Wednesday, March 18, 2009

back in time

The other day Heather asked if we could go to the museum ~ "you know, the hands-on kid one?" Yes, I know the one. We've been before. But I picked a different one this time.

Today we went to a museum that focuses on the history of our region. Inside the museum there is a timeline of history with artifact filled displays. The kids got to grind corn and try to play some primitive Native American kids' games. In typical teacher-mom fashion, we didn't just check out the stuff, I made them read ~ out loud ~ about what we were looking at. They didn't mind a bit.

Then we moved on to the period housing. There is a street of houses that have been moved from various areas of the county to the museum grounds. They have been furnished with appropriate period furnishings. One house even had furniture belonging to the actual owners of the home. There were houses from 1905 to the 1950s era. More reading here too.

One of my favorites was the 1940s house. As soon as we walked in I was transported back to another time. It smelled just like my grandparent's house in Texas. Heather announced that it stunk. Not so. It had the smell of history, old books, and bittersweet memories to me.

Stephanie wanted to know if I would have lived in a 1940s-style house when I was a baby. I huffily patiently explained to her that I am not that old. I explained to her that my father was born in the 1940s. I also told her that when we saw a period house that I would have lived in as a baby, I'd let her know. There wasn't one.

The sign described that during World War II people sacrificed and made do. Instead of buying new furniture, they slipcovered what they had. Sound familiar? The rooms were small ~ the house was small. But the "people" they staged in each house looked happy. Well, the woman in the 1905 one-room home with a wood-fire stove and trundle sewing machine did not look thrilled. I showed the kids the sewing machine and explained how it works. "Wow, that must have been hard!" Yes, their life was hard. Insert the lecture talk about how easy we have it these days.

Love that fabric! Maybe I'll slipcover the couch in the front room with something like that. I'm sure Greg won't mind.

I asked the kids if they had to live in one of the houses on this street, which they would live in. We all agreed that we'd live in the 1940s house or 1920s house that was remodeled in the 40s and decorated with the 50s style. Those were the only two that had an electric washing machine!

There was a train depot. Heather was amazed at the size of the trunks. Where did they put these huge trunks in their small, small houses when they were not traveling? Hmmm.

There was even some "ghost town" buildings. This contraption was sitting outside the jail. Was it a torture device? In the heat the summer did they put the worst bad guys in there to rot?

The end of our time was spent outside & we started getting a little hot and maybe a little cranky. I showed Stephanie the covered wagon (minus the canvas) and told her to remember how small it is when her class talks about the wagon trains coming west. I told her that each family's possessions had to fit in the wagon. They had to leave much of their things and furniture behind. That left little room for people so they had to walk ~ on a day like today (84 degrees out), in a long dress, with petticoats. She was dismayed at that to which I told her to stop complaining about how hot is was at that moment. Such a great mommy!

Heather wanted to know if I had to do that when I moved here. I screamed told her, "I am not that old!" I told her that the wagon trains happened well over 100 years ago, and no, I was not in fact part of a wagon train.

As we were leaving, the kids told me they had a great time and thanked me for taking them to the museum. Whew! I was a little concerned about taking them to that museum, because it's not as hands-on as the other one. I tried to make it interesting for them, though. I'll just go start working on my acceptance speech for that award now.

1 comment:

Danny and Paulette said...

Since you are the only mother of my first two granddaughters, I vote for you as MOTHER OF THE YEAR. And I won't even ask for an I-sucked-up pin or anything.