Friday, August 28, 2009

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Since our anniversary weekend ended up a spectacular blur of church obligations, Michael and I declared this to be our "Birthday and Anniversary Celebratory Weekend!" Michael took Friday off, and for our anniversary we packed up the kidlets and took a family vacation to Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Armed with plenty of snacks and pbj sandwiches for lunch, we drove the 45 miles through misty green fields nestled between billowing forested hills.

The Memorial commemorates the 14 years when young Abraham Lincoln lived here in Indiana. In the early 1940s, the CCC built a gorgeous visitor's center building, with giant stone carvings depicting key events in Lincoln's life.Here we are in the Memorial. Jed loved running around the big empty rooms and grassy front lawn. Must have run a hundred miles that day. And I might add that he did NOT fall asleep on the way home. Sheesh. That kid is impossible to wear out.
Oh we are cute.
Mommy and baby nursing in the corner.
After seeing a short film, we went to see the living history farm, where costumed characters live, farm, cook, and grow their food just as the Lincoln family did back in the 1820s.

We walked through the corn fields, all plowed by horses and sown by hand.
Jed loved all the wooden tools, animal pelts, and the chicken coop in the background. But the bigger livestock, not so much. Sheeps and cows and pigs are all well and good in the abstract, but in real life, he didn't want to get too close. I finally wheedled him over to feed the sheep, which worked well until a big woolly head shoved through the split rail fence and tore the weeds from my hand. Jed shot straight into the air and wailing insisted "WE SEE CHICKENS NOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!"
My favorite moment occurred as we stood watching the cows and sheep, cicadas buzzing in the hot sweaty air. In the background, we heard a rumbling. A truck pulling a doublewide drove past the back side of the feedlot. We smiled. That's life in Indiana--hot hot hot with cows and a doublewide.

As we started herding Jed towards home, we heard a sweet-toned whistle. "Whooooo!" Then again. A train! Jed's ears perked up and we started to run towards the track. A real train! Right here beside us! We saw a little red engine break through the trees. As we came close, it slowed down... and stopped right there at the end of the little road. A hairy little man hopped down and shouted towards us "Would your little boy like to see the train?" My jaw dropped. We laughed yes and ran up to the train.

As Jed got to the stairs, the bearded man leaned over to lift him up. Ummm, yeah, unfortunately Jed doesn't do hairy men so well. His eyes widened and he flailed toward me, wailing. And he wailed the entire time on the train. Oh well, Dad and I thought it was cool. And Jed did too, once we were far, far away and the hairy man had faded from memory. The best part: the train's name was THOMAS. Here we are, on an old fashioned farm, with Thomas the Train. Could this day get any better?
We bid goodbye to Thomas and had a picnic lunch there in shady trees next to the track. What a lovely, perfect day!


Tasha and Doug said...

It sounds like you guys had lots of fun. We've thought about taking the kids there but we weren't sure what there was to do. After seeing your pics and reading your post I think we'll have to take the kids soon.

NessaAnn said...

Yeah, well I should have added that seeing the train was totally random. It's a real train that had just stopped to pick up some extra cars and the guy was nice enough to let us on. But the farm is part of the regular deal and it was fun.

Heather said...

We will definitely have to check out Lincoln. It just occurred to me (duh) that we can study Lincoln at any time, when weather is more agreeable to a visit there, than just in February like the rest of the children!