Sunday, November 9, 2014

Returning to Colonial America and New Castle Delaware

By Tiffany Amber Stockton

Last month, I introduced you to the heroine from my first published novel. She shared her news about leaving England and joining her parents in America, detailing her fears and concerns about beginning life anew.

We'll continue hearing from her today, where she'll share a little of what it was like arriving on a ship in the New World and all her new life had to offer.

When the ship stopped in Philadelphia, we planted our feet on dry land and bowed down to give thanks to God Almighty for bringing us here safely. Others who traveled with us were not so fortunate. Their lives were not in vain, but I offer a prayer for their families who will learn of their deaths weeks or months from now.

Philadelphia reminded me a lot of home, with its cobblestone streets, carriages, women and men dressed in fashion and the children running to and fro, carefree. Although we were not among those in the poorer parts of the ship, our health still suffered greatly. We could not tarry long, however, as we had to make our way to New Castle, where our new life awaited. After securing horses and a carriage for our belongings, we began our journey into the Three Lower Counties.

We mostly walked. To carry our gear—tools, tents, and food—we had a large, heavy wagon pulled by a team of strong horses. The road through the woods was sometimes just a path that we had to clear of trees. We helped the horses by pushing the wagon as they strained up long, steep hills and by guiding the team across streams and rivers. It was very important that everyone worked together, and we traveled with a small assembly of 9 others. At night, the we found a comfortable camping place near a spring or clear creek. Everyone had jobs, and Mar cooked meals over a campfire—the chicken was especially delicious.

We slept in blankets on the ground under the stars, sometimes putting up a tent. One of our group slept in a hammock that he strung between two trees. After breakfast, the journey continued. We met interesting people along the way: innkeepers, millers, or farmers from whom we bought grains, hay for our horses, and food. Most of the people we encountered spoke English or German, so we had no difficulty communicating. As we got closer to our destination, we saw more and more people and the area became more populated nearer New Castle.

I look forward to our new home and feel the excitement of beginning life anew here. I only pray it will bring Papa the great success he seeks.


The ships arrive and depart from the bay, all with some place to go or bringing new people and supplies to town. I am sitting on the banks as I write this, wishing for something more than the life I now have. Do not misunderstand; this life in the Colonies has been one of adventure and surprise, but I cannot help but long for the familiar days of my life in England. I was comfortable then. I knew what to expect out of the people there. I had my place, and my future was all but guaranteed.

Now, working in the candle shop Mar and Papa own and living in the quarters above the shop, I find I long for more. There are many other residents here in town who are near my age, but they seem to have a life that is so foreign from my own. I try to get involved, but I find that I simply do not see things from the same perspective as they. I am learning, though, thanks to Kaariana, a young girl I would have to consider my greatest friend here.

She came into the shop a few weeks ago and asked if I would like to join her for a refreshment on the town green. After receiving Mar's approval, I left. We quickly found much in common, despite our different backgrounds, and she has been a constant companion every since. We do almost everything together. I must admit that her presence has made the lonely days much more bearable.

As we begin to head into the summer months here, I find the weather to be quite different than it was back home. Mar has had to purchase lightweight fabric for new clothing, and we often leave our windows open abovestairs to release the oppressive heat that gathers at the higher levels.

I still long for home, but each day here is lessening that desire. Perhaps I can find comfort in this new life. Papa and Mar wish I would try. For them, and for me, I shall.


Today, Mar showed me how to blend the wax we dip to allow for a multi-color display when the cooled wax candle is carved. The entire process fascinates me. There are a certain number of dips that must be made in each color for the blend to be completed successfully. Then, the wax has to cool to a certain temperature in order for the second color to be added without melting the previous layer.

Kaariana came calling after she had completed her studies for the day. When she observed the work Mar and I were doing, she wished to assist as well. Together, we accomplished three times more than I had alone. Papa took our cooled wax to another table in the back of the shop for carving. Kaariana and I were both fascinated by the result when Papa put his knife to the soft wax.

The curls began at the top as he sliced through the various layers, shaping and molding the carvings back against the original wax piece. Sometimes, the curls would be a completely different color. Other times, it would be a mixture of several colors. Each candle was unique, and we received the highest payment for these.

It is a good thing Papa selected this shop location. The front window is protected from the sun's heat by the large maple tree in front. Because of that, we are able to display our finer candles for all to see. Townsfolk come at all times of the day and early evening, and we have had some requests for specific needs.

I love this work, but I admit. Kaariana makes everything more enjoyable. She cannot replace my dear cousins, but her smile and mischievous nature are a welcome respite against the young gentleman who come calling or the pretentious boars who attempt to impress me with tales of their accolades. Thanks be to God I am not yet of the age where I need be considering this, but Mar tells me it will not be too much longer.

Pray that times passes slowly, for if the young men here are any indication of my options, I would prefer to remain with Mar and Papa.

Now it's YOUR turn:

  • What one thing surprised or fascinated you about the journal entries today?
  • How long do you think it would take you to make friends in a new place?
  • Do you easily make friends, or does it take you a while to warm up to new people you meet?

Next month, it's a showcase of Colonial New Castle and why I've chosen such a fascinating town as the setting for my upcoming 3-book series for a new publisher. Have a blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving and I'll see you in December!

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having a very active imagination and cited with talking entirely too much. Today, she has honed those childhood skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who has partnered with Nerium International in the anti-aging skin care industry, helping others look younger and live better. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one girl and one boy, an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie and and Australian cattle dog/Corgi mix named Timber. She has sold fourteen books so far and is represented by agent Sandra Bishop of the TransAtlantic Agency. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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