Add a New Perspective

What a year 2020 has been, and it isn’t over yet! As I am living this year of unpredicted, unusual, unprecedented events, I reach back into history, wondering how unique this strange year is in the centuries. I’m no expert on politics or pandemics, but I do love studying historical events. The one I’m most familiar with is the American Revolution. Even with my research, I have only touched a fragment of available information.

Anyway, I can’t help but make a little comparison. I’m not going to touch the subject of the politics of today. Let’s go on a journey to the 1770s in the thirteen colonies. What a conglomeration of people from different nations, backgrounds, and languages. The things they had in common circled around wanting something different than they had in their former lands, whether for religious, financial, or political reasons. Some even involved criminal elements. But did they expect a major war that would turn their world upside down.?

It wasn’t total chaos. Years of preparation, discussions, decisions, study, and even voting flooded the colonies. The destiny of a nation was formed through debate, disagreements, amendments, creativity, prayer, and eventually battles. The birth of our nation was painful, but the Patriots thought it important enough to press on to claim freedom for all mankind. Perfect? Far from it. I think we are still pursuing that goal today.

Heads up, my friends. Looking into the past can bring you hope in these times. Faith in our God goes a long way to living a peaceful life even in a year as confusing as 2020.

Can you think of another example of when the world was thrown into chaos and survived?

Importance of Community: Social

colonial-dance.jpgLast week I shared that many find the community of faith to be a pillar of life that supports all other areas. I agree. Whether a community like Charles Town, S.C. 1776 or a modern town, city, or village. But what else holds a special place in our lives? I believe one is the social element. Society.

img_2201.jpgAs I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of an introvert, not minding my own company. In the past, social events pulled me to participate. Now, not so much. I was one to always have a dinner party or birthday gathering. Fun. Fiesta. As my life continued to get busier and fuller, I found my social calendar suffered.

I remember the regular parties my friends and I had about fifteen years ago. We called them “hoolahs.” Every season, every occasion, or no occasion. The laughter, the food, and the awesome memories. So worth it!

Perhaps, we have lost the art of social events. I’m thinking back to the 1770s. In my Revolutionary Faith Series, Elizabeth and Louis enjoy numerous community events, large and small. Their commitments tire me just reading about them.  Dinners. Balls. Weddings. Charity events. Gowns. Hats. Flowers. In their world without movies, TV, cars, and internet, these events filled their time as entertainment. We’ve lost the need for that level of entertainment. And perhaps we’ve replaced these personal encounters with our impersonal devices.

IMG_2200I think I might plan a “hoolah” to satisfy my desire for social mingling.

Do you entertain at your home? 

Importance of Community: Religion

IMG_9113I take a walk through history as much as I can. On vacation. On walks in my hometown. Through old houses. Through old photo albums. In the pages of books. I’m enthralled with history. With that comes a desire to understand the people in those communities that seep through the time warp into my present mind.

I’ve found that the church or religion or belief in God, plays a great role in the lives of the ones who walked before us. My research for Revolutionary Faith finds the actions of the community of Charles Town wrapped around the spiritual beliefs and actions of the citizens. Religious affiliations help to mold the thoughts and therefore, actions of the members. Charles Town 1770s held a religious tolerance view that the other cities and colonies did not necessarily hold. This ecumenical existence brings the whole city together in support of the most important decision of their lives. It is true that the Church of England had the largest congregation and pull, but the other denominations and religions had a voice and role too.

IMG_0089My characters attend St. Philip’s Church, a Church of England congregation.  The importance of their participation with this group of citizens molds their lives. They find the community of faith a stronghold in their dramatic lives in the pre-revolutionary and revolutionary stages.  Marriages, burials, baptisms, worship, dinners, celebrations all revolve around the group of people they share through affiliation of the church. I read a very informative book about St. Philip’s and her growth and influence in the community (Book link). I’m sure there is such a book about your own affiliation out there.

Is it the same today? Do you find religion or faith to be one of the foundations of community?

Quiz 1770s

img_6155-1.jpgAs you know already, I am a teacher–French and Spanish. Yet, I LOVE history. It is in my genes, so I desire to share, to converse, to write, to read, to experience historical events and ideas. Since I write historical fiction, different groups ask me to speak about my books and my research. Although speaking in front of my peers is out of my comfort zone, I say yes–to book clubs, DAR, libraries, etc.

Being a teacher at heart, I like to throw in a quiz to allow the listeners to participate in the historical era. I’ve included a few true/false items here. See how well you know 1770s colonial history.

  1. The Rich Old Lady represented the colony of New York.
  2. The East India Company delivered tea in brick form.
  3. Members of the Petticoat Brigade distributed water to the poor.
  4. Everyone in the colonies knew how to ride a horse.
  5. Pineapples were a sign of wealth.
  6. Charles Town was known as a city of religious freedom.
  7. All men wore wigs.
  8. The Sons of Liberty was an old society of lawyers in England.
  9. The French language was taught to middle- and upper-class citizens.
  10. Christmas trees and wreaths were used as decorations.

 

These are useful tidbits to know when reading my Revolutionary Faith books. Welcome to my fictional/historical world.

IMG_5407(Answers: 1. F (England) 2. T 3. F (women carrying weapons, food, etc to rebels) 4. F (not in the cities) 5. T 6. T 7. F (always those who refused) 8. F (colonists rebelling against Britain) 9. T 10. F (not until 1800s).

How did you do on the quiz? Share your response!