Wednesday, May 5, 2010
A diesel truck woke us up at 5:15 this morning, leaving, we assumed, for work. So we went back to sleep but the sun woke us up at 6:45 am. We had our morning coffee until 7:15 then got up to a glorious day. Finding Walmart was easy, and we dropped off our prescriptions, found some mosquito and TICK spray, picked up our prescriptions, swallowed our capsule and went on to Monticello, right down the road a bit.
The entrance fee was steep at 44 dollars, so we decided to do all that it covered. Our house tour was great. I had that ‘connected’ feeling again realizing that Thomas Jefferson walked right on this very floor. It was the only thing we were allowed to ‘touch’. The house went into disrepair after his death on July 4, 1826 (exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence – which he wrote when he was 33!), but it is all still original glass, door frames and floors. The grounds were beautiful as you can see, and the garden tour revealed that he had even tried to grow figs and sugarcane. He was a great governor, congressmen, secretary of state, VP and president for two terms, but was in such great debt from all his purchases and rebuilding of his home, he needed to sell his personal library to the Library of Congress. It made him so sad, he told his good friend, James Madison, “I cannot live without books”, so Madison helped him replenish some of his library. [I bought a coffee cup during a Library of Congress visit with those words on it because I feel the same way, and it has been so hard to leave my books at home. Not to worry: many CGs have trading libraries where you leave one and take one, which will make me feel better.] Most of the sold-off furnishings in the house have found their way back through the generosity of patrons, such as bookcases that were built on the plantation and items he purchase in Europe during his diplomatic service in France for five years. Sorry this is so lengthy. We’re home now and going down to Ruth Ann Lake to see if we should stay one more day to kayak. I hope we make it to New Jersey before September. There is SO MUCH to see in this great country of ours!