixie buddy, Jan. Recently we took a road trip to the northeast part of the United States. I’d been to the area on a quick 4 day trip in 1997 with a group of middle schoolers and don’t remember too much except herding kids!
We landed in Boston, toured Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts before heading back to Boston. Our bucket list includes seeing the 50 state capitols and as many National Parks as possible. There’s a lot more of those than we ever realized.
The Boston area has so many historical places to see. One of my favorites, Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site. The day we were there, exactly 242 years before, George Washington was made Commander in Chief by the Second Continental Congress of the yet-to-be-created Continental Army. This is the home he lived in from July 1775 – April 1776 while planning and serving in the American Revolutionary War. It was amazing to look at some of the original furnishings and realize the significance of this home. Basically the birth of our country was planned within these walls.
Later, in 1843, as a wedding present for his daughter Fanny, Nathan Appleton bought his daughter and son-in law, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the historic Craigie House on Brattle Street, a short walk from Harvard where Henry was a professor. Henry and Fanny raised five children in Craigie House, and lived among friends and family in great comfort, happiness, and privilege. It is revealing of the Longfellows’ elite social position, for instance, that in 1847 Fanny became the first woman in America to be given anesthesia during childbirth.
In Boston we walked the Freedom Trail. We started at Boston Harbor where the USS Constitution is berthed. The USS Constitution is still an active commissioned naval vessel. There is a crew and it sails to many ports. We walked to Bunker Hill, through many old burial grounds, Paul Revere’s home, The Old North Church, Faneuil Hall and the Boston State house to name but a few places. This historic area brought to the forefront a stark reminder that many men and women gave everything they had to allow me and my family to live as we do now: blessed and free.
My grandfather served in World War I. My father served in the Korean War and my uncle in World War II. We have many friends who have served also. I’m so glad we took this trip. I’m glad of the reminder to be thankful for my freedom not just on July 4th but year round and to never forget those who paid the price.
Blessings to all of you,
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than today.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Content used: Thankful For Family Blueprint by pixels2Pages, America God Bless by Little Feet Digital Designs, Fonts: Foglihten No06, Copperplate Gothic Light, Adobe Kaiti Std R.