The cool weather events, for many, are the favorites for the year and the Fall Harvest is the favorite muster , by far. Just like at home, there is the smell of wonderful cooking coming from every quarter, sounds of laughter, conversation, children playing, music drifting in the wind. The only thing missing is the sound of football on TV, but that’s for a later time.
This Fall Muster was no different than those before. Everyone was busy doing what they do best; scraping a hide, working with fiber, needles flashing or clicking, pots stacked, drilling. A little after 1 PM, the most scrumptious of dinners appeared. I heard that there was over a hundred dishes and as many people or more helping themselves to the seeming endless array. Something different this year was the pleasing variety of game dishes- bear stew and ribs, venison, rabbit and squirrel. After everyone took their fill, Chad conducted the auction for the Fife and Drum corp. I heard that it was very successful and considering this is the main way for funding this group, I know that every
penny raised was greatly appreciated.
Sunday broke clear and beautiful and considering that this is Thanksgiving, the frontier service was more meaningful that usual. For the rest of the day, the Militia entertained the public, and enjoyed each other’s company.
The weather grew cooler but not as miserable as last year when the Militia celebrated Christmas at Carter Mansion on Dec. 2-3. It seemed that the whole of Elizabethton came to celebrate Christmas with the Militia members in the beautifully decorated Carter Mansion. The spot to be both nights was around the fires warming up the mulled cider near the Visitor’s Center. The men kept filling, stirring and pouring what seemed like a never ending line of cups. Traditional snacks, nuts and ginger biscuits were served. The ladies , in their best finery, were inside the mansion made cloved oranges and the smell of citrus, spice and pine lent festive cheer.
Music, both days, drifted thoughout and the members and guests did what the Carters undoubtedly did, cleared the main hall and joined together in a boisterous Virginia Reel. Upstairs, Jennifer was in the children’s room doing portraits while Lisa Bennett and Molly do-si-docented in the master room, explaining the history of the family and the house. Molly took a spin on the walking wheel which was a lot easier to manipulate that the silly drop spindle that I’ve been fumbling with. Saturday was jammed with people who came after the parade downtown and Adam and Sterling added to the festive feeling by shooting off a pistol, adding a bit of percussion to the music being played inside. I think the Carters would have heartily approved the the joyous Christmas in their mansion.
(thanks to Randy Curde for letting me upload the pictures from his Facebook abum)