Browsing Category "travel"
19 Jan
2015
Posted in: travel
By    Comments Off on Take a Trip: Brown v. Board of Education

Take a Trip: Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

I knew when we walked in the door and were greeted by two signs: white and colored, this historical site wouldn’t be like any we’d taken our children to before. We were on our way home from vacation in Illinois in July and stopped in Topeka, Kansas at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. We try not to shy away from tough conversations with our kids, but our conversation about segregation while at that place is one of the toughest topics I’ve ever covered with my children.

Quote about segregation at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Historic sites are nothing new to our kids. We try to visit as many National Park Service sites as possible when we travel. We prep the kids about what they’re likely to hear and see. We discussed the phrase “separate, but equal,” and its part in the history of our public education system. I thought we were prepared. I was wrong.

Boy watching video at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is powerful. The number of exhibits is small compared to other sites, but they are mighty. The large black and white photos and videos of people declaring their rights loomed over us. We would read a placard. The kids would ask a question. We would answer. They would say, “But why?” This scenario repeated over and over. They think about the people they know and friends they share their days with, and cannot fathom a time like what they were watching as they walked the halls of that old brick building.

Large, historic desegregation photo at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

We stopped in what was once a kindergarten room in that historic school and watched our children play side-by-side with children that didn’t share the same color of skin. The other mom and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes. There are times I wish my heart was tougher than it is. Then there are times like that moment when I’m grateful for my soft heart and feelings that just won’t be held back. The tears still come each time I think about those shared peaceful minutes in that place watching children play in the sand.

That moment and countless more I never give a passing thought to, were fought hard and long for. I continue to be grateful for those people who give all that they have, sometimes even their life, for the greater good of their nation and world. Today our thoughts surrounded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you for being brave enough to stand and speak. My two favorite quotes from Dr. King follow:

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


 


 
Meeting Strangers on Vacation
By     |    Jan 14, 2015
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Meeting Strangers on Vacation

It all started in junior high when my parents invited two college-aged men to stay in our family cabin in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. We had finished dinner at a lodge near our cabin and were piling into the car to head back to the cabin for the night when my mom spotted two young men with bicycles unrolling sleeping bags on the grass. I don’t remember which month in summer it was, but it was chilly. I... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: WaTiki Indoor Waterpark
By     |    Nov 26, 2014
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Take a Trip: WaTiki Indoor Waterpark

We travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota a couple of times each year. Several times while we’ve visited Rapid City, our kids have asked to stop at WaTiki Indoor Waterpark. We’ve always managed to avoid the waterpark, until last weekend. Our second oldest chose to celebrate his 10th birthday at WaTiki. It seems most of our friends have driven the four hours to enjoy the water slides in the 30,000 square foot park, so we had a vague... [Read More]

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Being More Brave Than Mom
By     |    Sep 29, 2014
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Being More Brave Than Mom

I watched our oldest son carefully listen to the directions as he nervously played with the harness he was wearing. He had chosen an aerial obstacle course to celebrate turning 12 years old, and this past weekend we ran from our over-scheduled lives to Keystone, South Dakota to let him give it a try. He was minutes away from climbing above the earth and into the trees above our heads. I could tell he was a little nervous. His only... [Read More]

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Harney Peak: Highest Spot East of the Rockies
By     |    Aug 19, 2014
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Harney Peak: Highest Spot East of the Rockies

I’ve talked for years about a specific hike on my bucket list: Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Hills aren’t far from where we live and a stone’s throw from where my husband grew up. Each summer for almost a decade, we’ve driven roads through the Hills with me proclaiming how someday I’ll hike Harney Peak. Time with just Craig and I has to be planned and thought out. There’s not much “free time” to work... [Read More]

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Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind
By     |    Aug 14, 2014
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Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

Last week, we were hiking in Glacier National Park and a grizzly bear trotted across the trail about 50 feet in front of us. My thoughts were convoluted in that 40-second encounter. I wanted to take a photo, but self-preservation took top priority. The six of us were clumped together as we watched the bear trot across the path and wander up a brush-covered hillside. It wasn’t until the bear was out of sight that I realized I was holding... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Glacier National Park
By     |    Aug 12, 2014
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Take a Trip: Glacier National Park

I felt my cares wash away looking over Logan Pass inside Glacier National Park, located in northwest Montana. The rugged peaks, dotted with what remains of the diminishing glaciers, give way to lush green meadows, vibrant blue lakes and rock-bottom rivers. My everyday worries and to-do items were pushed to the farthest reaches of my thoughts thanks to the natural beauty that surrounded me. National parks are a favorite vacation destination for my family. We’ve viewed some impressive vistas, but... [Read More]

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Gateway Arch: Overcoming Fears
By     |    Jul 26, 2014
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Gateway Arch: Overcoming Fears

I don’t like heights, large crowds or tight spaces. A visit to the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, Missouri was sure to be pure torture. Our two oldest boys really wanted to see the Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, AND take the 630 feet trip to the top for a look over Saint Louis. I started researching the arch and quickly realized I was going to need a lot of prayers and possibly medication to keep me... [Read More]

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Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park
By     |    Jul 15, 2014
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Going to the Beach: Seminoe State Park

Growing up landlocked in Wyoming with parents who weren’t travelers meant the only thing I knew about beaches came from books and movies. We were mountain people. I traveled to Mexico in high school and realized I couldn’t be pigeonholed into loving one geographical feature. The beach had a magical hold of me. Unfortunately, the hold isn’t so strong that I find myself living anywhere near a coast. A beach with ocean views is at least a 16 hour drive... [Read More]

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Checking Fossil Butte National Monument off the List
By     |    Jul 1, 2014
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Checking Fossil Butte National Monument off the List

If there’s one thing I like more than the act of making a list, it’s crossing items off the list. We’ve purchased an annual U.S. National Park Service pass for several years in a row now and have steadily crossed places off the list by collecting “passport” stamps at places visited. This weekend we visited our sixth and final location in Wyoming and our 46th place overall in the National Park Service system. Our final Wyoming destination was Fossil Butte National... [Read More]

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Drive-in Theatres: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now
By     |    Jun 27, 2014
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Drive-in Theatres: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now

I used to play on a rickety merry-go-round trying to avoid splinters while I held on. I was biding my time while the sun dipped farther into the horizon, just waiting for that moment when the movie screen would come alive with dancing concession stand goodies. I’d run back to the car, weaving between vehicles and posts with speakers stretched toward windows. The drive-in theatre is a highlight from my childhood memory reel. We don’t live close enough to a... [Read More]

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Museum Over Arcade
By     |    Jun 25, 2014
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Museum Over Arcade

We found ourselves at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Sunday morning, and it was completely our children’s choice. We were in the Denver area for the weekend with no plans for Sunday before heading back to Wyoming. Sitting in the hotel room after breakfast, we let the kiddos decide what we would do that day. They’ve been to Denver multiple times and know what the metro area contains. After throwing around various arcade-type options, they collectively decided on... [Read More]

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