Happy belated Halloween! We had a nice chill holiday, and I ended up taking a long weekend due to just being a little too under the weather for my own good.
We had some lovely treats on Sunday, Halloweeño and hell pepper poppers, ghost cake, and a build your own taco bar (no funny name for this one, all punned out). I spent several hours putting it all together, definitely pepper burned myself multiple times, and honestly, I think that’s a little bit why Monday simply felt insurmountable as a workday. Luckily, I have a very cool boss who understood.
In a very uncharacteristic way, it has been raining all week, just enough to keep everything at muddy levels. Trying to do anything serious changes involved getting wet, and while I can, to some extent, tip toe across most of the mud without sinking too far, my sweet mares are not as lucky. We’ve tried working a couple of times but I’m so worried about slips and falls or pulled muscles, or any other craziness that can happen when you aren’t really set up to deal with the rain.
I know there are plenty of horses that work in all sorts of weather, so it’s not to say my girls aren’t capable, but both have been retired or semi-retired due to leg injuries, and I simply don’t think the potential the injuries are worth it. I love working with my girls, this time of year is so hard because we all feel pent up, but I also don’t want to permanently end our fun with one or two careless moments. We are enjoying lots of bonding moments at least, and a fair amount of manners training, which won’t stick but is fun to work on.
Had the very fun experience this week of going to the Warhawk Museum. I was admittedly a little worried, it had been so hyped up to me that I was certain it simply would not excite. I am also almost never a fan of heading into Boise after work, because rush hour is a stress I simply don’t handle well.
But, oh my goodness, was it worth it! It’s such an unassuming little building when you walk up to it, and even in the gift shop there’s this sort of “very small” feeling to the place, but as soon as you walk into the museum proper, you realize it’s two large hangars stuffed to the rafters with beautifully organized and thought out displays ranging from memorabilia from ww1 to exhibits on the first gulf war. By far and away their biggest exhibits are on WW2, but they also have lots of great information on Korea and Vietnam.
I’m already planning to go back because after about 3 hours I had maybe seen 1/8th or so of all the exhibits. They have fascinating little tidbits of things you don’t think about, like a silk wedding dress made from an old parachute, several propeller planes (many of which fly still in their annual air show) and a fold up bicycle meant to be packed in with the men who jumped out of airplanes so they had a way to get around when they landed.
They have easily a thousand binders of preserved information around the museum, many of which they actively encourage you to touch, read through, research out of. From books detailing the liberation of some of the concentration camps, to love letters, to personal diaries of POWs and flight orders hastily scrawled on a little flip book, it really does wonders to bring the people to life. I read one such note that said “the skies were crowded today. Glad it was with our own” when referring to a flown mission, and a love letter from a young man telling his girl that after his next deployment he should get to come home, and how terribly excited he is about that.
I really wish I’d taken more photos, but I was simply so wrapped up in the awe of it I completely forgot most of the time.
The amazing thing about this museum is its amazing curator and volunteers. To my knowledge, everyone I’d interacted with had firsthand experience and stories from at least one conflict represented in the museum and were dear friends with men who were now subjects of some of the museum’s displays. Its incredibly interesting to read about people with anecdotes from their lives, it’s almost heartbreaking to hear the volunteers talk about their friend who donated memories because they knew the Warhawk would keep them safe. Watching the curator, a lovely man named Lou, tear up about the WW2 vets who had been such an important part of the museums volunteers, who were now memorialized in the museum itself, had me very near tears over souls I’d never met.
While they have a nicely set up self-guided tour, you really can’t go a very long without meeting with some of the volunteers, they are so keen to chat and so knowledgeable, it would be no more than 5-10 minutes in between long chats before someone would mosey up and say some variant of “want to see something cool?”. To which the only appropriate response is “of course, yes please”. You’d them spent the next 15-60 minutes following around a volunteer as you walk out the timeline of a conflict, see all the artifacts from a particular story, or get to climb up close and personal with the Red Baron model. One lovely gentleman was so excited to show us everything that we walked laps around the museum for an hour, hearing his life story intermixed with all the interesting history, and he’d start every new topic with “well, here’s something really interesting” as though touching the wing of a jet or hearing him casually refer to John Glenn as “old John” wasn’t fascinating enough. This gentleman, who’s nametag read Dick, lived enough crazy stories for 10 lifetimes, and was a definite reminder not to wait for life to just happen to you.
I ended up purchasing a membership, a mug, and a couple books, because gems like this need to be supported, and I wholeheartedly plan to go back soon. The next time I intend to bring a notebook.
Until we chat again my friends.