Our trip over on Sunday was uneventful...for which we were glad.
(Click on the pictures to see them larger.)
I had a fever by the time we got there (actually a 99.3--so a real fever), so I was allowed to be lazy about unloading Annabelle. I went to bed fairly early.
Monday morning...(excuse me while I refer to my blue spiral bound that effects to by my journal [yes, you may gasp with surprise, I actually do keep a journal now...even if it does end up with substantial holes in it, I haven't given up this time around])...ah yes...Monday morning, I went downstairs an whole hour early, due to a misprint on the email I had gotten concerning my impersonating. Anyway, I eventually ended up offering to help the lovely ladies setting up the registration table and while I felt more in the way than anything, they did accept the offer. Thus was the slightly awkward beginning to a fantastic three days.
When the time rolled around for myself to actually start my impersonating business, I took up my station (I *ahem* rather put my stakes in right there by that sign). I forget all the people I talked to over the course of next two days as they tried to guess who I was portraying (the impersonators where the clues in a treasure hunt): Mrs. General Stuart. I mean Flora Cooke Stuart, wife of James Ewell Brown Stuart. :) Since nobody knew who Flora was (she didn't do anything spectacular), the means of guessing my identity was really guessing JEB Stuart's identity. I got quite a lot of practice referring to "my husband"--rather an odd sensation to an unmarried woman. :D
Anyway, a few instances stand out to me: the tenacious determination of a blue-eyed boy of about 10 and his reticent little brother (about 6) who had no idea really even who JEB Stuart was (I was really impressed by this kid), the three little girls who would end up being my playmates for the latter half of Tuesday, the young man who won the 18+ age bracket of the treasure hunt, the pretty lady that reminded me of a lady at church, the sparkling blue eyes and dimples of a fellow impersonator (so I'm a sucker for dimples), the rapidity of the two brothers who tied for the win in their age bracket (they made me laugh), the family with all the pretty little girls in their matching dresses and their three brothers. The youngest was missing both his top front teeth and completely charmed me. :D
Well...that seems like more than a few, but you get the idea. I talked to a variety of people and enjoyed it all for the most part. I only fell out of character a couple of times, which I thought was pretty impressive since it was my first time impersonating like this. (Um...did that sound like a brag?)
Between impersonating, I attended sessions like any other normal conference goer. Monday's sessions:
The Cause of the War Between the States (Dr. Morecraft): The long and short of this one was the theological background; the differences between North and South. Roughly, the South still maintained an orthodox Protestantism whereas the North had accepted "Enlightenment" theology and had become Unitarian.
The Pirate Lafitte (Bill Potter): Lafitte was a pirate, despite his helping Andrew Jackson win the Battle of New Orleans. :D Anyway, Mr. Potter discussed pirates in general a bit and drew the distinction between an pirate and a privateer. Of course, he actually told Lafitte's history! (One of the Summer's sons was impersonating Lafitte...his costume was quite dapper...and he had a great pair of boots. So did his brother... :D [Boot-philia, I think we might call this].)
You Ain't Just Whistling Dixie (Mrs. Morecraft): I didn't take any notes...but I laughed all the way through it as Mrs. Morecraft drew Southern words and phrases out and laid them before her appreciative audience. Dr. Morecraft informed Daddy and myself later that he was watching me (I was in the very back of the room and he was sitting in his wheelchair near the doors) as much as he was watching Mrs. Morecraft. Apparently, I amused him. :D It's really quite a compliment.
The Industrial Revolution and the Family (Wesley Strackbein): I must have been either hungry or not feeling well, because my notes (and memory) on this particular talk are rather sketchy. However, this (edited) little scribble probably sums things up fairly well: The industrial revolution destroyed the family economy unit; children were up until this point an asset, not a liability--this was switched with industrialization. Technology must be our tool rather than our master.
The Fascinating History of American Music (Geoff Botkin): I immediately thought of one of my brothers when Mr. Botkin began this one. :) Anyway, I did not take any notes for whatever reason...but did find the session interesting, despite my current inability to regurgitate any of it.
The War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans (Bill Potter): I do so enjoy Mr. Potter's talks, even if I have a time of it taking notes from him. At any rate, he opened the issue with a discussion on whether or not the War of 1812 was even a just war. I confess I had never thought about the question before. The consensus was that it was a little iffy as to legitimacy; I would have to do a little more research on my own before I would state conclusively either way. (An interesting factoid here...during this war, New England threatened session...just thought you might like to be reminded of that fact. ;]) And...my notes are rather sparse...
Old Hickory (Wesley Stackbein): Of course, me, myself, and I had to go to the session on a fiery red-headed hero of mine! As Mr. Stackbein reiterated a couple of times, Andrew Jackson was by no means a perfect man, but he definitely had traits to emulate. I won't give you his history here though...
Economics, Law, and Liberty (Dr. Raymond): The more I listen to Dr. Raymond, the more I understand why Savannah has such respect for him. This was the first of several of his sessions that I attended. He is such a...vivacious...blunt speaker. Anyway, this talk was essentially on tithing...and the implications of it, etc.
The Social Engineers and What they Designed (Geoff Botkin): At this point I had "lost" my notebook (in the form of handing it to Katherine to take back to the room because I was unable to handle it and keep up with the little girls). Therefore, I obviously did not take notes.
I missed a session on Tuesday because first I was talking to "Captain Jack" and tying knots...and then because I was talking to a 12-year-old laddie...and then because the little girls descended upon me. I am still not exactly why they took to me the way they did, but I guess my internal "kid-magnet" must have activated. I didn't mind it at all, that's for sure!
Robert Lewis Dabney, a Giant Among Men (Dr. Morecraft): A short history of Dabney.
Principles of Christ's Lordship in the Founding of America (Dr. Raymond): Oh, bother. I simply do not know how to condense this one! He covered too much history! (And ground.) Let's see if this passes: Dr. Raymond demonstrated that these United States were founded on Christian God's Law, not "natural law".
The Geo-Political Ramifications of the Incarnation (Dr. Raymond): My notes on this one were really, really sketchy. Hardly enough to jog my memory. Let's see...God's Kingship should be a fact to us...total comprehensive rule over all nations, laws, people, etc.
Woodrow Wilson: A Sacred Fool? (Bill Potter): I chose this session over the other two because I really didn't know that much about Wilson, except that he was a progressive and was president during WWI...and that he was from Virginia. Now, I know a little more about him and more about his politics. He really was what we would call a "liberal" and became such by turning his back on the staunch southern Presbyterian upbringing he had had. I thought this little sidenote was interesting: the 19th Amendment granted women suffrage...and the majority of women were actually opposed to the idea. Oh...and the 16th Amendment (Income Tax); it never was ratified!
The Challenge of the Reformation in Modern America (Geoff Botkin): The final session of the conference, Mr. Botkin exhorted the attendees with a list of "mandates" (these may not be quite right, I didn't always get them written down fast enough): 1) Be prepared to walk alone for a season; 2) Providence leads us to hope; 3) Remember what is at stake; 4) Re-learn everything if you must; 5) Defend, assert, and model what the church should be; 6) Disciple Christ's men by inspiring them to courage; 7) Stand firm, but do not be formulatic and rigid; 8) Maintain a pioneer spirit; and 9) Be gentle and magnanimous.
However, to drop back in time a little...
We didn't get any pictures Monday...and Tuesday the photos Savannah took of me in my "day clothes" were so bad (somebody forgot to remind me to lift my chin! ;P) that I decided not to post any of them. I do have enough vanity you know. But there were some nice pictures of my sisters, so I'll let you look at those instead!
There wasn't really much dancing, because all the other stuff took up time, but it was still fun. The last dance I did with a toddler on my back. :) I really do enjoy incorporating small children into the dances. The look of joy in their eyes far, far outweighs any "inconvenience" their ignorance causes.
Anyway, I'm sure y'all want to see my awful hair-do. Mama saw the pictures and she gasped in horror. Literally. I'm not kidding you.
Anyway...here are the girls:
I did my shopping that final day, purchasing several books, though certainly not as many as last year.
Thursday morning, Daddy and I sat with Dr. Morecraft while he ate his breakfast, along with Mr. Botkin. It seems to me, on the one hand, rather odd and awesome to be sitting and talking to these well-known men...but then on the other, sitting and watching them eat breakfast reminds me that they, like myself, are just regular human-beings. Sure, they may be older and wiser than myself, but they are also just like me, persons created in the image of God, fallen in Adam and redeemed by Christ Jesus.
We pulled out and headed into southern Illinois to pick up our sink...
Thankfully, we got home with no issues...
I might as well briefly tell you that I mowed today...and that I managed to bend the blades even worse than ever by hitting a stump. However, in the process I learned that I can indeed take the blades off and straighten them--to a degree. If I had worked at it a little longer, the really badly bent blade could have gotten straightened out better. Oh well...
I ate enough dirt today, what with me mowing and the farmers plowing...and the wind blowing. :P
A'right. Good-night, y'all!