I was never much for history class. I don't think I ever made better than a C in any history class I ever took. Who wants to read about history in a textbook? So dry, so boring, completely sleep inducing.
I always thought I hated history, but it turns out that I don't. I love history. But I'm way behind. My plan to catch up is to learn it along with V. And to find different ways to make history feel alive for her and not mind-numbingly boring.
I've decided to stop at roadside historical sites whenever possible. While I have no way of knowing how she'll feel about it when she's older, I think they're really interesting. Hopefully she will too. Back in January I slammed on my brakes and quickly veered off the main road to take in the Kettle Creek Battleground in Wilkes County, Georgia.
Often these roadside historical sites are down little dirt roads that aren't always well maintained. I think this adds to the fun (except when I drive around for half an hour and never find the site!).
I like to roll down the window and feel the history.
I look at the old trees, left to their own devices, and wonder about the stories they could tell.
Colonel Elijah Clarke was one of the men who fought at the Revolutionary War Battle of Kettle Creek on February 14, 1779. Later, nearby Clarke County (now Athens-Clarke County) was named for him, and details of his life were one of the sources used in creating Mel Gibson's character in The Patriot.
So what is it about these places? Is it me or the place? Because I swear things feel different here.
I think part of it is knowing Something Happened here. And part of it is that there was no one here but me that day. V was with her daddy, so I was alone. I'm not often completely alone.
I'm not used to that feeling of being alone outside. It's pleasant at first, but it eventually puts me on edge, makes me feel vulnerable.
It was so quiet there, so still. The sun was about to set and there was no one there but me and a few revolutionary spirits.
I felt that I could almost hear the battle cry, almost see the blood in the dirt. I felt the history there and it surely felt alive.