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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Comportment, Conversation and Conviviality

IMG_2469I believe I belong to a different era where graciousness and civility rule. The family was able to pass through Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, on our way south and partake of some of the genteel gems from a time long ago.

We started with the milliner instructing us as to 18th century fashions. She told how, within a matter of a few years, no women in the town of 1800 souls, half of them slaves, would wish to be seen in “yesterday’s fashions”. Ruffles might have given way to cuffed sleeves, box pleats at the back of one’s bodice could become more Italian and fitted. Yet, one was rarely judged on IMG_2472their appearance alone, much as today, a wealthy individual may walk down the street in worn jeans, only to step into a smart sportscar.

In their day, fine ladies and mannered gentlemen demonstrated their station in life by their posture and overall comportment. They spoke in a civil way, designed to lift the spirits of those around Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 9.50.42 PMthem, to expose them to some tidbit of news to which they may be privy, or add to the convivial atmosphere.

Following that, we made our way to the nearby Raleigh Tavern, where a harpsichord and flute played minuets and maggots. Yes, maggots, which meant country dances. And before long, they had others out on the swept wooden floor, going IMG_2502through the paces.

I noticed the handful of homeschoolers who, with their families braved the snows to come to Williamsburg, were sitting taller and more erect, smiling more and had all electronics tucked away. Our group repaired to the coffeehouse for hot cocoa, coffee, or tea, where we tried to put into practice all the civility we could muster.

That alone was worth it!

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