Jefferson was a man who had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about an endless number of subjects, and he kept copious notes on everything that interested him. He was an inventor, an architect, a farmer, a surveyor, a scientist, an avid reader and letter-writer, and a man who was fluent in seven languages (and was in the process of teaching himself an eighth language when he died at the age of 83 on July 4, 1826--on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and within hours of our second President, John Adams). My husband and I couldn't figure out how Jefferson did all that he did--and the above list of his interests and accomplishments doesn't even tell the whole story--yet had time to serve two terms as President as well.
If you ever get a chance to visit Monticello, I highly recommend it. It is an utterly and completely fascinating place. You might come away from there wondering if Thomas Jefferson was some kind of obsessive-compulsive overachiever who must have been able to function on little-to-no sleep, or if it's just that you yourself are a bit on the lazy side in comparison. As my niece joked at dinner Wednesday night, "It makes me wonder how much I could accomplish if I didn't watch so much TV!" (We had just been talking about our shared obsession with the PBS series "Downton Abbey.")
Anyhoo--one of the great unintended consequences of my visit to Monticello is that I think it gave me at least 7 "takes" for my post today. Woo hoo!
By the way, Jefferson was just about the same height as my baby. Here's the proof.
Speaking of "Downton Abbey" (we did speak of it, back in #1 above--remember?), I was reminded of the show while we toured the basement rooms of Monticello. In the area where the dumb waiters (used for sending bottles of wine upstairs) were located, along with the intricate bell system for beckoning the servants to different parts of the house, we saw this. Downton fans, does this familiar image ring a bell?
Of course, we couldn't leave Monticello without first stopping by the museum gift shop to spend way more money than should have. We chose some fun shot glasses for our sons, a leather-bound book filled with Jefferson's famous quotes for my husband, and a small blue-and-white transferware plate for me--made not in China, but in Staffordshire, England. Like the Colonials, I have a soft spot for pottery from the Mother Land.
If you've been to Monticello, this post was probably a bit of a yawn-fest for you. But if you haven't, I thought it might get you inspired to make the trip someday. It is so worth it, believe me.
Okay, I'm already late getting this post up. In less than half an hour, it won't even be Friday anymore! But my husband and I were on the road all day today, making the 12-hour drive back from VA after a great visit with some of our gang. Then we got home and my computer crashed, and my husband had to figure out how to reboot it and get it up and running again for me. Better late than never, though. And don't forget to go over to Conversion Diary for more "7 Quick Takes Friday" fun.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!