Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Day at the Museum-- Sorry, no Ben Stiller pics involved

One of these mornings, I'll have to play around with the picture controls on here and figure out exactly how to put them where I want them, not just where the computer says they're going to be! But-- this isn't that morning! The bead in the pic was done around Veteran's Day last fall. I was inspired by reading Flags of My Fathers (might be off on the title; it was the book about Iwo Jima). I always loved the Johnny Cash song about Ira Hayes. It sounds so forlorn, which how I imagine it must feel to go off to war and then return. . . how do you get your life back? I am certainly grateful to all the veterans who've served our country. I thought about this Ira Hayes bead because I took the kids to our local Historical Society museum yesterday, and they were fascinated with all the uniforms that have been donated over the years. Their own grandfather was in the Army at the end of WWII when he met their grandmother in Germany. He brought her home to the States after the war. I wish I could've met him so I could tell the kids more about them both. Grandma Angie was one tough Angie Garren! She was fun, too, though, so I'm guessing living in a warzone influences your attitudes and personality. I guess you'd describe her as one of those people who express ev-ery-thing very dramatically. Oh, but those uniforms yesterday at the museum-- most were from the WWII and Korean conflict eras. I get could get lost in that museum if I were there by myself, gazing into old newspaper photos, reading old letters, looking people up in the high school yearbooks, finding out the stories behind the objects on display. . .
So, what all intrigued my two 5 year olds (nope, not twins, James just hasn't had his 6th birthday yet)? Well, they loved all the uniforms. They didn't pay that much attention to the details, but they were full of questions as they went from one to another: "What's the Navy? Is that a soldier, too? Uncle Mike's in the Air Force. Is his uniform here?? Look at the hat. That's a hat, too?"
They were also intrigued by the old freight elevator in the building. The building is near the railroad tracks in Centralia, and it used to be used as a warehouse. The volunteer in the museum yesterday bent a little rule and used the freight elevator to take us from the first floor up to the second floor. James and Kate were thrilled! (A big thank you to that volunteer!) Where there's a railroad track near a building, there just might be a loading dock, too, you know. The kids are always thrilled with a part of the building on the west side-- the wall has been closed in, but there is still a raised ramp built into the wood floor. Yep, they both have to slide down it every time we are at the museum.
Know what else we have to do every time we go to the museum? Go in the caboose and climb up into the window seats! I wish trains still needed cabooses. . . James and Kate would be thrilled to have the person in the caboose wave at them. Everytime we go in the caboose, I think about all the times we got a wave from the caboose guy when we were kids. It never lost its thrill; time after time, we were so excited.
And that was our day at the museum. Actually, given little-kid attention spans, it was more like our hour at the museum, but they were very good on this little jaunt! Can't wait to go again! Hope you re-discover something that intrigues you today. . . Ang

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