Sunday, November 21, 2010
We woke up to -12F this morning. The personal trainer doesn't care. He wants a walk and he wants it now. He has no respect for the Sabbath and thinks that is no excuse for not walking. If he doesn't get a walk, he pesters, he pants, and he annoys. But at least he doesn't send me a bill every month.
Monday, November 15, 2010
During the first winter in America, the Pilgrims buried half their number leveling their graves and sowing grain over them in the spring in order to conceal their misfortunes from the Indians.
When William Brewster arrived at Plymouth, he was accompanied by his wife, Mary, and two sons, Love and Wrestling. (The Pilgrims purposely chose such names as peace, love, patience, for their children. They wanted to emphasize their separation from the established church which perpetuated the saints of the church calendar in naming children.) The rest of his children came over afterward.
According the above-referenced note-taker’s sources, William Brewster “…possessed that happy attitude of mind which could accustom itself to all circumstances…” Wilbur is a descendent of the Brewster also. I see the resemblance here.
Brewster taught twice every Sunday when the fledgling colony found itself bereft of a minister. He took a prominent part in the affairs of the colony and served in the Indian Wars under Miles Standish. Brewster loved books. Jones –Lory states, “Nearly every ship which came from England brought books to Brewster, and at his death his library inventoried 400 volumes, 62 of which were in Latin. There were 98 commentaries or translations of the Bible.” The acquisition and enjoyment of books is definitely a Robertson trait, although the Robertson men in my past seemed to prefer Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey to the Bible.
I am awestruck by the kind of people our ancestors were. The idea that someone could put me in jail because I don’t want to worship in a mode established by the government is bizarre to me. It is so easy to be complacent about the blessings afforded U.S. citizens in the Bill of Rights. I don’t even want to think about enduring living conditions so deplorable that I could lose half of my friends and family. Since the Pilgrims came to this country for religious reasons, it seems logical that they might have expected God to rescue them from all hardships and trials. I’m sure there were those who became bitter and angry. But it seems like many of our ancestors were so filled with faith they were able to get through and go on, even when things didn’t turn out the way they expected. On this line, we come from good stock.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The following are notes I condensed from Frances Jean Jones-Lory:
William Brewster was postmaster for many years in Scrooby, England. Now a Postmaster deals with packages and letters. Three hundred years ago a Postmaster dealt mostly with horses. Letters posted then were mostly governmental correspondence. He was responsible for relays of horses along the post road. Brewster did not live in little house on a side street but had a grand mansion called Scrooby manor. He was appointed by the government and had what was considered a handsome salary 300 years ago.
About 1602 his neighbors to assemble at the manor house for worship and Brewster “…did much good in promoting and furthering religion.” Brewster and his friends organized a branch of Separatists. In the face of persecution, he and his friends chartered a Dutch boat in 1607 to take them to Holland. Through the treachery of the captain, he and his friends were seized and imprisoned. A year later he reached The Hague. At Leyden in 1609 he was chosen to be ruling Elder of the Congregation. Brewster and his family stayed in Holland for 12 years. He supported himself and his family by teaching English. He also was engaged in printing secretly religious books banned by the English government. In 1619 the types of Brewster and his cohorts were seized and he and others involved were arrested. Brewster, however, escaped the same year with Robert Cushman. Cushman obtained a land patent from the Virginia Company.
In 1620 Brewster was selected to sail with the advance guard to the New World. The Pilgrims sailed from Delftshaven in late July of 1620, then from Southampton on the 5th of August and finally from Plymouth on the 6th of September 1620. After a stormy voyage of 10 weeks, they anchored in Plymouth Harbor, November 21, 1620. In the “…cabin of the Mayflower Elder William Brewster drafted the first written constitution in the history of the world –a marvel of clearness, brevity, and strength..”
This is getting long. I want to tell you a little more about William Brewster later. But so far, I am not finding anything to be ashamed about in this line of my Dad’s family. I am only glad they got out of the Old World just as soon as they could.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
I walk in the door and run into Bonnie who is working at the election. Bonnie's youngest child went to school with Petunia and one of her grandsons is the same age as Orville. "Tell me about Heather," I invite.
"She's teaching down in Texas," Bonnie responds. "She just loves her job! We see her about once a year at Christmas. She is active in her church there and seems to be happy. How about Petunia?"
"Petunia and her family live in Outer Slobovia. Petunia's husband works for a firm that manufactures whiz bangs. Petunia spends most of her times chasing her kids around. When she has a minute, she provides professional advice to a hot air balloon delivery service. They seem to like Outer Slobovia. Nice to run into you. Guess I'd better vote."
"Right," says Bonnie. "Could I see some ID?"
Some of the laws that make sense in other places seem absurd here.