April is Month of the Military Child; and being a former military brat I wanted to share a story about one of my favorite memories from one of my favorite duty stations - Hanscom AFB, Ma.
I have memories of when we lived at Hanscom and there were times I, with my brother and/or friends, found a way to leave the perimeter of the base (read: not through regular means of leaving via car through the guarded gate shack!). We found a well-traveled path through the woods that eventually led us to the Visitor Center of the Minute Man National Historical Park.
I remember parts of the trail and a couple of structures from old, historic houses.
I remember a small pond we would walk around counting all the bull frogs and looking for fish and tadpoles.
I remember walking from the pond a little ways to the large parking lot of the Visitor Center.
I remember watching the informational movie about the Revolutionary War in the Visitor Center.
I remember buying the little package of Revolutionary-era money and how neat I thought it was to have money from so long ago.
Over time I began to question my memory though. You know how sometimes you might remember something a little differently than it really happened, but you think for so long that it happened that way that it becomes a real memory, when it didn't really happen that way at all?
So I did what everyone does in this day and age when they want to find information on something. I googled it.
I found the Minute Man National Historical Park and clicked on the link for View Park Map. And there it was. My memory hadn't deceived me. There was the little Folly Pond just as I remembered it - a short walk away from the parking lot to the Visitor's Center.
I could see that yes, it was very feasible that as kids we found a short cut from a certain part of the air force base that could take us along a trail through this national park.
And in between that little pond and the parking lot was Paul Revere's capture site. That part I don't remember - the capture site - but I'm sure at the time I knew it was there. I'm sure there were signs along that route from the pond pointing it out. I don't thing I fully appreciated the significance of the history of the place I was standing on.
Those were the carefree summer days when we were gone from the house all day, doing our own thing, and just knowing we had to return in time for dinner.
One of my favorite memories as a military brat and living at Hanscom ... spending the day walking along that (short cut) trail, around the pond, and to the Visitor Center: exploring nature and history and feeling so grown-up and independent along the way.