Remembering the Past…And Needing to Retire

I am a field trip nerd…

The bench rattled beneath me as the lightning and thunder crashed outside the little window on the wall. Terrifying sounds of wood splintering and glass breaking happened in the small, dark space that was filled with five kids and two adults.

Haley and I sat through a tornado today. It wasn’t actually a tornado, it was a tornado simulator that was supposed to recreate what it would have been like to be in an F4 tornado in Fridley, Minnesota in 1965. It was a tornado that really happened and the voices telling the story were real survivors of that storm. Haley screamed, and I hoped to God I would never have to actually endure a storm like that.

That room wasn’t the only room in the Minnesota History Center that changed my perspective today. We walked through the Greatest Generation Exhibit, and I got excited when I recognized knick-knacks and appliances that resembled those of my grandparents’. I wanted to stand and read every photo description and story, but I was in charge of 2nd and 3rd graders who didn’t have the attention span that I did. We whizzed through the Ben Franklin exhibit, where I got to see his REAL bi-focals, the chess set that he REALLY played with, and a whole host of other things that I am sure are really cool, but I didn’t have time to investigate. There was a playroom that was the big grain elevator…something I knew nothing about, until today. And there was the celebration of the 150 years that Minnesota has been a state. We ran from place to place. Aside from the loud and energetic class groups that walked through the exhibits today, the other visitors were likely members of that Greatest Generation.

It was then and there that I decided that I need to retire. There are truly too many places I want to go and things I want to see, and if I don’t retire by the end of next year, I will never see all of it. My bucket list is already too long to complete, and I am looking for a get-rich-quick scheme so I can feed my field trip addiction. I know I can go as a chaperone to places like the History Center and I should probably tell you: Nate’s class goes next week, and guess who is chaperoning? That’s right…yours truly!

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