Kristan Higgins
Kristan Higgins

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Please give a warm welcome to my friend, Casey Wyattmuseum-junkies!

Hello everyone!

I’m thrilled to be a guest today. I’ve been an admirer of this blog for a few years now and it’s great to meet everyone. Thank you Kristan for hosting me. Please do ask questions or make comments as I’ll be lurking, er, checking back throughout the day.

I have a confession to make. I am a museum junkie.

A proud and unrepentant one.

And it all started after being scared witless. But let me go back a few years. Ahem, a lot of years now.

Once upon a time, when I was six, my family took a vacation to Salem, MA. And I never forgot it. Even though I was young, I retain vivid memories of Salem: Our view out the window of the Hawthorne Hotel, quizzing the tour guide at the House of Seven Gables, and seeing mustard seeds for the first time at the Lighthouse.

2016-08-06-19-46-21-copy-2But, alas, the trip also had a dark side. The Salem Witch Museum made an extreme impression on me. Maybe it was the fact that we were ushered into a dark room and told to stand in an illuminated circle in the center. Or it could have been the first display: two red eyes gleaming in the dark accompanied by a loud voice declaring the devil exists. And possibly it was the tableau of Giles Cory being pressed to death.

Yeah, that definitely left a mental mark.

In hindsight, I’m positive that my life as a museum junkie traces straight to that vacation. I experienced a Great Awakening on that trip. One that cemented my love of old houses and left me jonesing for more historical experiences.

I was the kid on school fields trips who loved visiting the state capital, Plymouth Plantation, and this place called Old Sturbridge Village (more on that in a moment).

During my college years in Washington, DC, I was in museum junkie heaven. I became an intern at not one, but two Smithsonian museums. The Museum of American History and the National Zoological Park. Yes. The experience was cool and amazing. When I graduated with bachelors’ degrees in Anthropology and Psychology, I had a lofty dream that I could work at one of my beloved museums.

I was so clueless!

The first job I applied for when I returned home laden with financial debt was at Old Sturbridge Village. After I was soundly rejected, I didn’t become too bitter even when I settled for a “real” job working for an insurance company (27 years and counting). I still have my reject letter from OSV too. Over the years, I applied for other museum jobs and was also turned down.

Fine. I don’t have a Masters or a PHD. I get it.

So if I couldn’t get a job in an actual museum, I did the next best thing and dragged my husband, henceforth known as Scar, to OSV.

This was my special place. One that I’d been visiting since a field trip in the fourth grade.

On that first trip together, Scar strolled onto the lush town green and looked around at the lovingly preserved historic buildings. The scent of wood smoke hung in the air while the blacksmith’s hammer clanged. The water-powered mills crushed grain into flour and sawed wood into boards. Upon entering a building, costumed historians would politely greet us and provide the historical background of whatever it was they were doing.

This was my happy place and I couldn’t wait for him to love it as much as I did.

His next words remain forever etched in family lore.

“This is nice. But where’s ye olde whore house?” he joked.

My joy shriveled a bit after that. Clearly history was lost on him. Though I do continue to tease him so I’ve gotten some mileage out of that comment.

<sigh>

Okay, so as it turned out, he didn’t love museums.

But there was hope. I had children. If I started young maybe one of them would fall in love too. As it turned out, one of my kids caught the museum bug! Witness my fellow museum junkie in those early years.

Over time, I purchased memberships at several museums including Old Sturbridge Village, Mystic Seaport and The Springfield Museums. I joined the last one in 2016 as a “happy birthday to me” present. Younger Son and I jointly hold these memberships which often baffles the staff who incorrectly assume we are married when sending out mailings. Um, no!

77630008-copyLucky for me, Younger Son still enjoys museums as much as I do. It’s our thing. We schedule our vacation time around which museum we want to visit next. Scar and my Older Son (who hates anything with the word museum in it), grunt, go back to their respective computer screens, then wave us on our way.

See, we know the secret. We have all the fun.

 

 

 

Your turn to share – what places have made a lasting impression on you? Any fellow museum junkies here?

About Casey:

deadgirlsdontcry-200Casey Wyatt is a multi-published paranormal romance and urban fantasy author. From August 22 – September 19th, she’ll be on tour for her latest book: Dead Girls Don’t Cry. Stop by her website: caseywyatt.com for the schedule. She loves talking to fellow readers and writers, so do stop by and say hello!


16 thoughts on “Confessions of a Museum Junkie

  1. Anne Renwick says:

    YES! Museum junkie here too. I’ve been everywhere you’ve been and loved them too. There’s not a family trip that doesn’t include at least one museum. OSV… we were members when living in New England and I harbor a secret wish to work there as an interpreter. I loved the day we finally caught the mill on a working day. I took one of their evening cooking classes (so much fun!). What about Williamsburg? Have you been there?

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      Yay! I’m glad I’m not alone. Sadly, I did not go to Williamsburg while I lived in DC because I had no car! But it’s on my list to visit one of these years. As for OSV, yes, I too have this fantasy of being an interpreter in my golden years. I can camp out and knit scarves or something!

  2. Amy says:

    My husband and I tend toward art museums. Our tastes are polar opposites, but that just makes us guess which pieces the other one likes….to see if we are right. He is better at knowing what I absolutely will not like rather than something I would be willing to look at in my house every day.

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      That’s awesome Amy!

  3. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    My daughter loves museums. I like them okay. But she wants to go to all of them–art, health, craft, nautical…you name it. I’m glad she has an interest, but like your husband, mine has none.

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      It’s a bummer, isn’t it? Because kids grow up and move away. There has to be some kind of museum lovers buddy group. Or maybe we could start one.

  4. Dawn A says:

    I love museums. I live in a mid-size city, so we only have two real museums. One is a children’s museum, which is really cool, but I don’t have kids. The other is a historical museum, which is awesome. The town dates back to the early 1800’s and they have things that are from that time. It makes me happy to go there! 🙂

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      Dawn, I totally get where you are coming from with the happy place feeling.

  5. Annette Naish says:

    Absolutely love museums. The first one that made me a museum junkie was the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. We lived in northern Indiana and our field trips took us to Chicago. One of the first places was the Museum of Science and Industry, I could have moved in and lived there forever. They had a coal mine, a street created to look like the early 1900’s (no I was not there in the early 1900’s but close)they had wonderful things that fascinated me. Since then I have fallen in love with other museums, but that one is the one that started me down the road to addiction.

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      That sounds awesome!! I hope I can make it there someday!

  6. Eileen A-W says:

    I love museums!! I grew up in Chicago which has many wonderful and well known musuems. My dad often worked at home on the weekends, moonlighting with other companies. So my mom would take us three kids, load up the car and off we went to one museum or another. I loved the Museum of Science and Industry. it was one of my favorites. Explore the coal mine. See how a washing machine works. Watch baby chicks hatch. All the decorated Christmas Trees from around the world. I loved going there on field trips too. I also loved going to Art Institute of Chicago and seeing the works of some of most famous artists in the world. Picasso, Chagall, Monet, Van Gogh, etc. Other weekends were might visit the Field Museum or some other museum that I can’t remember the name of.

    I’ve now lived in Minnesota for 34 years and my parents moved from the Chicago area 33 years ago. Whenever we would visit other relatives we had to go to the Art Institute and the Museum of Science & Industry. I had to introduce my children to this experience. My mom was the same way whenever she visited her siblings.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t have wonderful museums in Minnesota. We have a wonderful Children’s Museum, Science Museum, Railroad Museum, and Institute of Art. Yes, we’ve had memberships and my children have spent hours in each of the places. Each children has their own preferences, but that’s okay. Luckily, I did marry another museum goer and we’ve taken our children to the museums of his hometown, Tulsa, OK.

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      Hi Eileen! After all the praise for Chicago museums I will have to add them to my list. Some of my fondest memories in high school were of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have to thank my art teacher, Mr. Murray for taking us to see Van Gogh’s exhibit (little did I realize then how huge a deal that was) and to see the Vatican Collection (another once in a lifetime trip). People who don’t go to museums really don’t know what they are missing!

  7. Welcome, Casey! So glad you could join us today. I’m a museum junkie. I can lose myself for hours wandering their halls. I love the National Gallery of Art in D.C., the Louvre, the Musee D’Orsay…the list goes on and on.

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      Thanks for having me today! I recently read Bill Byrson’s latest book – The Road to Little Dribbling- and he mentioned that England has over 2,000 museums. All I can say to that is, so many museums, not enough time in my life to ever see everything! I need a Tardis or something.

  8. girlfromwva says:

    I love going to museums. i have been to several. last one i went to here locally was The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. i love the buildings and all the interesting things inside.

    1. Casey Wyatt says:

      That sounds like fun! I’m going to look that one up!

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