It’s hard to believe that this time last week, Mr. N and I were still in the midst of our cross country trip. I have a bit of free time this evening, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the last days of our trip.
We spent the beginning of last week at my parents in Virginia, which was lovely, but went by far too fast — and, as usual, things were so busy I forgot to take many pictures. There was yummy food, fishing and knitting by a pond, and because I was home a few days longer than expected, I got to help my mom out with a knitting class she was teaching at a senior camp. Our class was small (three lovely women), and we were working on making a simple, cotton washcloth. I’m not sure how much headway we made with two of the trio, but one woman left having caught the knitting bug — hoorah!
On Thursday we continued onto DC, and Friday morning we were lucky enough to have an opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture. It is an incredibly moving museum, one that would definitely repay many, many visits. I’ve never been to a museum that was so well-attended, with so many people really engaged with the exhibits. Much of the material is difficult and emotional, of course, but the museum presents a really important recounting of American history — I’m so glad it’s now open to the public and is doing this important work. If you find yourself in D.C., I can’t encourage you enough to spend some time there.
For the most part, I just wanted to experience and process the exhibits. But when I came across some different handmade items, I managed to remember to pull out the camera.
Like this tin made by Joseph Trammel, a man living in 19th century Virginia, designed to protect his freedom papers:
Or this heartbreaking sack, given by an enslaved woman named Rose to her daughter Ashley. It was filled with pecans and a lock of Rose’s hair for Ashley to remember her mother by. Ashley’s granddaughter, Ruth Middleton, embroidered the sack with the story in the 1920s.
Harriet Tubman’s shawl, given to her by Queen Victoria:
This skirt, carefully made for an enslaved girl named Lucy Lee Shirley:
And this skillfully made dress and beautifully embroidered scarf (from the late 18th or early 19th century), both of which were made by unknown enslaved women:
We had a morning to explore, and it wasn’t anywhere near enough time. I hope I have another chance to visit soon.
After that, we spent one more lovely evening in DC with friends … then Saturday Mr. N deposited me with our friend and he headed for his flight in New York. And that brought an end to our wonderful adventure. The Fade continues, if a bit slowly … looking forward to showing you more soon.