virtual vs reality

I want to go to Torres del Paine national park in Chile.  The park is within Patagonia and was unmapped until the 1930’s.    The landscape is untamed and beautiful; filled with teal-colored lakes, rushing rivers, glaciers, tower-shaped mountains, and fjords.  A trip there would be amazing but not likely to happen any time soon.  So, I sit down in front of my computer in my sweats with a cup of coffee, turn on Pandora, and do a quick search on Bing.  I type in “torres del paine national park” and up pops everything I could possibly want to know about the park.  Pictures-so many gorgeous photographs, maps, the current weather, travel advice, hiking trails, hotels, information on the locals, what animals inhabit the park, blogs from people who have been there, the best local food, etc., etc.  By the time I am finished I know everything about Torres del Paine national park.  I am an expert who has seen all of the best sites and listened to all the local sounds.  I have an understanding of the culture and people and have even purchased some souvenirs.  Then I turn off the computer and go make dinner.

What an amazing time to live!  We have access to the world from our own living room.  But it is also causing us to lose out on so much.  Continue reading “virtual vs reality”

New discoveries of the old

looking into camp buildings

Most days I drive the streets of the county I live in thinking of the day’s activities, where we need to go, how late we are running.  Always in a hurry, I give little thought about the surroundings I know so well.  I drive the kids to school, drive around for work, take the kids to their activities, all the while passing homes and farms and buildings and stores without notice.  When we go to a new location my eyes are open taking everything in; it’s all so new and exciting.  “I wonder what that building was originally used for?” or “Where could that trail lead?” or “How old is that house and who might have lived there?”.  But here in my own county I know have seen it all, heard it all, I know the history and events of the area.  I take the kids to a park and they run around in the open field, climb around on the monkey bars, my son plays hockey with his friends, we have a snack on a picnic table without a thought to what might have been there.  I guess if I would think about it, perhaps the playground was once a farmer’s field or a wealthy homeowner’s  property deeded to the town.  But who has the time to wonder about the history of a playground, I need to gather the kids into the car and hurry home to  make dinner!

But, I do love history and this past weekend while searching online for some information about a different possible adventure to take the kids on, I discovered the history of that exact park!  The one mentioned above that I have been to numerous times, talking to other moms while our kids run around and have fun.  They play and laugh and run on the same property where, sixty-some years ago, different children met, only their reason was much more sinister. Continue reading “New discoveries of the old”