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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yet Another Saturday Goes NOT as Planned

Everyone who knows me knows I tend to embrace any opportunity go have fun, especially when the alternative involves piles of laundry ;-).  So when RM called last night to see if Mimi could come over to go to a Civil War Reenactment, and when her dad suggested that the other kids might be interested too....well, my Saturday plans changed a bit.  And since, as I said, the alternative was Mount Washmore, I was really, really good with that.
As it turned out, Scott had sailing, so that left just the 3 younger kids.  TJ had serious reservations, preferring the idea of hanging with Daddy, but in the end we ordered him to go for the educational value (our household is not, after all, a democracy).  Sari, who abhors gunfire noise and especially cannons, decided spending the day with Miss Susan and baby R, which was fine by me since she LOVES babies as much as she hates guns.  That left Matt, RM, TJ, Mimi, and I for the reenactment.  Here are some pictures:

The girls with a nice stranger.  Funny, but I'm fairly certain that people in the War did not worry about dressing their chihuahuas in uniform, but I guess reenactments allow for a certain amount of liberty ;-).  The dog did make her a favorite with all the event goers. 

More kind strangers happy to pose with the kids.

TJ views Egypt through a stereoscope.  This counts for double schooling points since we just wrapped up studying ancient Egypt and these images were of the Sphinx and the pyramids.

Calling cards, a sailor's valentine, and a courting candle were some of the things the kids learned about from this kind participant.

The same kind lady who explained the items on the table above also told the kids about taking tea. She showed them the block of tea, the cone of sugar, and told them about how the tea was so valuable it was locked in a cabinet that only the lady of the house has a key to. 

Bonus points to any National Treasure fan who knows what the above item is.  It's a Morse code cipher used by the Confederate Army to try to shield their messages from the Union.

Did you know that Morse Code started out with the message dots and dashes being printed on paper, and then progressed to the the dots and dashes being translated aurally?  Doesn't that seem backward?  But apparently the operators were so good at doing their job that they quickly progressed to not needing the paper, they just knew the message by hearing it.  And since the paper machine was just one more thing to keep functional, they let it go by the wayside.

This wonderful participant, who shared so much about Morse Code with us, shows how messages were intercepted by enemies who tapped into the line.

Both girls ended up getting garb.  RM used her Christmas money and by the end of the day was fully outfitted.  Mimi got a steal of a deal on this dress and the shirt to go with it (this picture does not do the dress justice).  It was made for the niece of the shop owner, and she outgrew it, so the owner was selling it for $5.  Perfect!

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April said...

Looks like fun! The last Civil War event we attended, my youngest daughter passed out at the "medical" demonstration, and we haven't been back! :) The trip to the ER that day was NOT FUN.
Glad your day was good. The girls' dresses are beautiful.
I think having the tea in a locked cabinet sounds like a great concept-esp. if the cabinet also contained the good chocolate!

DebiH. said...

Do you know if the one that is local next month is good. I have been planning to take my girls because Hannah is very interested. Maybe we can make a field trip out of it!

Julie said...

Very cool! I just got caught up on all the recent posts! Great pics as usual!

Sarah said...

I love re-enactments. Ours is Labor Day weekend and I enjoy it every year (unless it's too hot when I would get sick) Makes me long for September. One year I'd love for my girls and I to participate.