Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Celebrate July 4 – The Beginning of Freedom in the USA

Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay

Independence Day – July 4 – celebrates the spark that marked the beginning of freedom for millions. Human history, for all its accomplishments, is also scarred with oppression. Slavery was about as common as any other institution. Not until the 18th century did a large enough groundswell of enlightenment and moral indignation even begin to put an end to it.

The freedom-loving patriots of yesteryear were no strangers to hardship. Compared to today, they had to do everything the hard way. We should appreciate them more if we explore a bit of their lives and times during the Independence Day weekend. So, gather your children, family and friends. Turn off your cell phones and other electronic devices. Here are some activities that we can do together.

Do colonial crafts

Crafts today are what most of us do for pleasure in our spare time. In those days, craft works were more often for utility or survival. Here are a few ideas gathered from around the internet for things to do that’ll give an idea of what it was like in the olden days.

Plant an herb garden

Growing herbs at home needn’t be a big deal. A few herbs in pots, planters or window boxes will do.

Make soap

Cleanliness is next to godliness, it’s said. Better still, include some herbs in the mix. Find out what it was like to make your own soap and use it.

Make paper

You could start from scratch using wood, but don’t go to that much trouble if you don’t want to. Learn how to make paper at home. Making our own paper would prevent us from wasting so much of it.

Make a quill pen

If you can’t find a large enough feather, run over to Hobby Lobby before Sunday for a package of white craft feathers. Here's a video on how to make a feather quill pen.

Brew herb tea

American Patriots turned against drinking imported Camellia sinensis tea in the mid-18th century, for obvious reasons. So they turned toward herbal teas. If you have some herbs like mint, chamomile, bergamot or hibiscus in your garden, brew a pot of sober beverage. Here's how to make herbal tea.

Cook a meal using colonial recipes

The precisely descriptive recipes of today were hardly known before the Fannie Farmer Cookbook was published in 1896. Most recipes simply named the ingredients, and measurements were figured in pinches, dollops or hands-full. But some have been modernized. These Colonial Recipes sound delicious!

Play old-fashioned games

Marbles, jackstraws, horseshoes or leapfrog, anyone?

Go on a nature walk

I just published a blog article on the topic. Take your kids on nature walks. Check it out.

Read a story about colonists or Revolutionary events.

Stories about children are especially interesting to young people. Liberty's Children: Stories of Eleven Revolutionary War Children, Johnny Tremain, Stories of Colonial Children and Boys and Girls of Colonial Days should be on your reading list. The last three can be found at archive.org. (You’ll have to turn your electronic device back on for that.)

Gather with family members to reminisce.

Before there were books, lessons were taught orally. Telling family stories and tales of past experiences help to bind us together with mutual understanding.

Enjoy a patriotic concert

How I’ve loved those summer evenings picnicking near the bandstand and listening to patriotic music. A quick internet search will probably display several venues in your area.

So, with a little inspiration in mind and love of liberty in your heart, go celebrate our great nation's independence this weekend.

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