For the first time in recorded history, the Winston’s are going to celebrate Thanksgiving away from home. I was recently invited to take part in the official 2008 Lighting Ceremony of the Pilgrim Monument at the Provincetown Museum. It promises to be an exciting day and, as it is touted as “Cape Cod’s most beautiful tradition celebrating the Pilgrim’s First Landing in America at Provincetown,” the whole family is looking forward to the trip.
Even though I am a proud American, I must admit that, before being asked to participate, I didn’t know a whole lot about The Pilgrim Monument. The 252-foot tall campanile is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States and was built between 1907 and 1910 to commemorate the first landfall of the Pilgrims in 1620 and the signing in Provincetown Harbor of the Mayflower Compact. As you probably remember from history class, the Pilgrims spent five weeks exploring Cape Cod before they sailed to Plymouth, MA. After spending weeks at sea, the pilgrims would not set foot on land until writing and signing the Mayflower Compact, the first instance of a democratic society in the New World. In 1907 the cornerstone was laid by President Roosevelt, and so began the building of the 252-foot all granite tower. The Monument was designed by Willard T. Sears and inspired by the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy designed by Arguolo and Agostino in 1309.
Learning about the origins of the Pilgrim Monument made me realize that there is quite a lot about America that I don’t know, so I decided to extend our adventure and make the trip out east a road trip to remember. The kids are going to take a few days off school (they have to turn in a report on our journey to make up for the missed days), Mrs. Winston is going to skip the annual Turkey day bake sale and we are going to hit the road, Winston style.
Of course, I expect the children to take copious notes during the journey but there is bound to be some down time. That’s why I’m bringing the Case Logic Rear Seat Entertainment Center. It promises to keep the kids entertained even on the longest of road trips. There is a flip-down 3-in-1 game board (checkers, chess and tic-tac-toe) with Velcro game pieces, a viewing platform and security harness for a portable DVD player, three storage pockets and six CD/DVD sleeves. It looks so entertaining, I may let my daughter drive while I teach my youngest the finer points of chess.
Well, I’ve got some planning to do—I wonder where the world’s largest ball of string is located? Remember, as my good friend W. T. Purkiser always said “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”