When I saw this topic, my obvious topic would be my Dad’s service in WWII. However, my schedule has been crazy and I wasn’t sure I would be able to do a post at all. It was with much delight that I saw Patricia’s post yesterday about the Wall of Honor at Coopersville High School. What a fantastic idea.
Our weekend was spent at a soccer tournament, and my Monday went from a schedule of madly cleaning before my in-laws arrive later today to pinch-hitting as chaperone on a school field trip. (If you have children, you know you can’t clean too far ahead or you will have to do it twice.)
So instead of writing my blog posts and making my house presentable, I took a tour of the history of Michigan at the Michigan Heritage Park. Around a half mile loop were stations representing various periods in Michigan history. Wigwams from the Ottawa Indians, a fur trader’s fort, a settler’s house, a Civil War camp, a lumberjack’s barracks… and two more: a turn of the century farm house and a Conservation Corps camp.
While each scene was fascinating–each place had a person who talked about the artifacts and the time periods– the last two stood out the most for me.
The features of the house at the park and my parents’ house were so similar despite the fifty years difference. Farms with gardens where if you wanted food you had to grow it yourself and then preserve it for the winter. Laundry wasn’t just thrown in a washer and then a dryer. Each piece had to be scrubbed and put through a wringer, then hung on the clothesline to dry. My mom told stories of sixty diapers out on that clothesline. Visiting the house gave me more pictures to stories I’d heard from my dad a dozen times, helped me remember his voice, and share some of those stories with my kids who never got to meet their grandfather.
The last stop was the Conservation Corps camp. My mom talked about the work of the Corps near her childhood home. they planted trees and she and her sisters would walk by them to see how cute they were. Her family was a large family that struggled during the Depression. If any of her brothers had been old enough, they probably would have joined to help the family.
So I’d like to remember the work my parents did daily in a time where the daily life was harder, yet simpler at the same time.