One of our favorite places to visit is Williamsburg. When you consider Williamsburg, there is much more to it than the Colonial section. Each time we visit there seems to be more businesses going up, and more homes being built. The College of William and Mary is there, as well as outlet shopping...do I sound like a tourism add yet?
On Veteran's Day weekend, Colonial Williamsburg offers free admission to active duty and retired military. The program is called "Honoring Service to America", we look forward to that deal every year. You can still tour Williamsburg without a ticket but you can't go into any of the homes or trades. Walking around the colonial section is nice, but you learn so much more when you are able to go into the trades or have a guided tour through the homes. This year we went into the weavers, the blacksmith, the cabinet maker, the apothecary and toured the Governor's Palace.
The tradesman working at these shops, know the history of their trade. Research is part of the job as well as becoming proficient at the trade The materials they make are used on site. Weavers make cloth that is used for costumes, brick makers and blacksmith's make materials for buildings constructed on site. The tradesman also take on apprentices to learn the trades, just as they did years ago. It was encouraging to see young people interested in learning skills that might otherwise be lost.
Visiting these places makes you very aware how blessed you are. Back in colonial times heat was provided by a fire, there was no air conditioning. When it got dark, you had light from the hearth, candles or oil lamps, no flick of the switch. You made use of your time, because you only had so much daylight, you prepared for winter. those last two items are something I need to be better at ( better use of my time and "preparing for winter")
The day ended with a parade and ceremony to honor those that had served our country. Again, I am thankful to the men and women that have served and sacrificed so much.