Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rediscovering, Part 1

When I was little, when my first real memories begin, at the early elementary age, we lived in a tiny little town in central Pennsylvania called Tyrone.  It's near Altoona.  Tyrone's big claims to fame were that it was the home of Gardner's Candies (creators of the peanut butter meltaway, yummmm)

and the home of bandleader/musician/radio personality Fred Waring.
There was a Fred Waring Day each year in Tyrone, though I don't for the life of me remember what anyone did to observe it.  There was a paper factory that stunk up the town on occasion and I remember two parks, Soldiers Park which memorialized fallen soldiers from Tyrone, and Reservoir Park where the annual Easter Egg Hunt was held.  I remember going to Soldiers Park on a school field trip.

When I was in third grade, we moved back to a suburb of Philadelphia (I was born in that area too).  When you live there, your school field trips are all to Philly museums and historical sites.  Which is a lucky thing, obviously.  Except when you're a kid, you don't see it like that.  Instead, you whine, because, well, you're a kid and you're good at whining.

"We're going to the Art Museum again?"

"We went to Betsy Ross' house in second grade."

"Yeah.  It's the Liberty Bell.  Seen it."

When you're young, you really don't appreciate the treasures around you, especially if they are relatively easily accessible.  As I grew older, I didn't visit many of these places.  When I could, I'd hit the Jersey shore or if I was really lucky, see a show in NYC.  My little world was broadening and I didn't want to see the same old museums; I wanted to see what else there was to see out there.
Broadway - New York City

My Philly suburb was still pretty city-like, and I always wanted to live somewhere a little quieter, so I went to a teeny tiny college whose entire student body was about the size of my high school graduating class, and then Handsome Hubs and I ended up settling down in a small town (which I love love love).  I laugh because TR's school field trips have been to the local museum of our town, local farms, the ice cream shop, the pizza parlor, and once a year they go somewhere bigger like the Philly Zoo or the Franklin Institute.  But Philly is an hour away, so those trips are a big deal, not like when I was a kid.  She loves to go.  This past summer, when Tootsie Roll was about to turn eight, we took her to Washington, D.C. because she really wanted to see the landmarks she was learning about in school, in particular the Lincoln Memorial.

(I won't tell you about how Curly Jones scooted under that little chain there and ran up the steps, screaming in three year old glee.)  We saw most of the major landmarks in D.C. and went to several of the Smithsonian museums.  We hadn't planned on going into the Smithsonian Art Museum; however, because I thought we might get thrown out  the three year old I mentioned above isn't exactly the most sedate, art-appreciative type just yet.  But we went in by accident, thinking it was the Museum of Natural History (which we eventually found next door).

Anyway, where is this story going?  When we went into the Art Museum by accident, Tootsie Roll was instantly entranced.  Amazed.  In awe.  She pulled out a little notebook I had given her to keep her busy on the drive from NJ to D.C. and began taking notes.

(Did you know you can take pictures in art museums?  You can!  At least in D.C. and Philly).  We couldn't stay as long as we would have liked since someone little was a bit less entranced, but it reminded me of all of the treasures I had at my fingertips growing up.  So over Christmas break, we dropped CJ off at preschool one day and took TR to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is only about an hour away from where we live now in New Jersey.

It was amazing to rediscover a place I'd been so many times as a kid and probably never really appreciated the way she did on her first visit.  Part 2 with pictures coming soon!

Me:   These are famous steps.  Rocky ran up these steps in the movie!

TR:  Rocky who?


Steph Sinkhorn said...

Nice pictures! I loved visiting DC. Very cool that your daughter is so interested in seeing the things she's learning about in school, and awesome of you to take her!

Kristin Rae said...

How sweet that she can already appreciate those sorts of things!

"Rocky who?" LOVE IT! :)

Colene Murphy said...

Awe! So cool!! Lovely pictures. Looks like an amazing place to see indeed!

Powdered Toast Man said...

You gotta embrace your roots. I wish I had taken a school trip to the ice cream shop.

Old Kitty said...

Awww wow!!! Such iconic places!! Lovely to see TR and CJ enjoying these fabulous places right on their doorstep!!! Take care

aspiring_x said...

wow! that sounds like a ton of fun! ha! and cj going under the rope- sounds like my two younger boys- except they would go in different directions and i wouldn't be able to catch them both!! :) i was a kid in the chicago suburbs and all our field trips were AWESOME!!!! i've always loved museums, aquariums, and zoos!!! :) but i find as i revisit foods, i enjoy some of them now that i hated as a kid... is that kinda the same thing??

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Really, really fun. It's amazing what she gets out of trips like these, how her favorite exhibits and the places she wants to linger are sometimes the same and sometimes different from mine. Reminds me how big she is getting!

Rebecca T. said...

We used to live about an hour outside of DC and went in a couple times a year. I miss it SO much and we definitely don't take advantage of New York as much as we could. But the museums in DC are FREE.

Yeah! I'm glad she enjoyed them so much :D

Donea Lee said...

That's so great! I love that she took notes ~ :) I went to MA last fall and my 13-year-old still complained about all the museums we went to... I'm hoping she grows out of that some day. We'll see. But, what a fun thing for you to share with your daughter and rediscover for yourself. A great memory for you both!

Carrie said...

great pictures. I love the steps Rocky ran up.
I grew up in a small town but live in a city now and I love all the museums and theater.

Talli Roland said...

Love the photos and hearing about your journey back there again! I grew up in a very small neighbourhood, but I love the city now!

Mary Campbell said...

Awesome pictures and great insights. I've always wanted to run up those steps like Rocky. I'd probably have a heart attack before I reached the top though. Love the nicknames you gave your kids.

Matched is on it's way to you now - hope you enjoy it.

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