Friday, October 24, 2008
a few weekends ago, we went as a group of student teachers with our coordinator to Mt. Vernon. i have been before, but it was really a great experience to hear more of the tidbits of history and delve into a man's life that i have not really studied as in-depth as i now will because of this experience.
first, you should know, it was pouring. like standing under a waterfall pouring.
no one was there. why they gave us weird looks, i don't know. you kept the place open, crazies—not me.
i was fascinated with how young Washington was to begin shining as a leader. he was a mere 23 years old when he stepped up to the plate in the American-Indian war. then he was an instant hero after that. he was brilliant and fearless and a great leader. his home is incredible and he just kept expanding it as the years went by because he eventually had means to. he loved to dance, and he loved painting his house blues and greens because they were "easier on the eyes." i love that.
he was self-conscious about his smile because he had awful teeth all his life. in fact, this picture, the one we look at all the time and never think twice about, was painted just after he had one of the first sets of dentures put in his mouth and his gums were swollen. it was fascinating to see how they did it (being one of only 4 pairs made by the inventor of dentures) because of watching the process (of teeth making) with my dad all these years. dad would have loved to see these things. truly incredible.
anyway, i had a moment while i was there, as each new bit of information confirmed how much GW was protected, or how he barely escaped death time and again. one of the guides even said that when he found out he was to be the president he said he felt like a "man going to his own execution." interesting words to choose.
he was insanely more spiritual than we ever talk about in school too, writing his own prayers to recite for each day of the week. he comments in his journal on more than one occasion that he felt "protected" or "inspired" or that he felt "divine influence." someone who knew all things must have prepared him for this purpose that he fulfilled.
without him, i wonder where this country would be.
no, i take that back. i don't even want to know.