Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Santa and visiting Old Salem #oldsalem #Christmas #history

Hello everyone!!! :-)

How are your holiday preparations coming along? I find myself feeling like I'm running out of time before Christmas day trying to get everything ready. We are hosting a get together at our house Christmas Eve with some friends and this is the first time we've had people nearby that we know after moving so much. It will sure help us get through the holidays not having family nearby... but these friends we've made we consider family and look forward to spending some time with them!

A couple weeks ago we went to meet up with Santa and Mrs. Claus so the girls could give them their Christmas lists... I'd say they were pretty good this year ;-)

Santa was in a playful mood and had us all laughing and having a great time. Joy to the holidays for sure!!! He even pointed out a man waiting in line and said "hey I remember you.... I bought you that very special bike back in 1974!!!" Kathleen was like "wow mom, did you hear that?!" I said yes, Santa remembers all the boys and girls he visits... just part of what makes him so magical and caring ;-)  I just love this time of year!

We have a yearly membership to Old Salem and went for the first time to see it all decorated for Christmas. We were all excited about this trip as we all enjoy learning about history. Old Salem has a lot of history pertaining to the Moravians. This was just one of the beautiful trees they had decorated in the lobby. Yearly memberships cover most of the activities, but specials are extra so it's nice we are able to choose what we do and don't want to do on a certain visit. On this visit we didn't do the extra activities, just walked around on our own doing a tour ourselves.

    I absolutely loved this old bridge that crosses over a road. At night the stars lit up underneath.

    "In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future"  Alex Haley

We are also a family who loves antiques and can appreciate fine craftsmanship. I was loving all the desks, cabinets and other furniture we were seeing in the museum part that day. All were still in excellent condition and I often wonder their thoughts as they sat at their desks... did they have money worries? Perhaps I like to think along the line of more happy thoughts like writing letters to their loved ones? :-)

There were many gorgeous displays of exquisite needlework done back in that day. Here is one I wanted to share.

This was a beautiful piece and I was intrigued by the lady who made it as I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Carroll County, MD. :-)

This sideboard here is even more gorgeous in person! I would love to have this as a part of my dining room.

This outdoor bench was quite large and truly amazing! Also made to withstand the Southern climate changes. I told Jerry he needed to add this to his to do list and we could build it out by our pond :-) Just add a few cushions and we are good to go!

This is one of the buildings we went into and learned a lot about slavery and individual slaves stories from that time. We also learned about how the Moravian church formed. Just behind it is a Moravian church with a graveyard and many stones are labelled child and adult. Originally they were just buried with no names and it was unknown who lived there until years later researchers found out who was in the cemetery. A plaque was made and put on the side of the church for all the buried bodies that they found the identifications for; but they could not determine what grave site they were resting in so they labeled the flat stones just child and adult. Only a couple raised headstones were there and labeled who was buried there. Inside the church had a glass floor in some areas where they raised it up and you were standing above the graves looking down. Those graves did have the names of who were resting there. So much history inside the church as well, very interesting!

" The grace of God is as inexhaustible as it is free. We can go continually to our Savior and ask for grace and receive it, and still it is not exhausted by that. As little as the ocean decreases if a little bird drinks from it every day, just as little does the grace of God decrease when we take from its fullness again and again as much as we need "             From the memoir of Jacob Hauser (1806)

Carriage rides were available and we saw several around town while we were walking around. There are private residences nestled in with the historical sites! How awesome would it be to live in a piece of this history!!

How simple the times were back then....nothing taken for granted and so much gratitude for what they had.

"Seek the truth, Listen to the truth, Teach the truth, Love the truth, Abide by the truth, and defend the truth until death"   John Hus (1369- July 6, 1415)

Can you imagine cooking your meals here each evening? No microwave quick fixes, no drive through fast food... just genuine home cooked meals to serve your family.

The Moravian Motto:

In essentials, Unity. In non-essentials Liberty, In all things Love.

We had lunch at a delightful little tea room. The girls tried this Rose Lemonade in a bottle. They weren't too sure what to make of it... they liked it... but then weren't sure, lol. It definitely had a different flavor and some carbonation. My girls have never had soda nor do they want to so the carbonation was different for them. At least this was a lot healthier than soda and made from natural ingredients.

                          Jerry tried one of their beers and said it was pretty good tasting. ;-)

I loved the hand embroidered curtains that said Tea Time! That holds true for me and Kathleen all the time! We sure do love our teas! :-)

                                            Served in the most delightful little tea cups!

            "You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me"   C.S. Lewis

Don't let that smile fool ya... this little one was enjoying a few of those sugar cubes by themselves too! LOL :-)

Hayley is not a tea drinker at all... but we convinced her to try this blackberry/raspberry flavored tea and she said it wasn't too bad. Kathleen, Jerry and I loved it!

                                           The food was very good here and plentiful!

I didn't notice her expression until I was loading these off the camera, lol so I just had to post both! ;-)

                                     Kathleen and I shared the full tea selection, so delicious!!!

Hayley was super excited that they had different flavored macaroons, so that is what she enjoyed for her dessert!

              This is Salem college in the background. Beautiful campus! So quaint and quiet!!

We really wanted to participate in the Candlelight Moravian Tea and Tour, but the line was wrapped down the building and continued down the street! Maybe next time....

                   Outside the bakery and boy did it smell amazing even from the street!! :-)

I love this pictured I captured of Jerry's reflection in the mirror and Hayley while trying on their hats. One of my favorites of the day! :-)

        We were having some fun in the hat shop.... choosing blue for the Union from the North....

                                          And grey for the Confederates from the South.....

                                                                  Facing off....

                        More beautiful historical homes and buildings to enjoy on our walk.

As we were walking back it was approaching dusk and the lights were on in the bridge... so pretty.

We had a lovely day and plan to go back many more times as one visit is not enough to see everything. I know the girls are already looking forward to it and planning when they are going back.

In other news.... Bobalina has returned this year and has been popping up all over the house causing lots of mischief!!

                Thanks for stopping by today, new post will be up soon!!! Many, many blessings,


Billie Jo said...

You are the most fun mom!
Love the time you spend with the girls!!!
Many blessings for a great Christmas!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill! I'm glad you are settling in. I love visiting Old Salem. There is a little restaurant/pub there. I can't remember the name of it at the moment but their food is GOOD! :-)

mamasmercantile said...

What an amazing place to visit, you certainly took us on a wonderful tour. The afternoon tea was a delight, I was impressed with the tea plate stand. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

McVal said...

What a beautiful place! I hope you and yours have a fantastic Christmas!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jill, what wonderful times you and your family have enjoyed this season. Love all the photos you captured and the history behind your outing.
Enjoy your Christmas eve gathering and best wishes to you and yours for a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the new year. Sending hugs your way. xo