Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Day of Old Memories and the Making of New Ones

 Today we (the family except for Ken and Mara as both needed to work) went down to Brainerd, MN. Our older 3 kids had entered an essay contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution and all of them won at the local level. (Last year Mara and Jonathan both won at the local level and Jonathan then won at the state level as well.) So since we had submitted the essays through the group in Brainerd (we don't have one in our town) they invited us to a luncheon and wanted the kids (but Mara couldn't come) to read their essays to the.

 Our drive down was a little over 2 hours but it was so beautiful with the blooming fruit trees which thank-fully did not get all frosted last night (we thought they quite possibly would). I had the kids practice reading their essays as we went.

   When we got their the sweet group of ladies had the boys read their essays and then presented them (there were 2 other kids there that had also won and they gave Mara's stuff to me) with a check, a certificate, a calendar and a bookmark. They also gave me a rose and our family two books. They also bought us lunch.

 It was a very fun luncheon. We talked about history, about our need to preserve the constitution and our country that we need to pray for and more. We are very grateful for their sweet service to our country and to us.

 Being in Brainerd brought back old memories for me. When I was a child my best friends - the family that was like Aunt, Uncle and Cousins to me (all or our real blood relatives lived far away and though I loved them I didn't know them real well) lived here in Brainerd. I decided I would see if I could find where they lived as I knew I was in the general area.

  Sure enough, I found it. Dale, the dad used to preach at the Christian Church/Church of Christ there and they lived in the parsonage. We spent many fun hours there.

   The kids really enjoyed seeing a part of my childhood and hearing stories about times there.
A big tree in the back yard had come down and some things have changed a little but mostly it is the same.
Out behind the church building is a little stream with a big culvert that goes under the road. I told the kids how we used to walk through that culvert with our legs spanning the little stream while we did it. Of course they wanted to try too.

When driving out of Brainerd we found a place to go and explore "Our" river (the Mississippi) a bit. It was fun to go walking by it.

 Pretty as always. There were a couple of cute islands in this area.
 On our home we were kind of in the meandering mood. As we were driving by Nisswa I saw a sign for a pioneer village. Aaron saw it quickly too and said it looked neat so we turned around and went back. We first noticed the train car and had to check it out.
 The museums (by the train and the pioneer village) were closed but it looked like we could still look around the grounds of the pioneer village. After all the gate was open and I saw another old man back there walking around. So we thought we would go walk around too.
  I said "Hi" to the old man and he wondered if we would like to see in the school-house. "Kid's like to see in the schoolhouse". We said "Sure". So he unlocked the door (this guy actually ran the place - he wasn't just taking a walk like I supposed) and had fun showing us around in there and pointing out different things. After going out I thanked him and then he said we would probably like to see the bank so he unlocked that door too and showed us all around in there too. It was so fun having our own personal tour guide who would tell us about whatever object we might happen to wonder about.

After the bank he took us into an old homestead house (all except one of the buildings were authentic and had been moved there. They were mostly neat old log cabins. The homestead had an old stone fireplace that he said they moved too. So cool! After the homestead he took us into what they called the livery but what simply had a lot of different things to see.
They had this logging kitchen set up in there.
There were a lot of trunks that came over with immigrants. This one had 1776 on it and he said it was authentic. That was pretty neat!

 We felt so grateful and delighted to have been given our own personal (Free!) tour from this elderly man (who told me a little about his childhood in the 30's!). What a blessing from God for him to have orchestrated that meeting for our enjoyment. He is so good to us.

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable day and quite frugal too. We did stop at a sporting goods store in one little town we went through and Jonathan bought a somewhat expensive fishing lure but hopefully it will work to help him catch a lot of fish in the future. We also bought icecream cones at a gas station (but we did figure out that when we bought them in a box we could get them for less than a dollar a piece) but otherwise we did spend any money for anything except gas.


Nola said...

Sounds like fun! I can't wait until the trees start greening up and blooming here. So far we have tiny feathery needles starting on the two tamarack trees in our yard.

Your oldest son is getting so big and tall!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a delightful day!

Carmen N said...

I love old church buildings; they just don't make them like that anymore (many don't even look like churches).

How wonderful you got a personal tour of the pioneer village. We had a fun adventure too this weekend; stopping by a middle-of-nowhere gas station. Behind it was a little free "zoo" - donkeys, 3+ kinds of goats, mini oxen, mini horses, llamas, ducks and a couple peacocks. We did spend $1 to buy some handfuls of oats to feed them but it was a nice break from our travels. It was such a hidden treasure, I'm sure many don't even know the petting zoo is there!

Abbi said...

Nola, Yes, Jonathan is getting big. He has passed up everybody but his dad but that could easily happen too. :-) That is interesting that you are so behind us in plants blooming and such.

Anna, It was fun. It would have been fun to have you with us! :-)

Carmen, That is cool that you discovered a little petting zoo. I remember finding a free one like that when we were in Florida.


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