There is something about a museum that always leads to a story, and another and another. Being surrounded by rescued buildings, old objects and dusty relics stirs up the mind and old tales.
In the last week I've listened to memories recalled of Canada Day celebrations with horses and donkey ball, retold as if they had just happened even though the track was taken out decades ago and most of the players have passed on. The yarns are worth listening to and each year there are fewer and fewer who know the stories.
Throughout the province, museums are carefully preserved by groups of seniors, volunteers, sharp of mind but losing strength of body. They hold the tales of the buildings and their treasures and every single time I step through the gates or doors of a museum I learn something new or see something new to me. If it is favourite place I have been to dozens of times, I will still learn.
In Maidstone's museum there are objects even the long-time committee members can't identify, but they are keeping something special alive as they take care of the remnants of the past.
Museums offer us a glimpse of our history and sometimes even a chance to touch. Our museum offers us a moment to dream about being there at sports days past in the same tiny summer kitchen where meal after meal has been served for years and years.
These days only simple fare - hot dogs and ice cream cones and, of course, fresh local corn at harvest time - is served. The ice cream is plain vanilla in a simple cone but on a hot July 1 it is the most luscious treat and even though they know people would pay more. they charge only 50 cents. They aren't huge servings, just the right amount, more than my father would consider a serving of ice cream but smaller than what has become the norm in a super-sized world. The ladies with the scoops know just how many cones are filled from a pail and are happy to make the little profit they do while offering the children a chance to buy something really good with the two quarters they've dug out of the straw pile.
Having an old time sports day on Canada Day is much more than playing horseshoes and watching the children run sack races, it allows us time to enjoy the museum, remember the nation's past and of course listen to the stories.