Friday, March 14, 2008

Picnics, cannons, and electric maps!

Today the girls and I were reading some more of Family Under Fire, A Story of the Civil War, written by Ronald Kidd and published by the Chattanooga Regional History Museum! It’s a fictional story (all too real for me!) about a family who lives in Chattanooga and has their life disrupted by the Civil War.

When we sadly came to the last chapter of the book, we read that the battles were being fought atop Lookout Mountain, so we stopped and packed up our lunch to take it up to Point Park, so that we could finish the book there. It was such an incredibly beautiful day! We had been so "into" our book that we hadn't noticed how late it had gotten (and the recent time change hasn't helped us any either!), so we quickly threw a little picnic together and drove up to Point Park. After entering the park proudly with our picnic basket and blanket in hand, the first sign we see is a sign that reads, "No picnicking!" Aghh...we were starving and were emotionally invested at this point, so we found the park ranger and politely asked, "If we promise we won't picnic, may we just nibble?" He was a very tall, kind-looking man (reminded me very much of Denzel Washington, if you wanted to know!), and he laughed and said, "Yes, you gals may nibble, but no picnicking!" So we ran off to find the perfect spot to finish our book and enjoy the scenic view!
Sitting in the wonderful sunshine, we had a good time finishing up our book and even took a few photos for Pawpaw, who should be very proud that his daughter is now also relishing in our amazing, southern history! This is his daughter that once thought the only good thing about a battlefield was the paved roads that her daddy would let her drive along while he was walking along checking out each marker! Yes, my sister and I grew up on many-a-battlefield! We tried to stack rocks under the canons like the confederates did to aim down the mountain at the Yankees, but thankfully we didn't see any! Well, except for a few tourists, but we let'em go!

After running about the park, the girls had the luxury of seeing their first electric map...I’ll give you one guess as to who loved it and who didn’t love it so much! We wandered about the gift shop until the lady opened up the theatre for the last showing, and I rushed the girls into the theatre so that we could get good seats (I was afraid that they wouldn't be able to see for all of the other people sitting in there!), well, as soon as we took one step inside the dark theatre, I heard the door slam and lock! Seriously, there are NO lights on inside there...we could barely make out each others faces due to a glimpse of light coming in from under an exterior door that's not properly sealed! Knowing that we had been the first ones to enter the theatre, I prayed that we were the only ones in the theatre! Not knowing what to expect next, I quickly sat down next to Annie on the first row while I gave my permission to Macy and Tressie to take whatever seats they wanted. As the show began (and I'm not implying any lights came on, for they didn't!), the manly voice narrated the story of the "Battle Above the Clouds." I wasn't able to hear much, for all I could focus on was the nervous calls, "Mommy, where are you?!?" I finally was able to get the girls to 'come to my voice' and sit in my lap and the chair next to me. After getting the eldest to stop crying (she was so nervous and uncomfortable there in the dark and unfamiliar territory), I held her and tried to refocus...until the door unlocked, a lady-figure walked/stumbled in, the door shut and was locked again. Being able to see the figure stumbling into the theatre with hands held out in front of them, the lady-figure completely walked into the wall in front of her. Trying to allow her to maintain her dignity, I gently whispered (loudly enough), "Do you need help?" Hearing my voice, she turned her body toward us as if...oh, this is the direction I should go. Then she walked directly into Annie's seat...she was so thankful to have found a seat, so she proceeded to sit down...on Annie! (Bless her heart!) After taking her by the hand (ew...touching a stranger!), I led her in front of us to the seat beside Tressie, who now was more nervous than ever...but I didn't have any more lap to hold her! Macy wasn't about to switch seats with Tressie! So I re-focused again and enjoyed what I was able to hear. But I think my favorite was when the story ended, and Tressie looked up at me with big, excited eyes and said, "Momma, did our team win?"
I know our next electric map won't be nearly as exciting as this trip, but I'd still love to go back...this time we'll know more of what to expect. I might even take my own rope-lighting with me! Later this week, our homeschool group is going on a field trip to Chickamauga Battlefield, so I think we've successfully brushed up on some of our southern history!

1 comment:

Brite said...

That last picture of the girls makes them look so old! I can almost see them all as teenagers and best friends! :)