Friday, September 4, 2009

A trip back in time.....

Today ~ I turned my back on my homework, left my phone behind, put the grocery shopping on hold, let the house sit in dust....and ran away with my kids.

I had the best day ever. We left early this morning and drove to New Ulm. It's a city full of history for my family. My great-grandpa came over from Germany and settled here many years ago. It's where my grandparents raised my dad and his siblings. It's where we spent countless days every summer camping. It's where my great-grandparents, grandparents and sister are buried, along with numerous other relatives.

The main reason for going was to visit my grandma's grave. The 5-yr anniversary of her death is next Tuesday. I haven't been back there since the day we buried her. It was hard going back but it was even harder leaving. I felt close to her and just wanted to sit all day long at her grave side and be with her. Which is silly, because I know she isn't there. But I'd like to believe that she sat with me today and wiped the tears that fell. I can hear her saying ,"Don't cry for me, Lori. I'm in a better place. No pain. I'll see you when you get here." She always told me growing up that she didn't want me crying for her when she was gone. Just remember the good times and know that she's happy and loves me. It's hard losing someone that is your world and loves you so unconditionally.

We saw Hermann the German and Cam actually went all the way to the top this time! We were so proud of him even though he only stayed up there for about 3 minutes and then promptly told us he would be "all the way at the bottom" waiting for us. I've been to Hermann so many times since I was little I can't even count. It is so amazing to be able to share these places with my own children and talk about my memories with them. I remember my dad taking us throughout New Ulm every summer when we stayed there and sharing all of his stories with us about growing up there. I hope my kids can someday pass this on to their children.

Of course, we couldn't forget to visit the Glockenspiel. The bells strike the hour and the door opens up...and as the bells chime out their tune, the characters that represent New Ulm's heritage move and spin around. This time it brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of my heritage and the great losses and trials my family has had the past few years. Of all the memories that will never be and all the history that can never be rewritten.

We ran all over the city today trying to get everything into one day. We didn't succeed but we had fun trying. We made new memories and we laughed. At one point, we decided to visit this mall in the middle of downtown. I don't know what happened to it but we walked in and up and down the entire mall, except for Herberger's at one end, was totally bare. Like everyone had gone out of business. My son remarked that it was "really creepy" and "too quiet." We high-tailed it out of there and laughed about it all the way down the block.

As we toured old historic buildings, we tried to capture orbs on the camera. We all like the ghost shows and thought we'd try our hand at it. Amazingly, we caught about 4-5 up at the BC Historical Society. One in the Ulm room where there was a bunch of old furniture from Germany and then the rest upstairs mostly around an old wagon like the one on Laura Ingalls.

The best part of my day was just being with my kids. Away from everything. I've been so engrossed in my school work that I haven't had many opportunities to just hang out with them. And though the end of my day landed on a sour note once I checked my emails and voicemails, the amazing memories I made with my family today quickly drowned it all out and put the smile back on my face. It will be hard to erase it for some time!

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