November is an important month for Pilgrims!
Time to batten down the house, the garden, store the root vegetables, plan Thanksgiving.
I used to get asked frequently if my name was real! Better yet I got asked if Patience Brewster was a real person!
My real name was given to me by my parents after my 10th great aunt, daughter of Elder William Brewster.
We are both real and we are both descended from the Elder, spiritual leader of the Pilgrims.
I loved being named after her but I am descended through her brother, Love.
For decades, children who met me when I visited in their schools said, "Oh! We thought you’d be OLD!”
Funny, I don’t hear that anymore! Seems I have grown to match the sound of my name!
I grew up in Plymouth Massachusetts where I lived in my heritage. I could see the site of my 11th grandfather's home, grave and the church he created as a symbol of religious freedom.
As a child I thought the best part of being a Brewster was that their love of Plymouth and New England meant they never left! I had grand parents, a great grandmother, hoards of cousins, second cousins and first-cousins-once-removed in my life.
I remember when the reproduction of the Mayflower, the Mayflower II arrived in Plymouth in 1957, recreating the first voyage across the Atlantic that the original ship made in 1620.
When I was 5, my father and uncles rowed out to meet the arriving sailors in the shallop. The boat they rowed was a replica, built at Plimoth Plantation, a hand hune copy of the boat the Pilgrims would have used to explore the new land. They dressed as Pilgrims and brought the weary sailors to terra firma.
It was mild a festive day, nothing like the harsh December arrival date the Pilgrims had to an unknown land in 1620.
Looking kind of out of place is Richard Nixon, Vice President at the time.
It is now time, 49 years later, for the Ship's face lift. Mine too! Probably too late for me, but the ship is already on her way to Mystic Seaport for her make over!
Restoration is happening over the next two years.
For all you relatives out there who have contacted me through the years, I am posting this and a family tree for you.
You can help the Mayflower get her work done by clicking here.
The First Parish of Plymouth, the reason the Pilgrims made the voyage here, needs work too.
This is the church who’s pews I wriggled around on. White gloves did double duty, deferring pinches from my sister Sarah and then hugging my mouth to muffle giggles that wanted to erupt thanks to silent jokes and secret signals being sent down the line of siblings.
The Mayflower Society is another important organization that supports our country's heritage and history.
Plymouth is a grand place to visit, but the Plantation and Pilgrim Hall Museum will have to suffice until the restored, surprisingly small ship that carried those 202 brave "souls and strangers” across the Atlantic returns in 2018.
Bon Voyage Mayflower!