“What did that billboard say? A cat show?”
Most times, I only glance at signs while driving on the highway … well, the big ones, not the directional and speed limit ones. This time, I noticed the billboard advertising a cat show in our area for the next day.
Figuring the ticket prices wouldn’t fit a homeschooling family on a sub-zero budget, I still got off the next exit and circled around to check for more information. Imagine my surprise to discover it cost only $5.00 for adults and children under twelve got in free. The next day, I counted out some change we’d been saving, and our two daughters and I went to a cat show!
Why, you may ask, all the excitement over a field trip to a cat show? We’d chosen pets as our unit study theme for the beginning of that school year, and anything pet-related topped our list of things to do. We’d visited a pet store, managing to get out with a toy for our dog instead of the twelve pets the girls thought we should have bought.
We’d also gone to a German Shepherd kennel, where the owner showed us how his search-and-rescue dogs worked. Afterward, the girls showed him how they’d trained their dogs and braided their own collars and leashes out of psychedelic yarn. He paid close attention as they explained their techniques and put their STUFFED dogs through their paces! (He restrained his laughter until after we were gone, I suppose.)
So, a cat show added a new dimension to our study, and besides, we all three loved cute, cuddly kittens! Well, I thought there would be “cute, cuddly kittens.”
“Mama, that cat lost all its hair!” “Mama, that cat hurt its ears!” “Mama, where is that cat’s tail?”
As we walked around, I realized I didn’t know much about cats. What an educational field trip, for both the students and the teacher! We peered into kennel after kennel of fluffy Persians, sleek Siamese, and exotic Maine Coons. The latter, we decided, topped our favorites’ list, especially since their grandma owned two of them.
Before we left, we wanted to take in one of the judging sessions, to see how it was done. We sat on some folding chairs and watched the judge lift one end of a cat, then the other, hold up its tail, then its head. And the cat just took it in stride. Our youngest piped up a bit loudly, “Mama, if we did that to Misty, we’d get scratched!”
The judge looked at us, smiled, and invited our kindergartner up to join him in judging the next cat! And she went! I don’t recall what happened, but the experience remains one of our most recounted of those early years. And all because of a chance sighting of a billboard.
Oh, how I loved God’s serendipitous delights He sent our way during our homeschool years! And He still loves sending them today. In fact, while looking for photos to add to this post, I discovered a breed of cat which may have been crossbred with an ocelot – an Ocicat!
*** What field trip memories do you have? Share a story with us! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!
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4 thoughts on “Tell Me a Story about … a Field Trip!”
Cathy, I can imagine how memorable this field trip was for you all! I’ve always been a cat person. Never have had a dog. My kids, growing up, had cats, gerbils and birds. Right now we have just a cat and he is 18 years old — an old man by cat standards! The field trip that came to mind as I read your story wasn’t a school field trip but just for fun. There wasn’t much money when the boys were young so we had to be creative, a trait that is in rich supply at our house! I had a collection of coupons for various things like hamburgers, ice cream cones and I don’t recall what else. I decided to gather them up one day and take the kids on a mystery trip. We got in the car and I blindfolded all three of my boys. We would go to many different places and they would be surprised each time. Tim, the oldest, would try and guess where we were by paying attention to all the turns we made. People would drive by us and point and laugh at the spectacle — 3 blindfolded kids. Now, you know if that happened today, people would be grabbing their cell phones and after taking pictures of us, the car and license plate before calling 911 to report a possible child abduction in progress! Of course then they would post their pics on Facebook, lol. But back then it was just all good fun and people were just as amused at us as we were at the fun we were having.
Our first stop was to Burger King — the first one in our area that had an indoor playground. We ate lunch, using coupons for some freebie and cheap stuff, then the kids got to play in the playground. I can’t remember all the stops we made, but one was to another playground — an outdoor one called Kids Kingdom, a very fun and popular play place in town — and free! They had a blast. Our last stop was to the library where they could check out some books and rent some movies for a quarter each. We’re talking VHS movies! When we finally got home we relaxed and watched the movies, after having been gone for hours. It was a really fun day and we never had one like it ever again. One of a kind!
The lesson learned was how you don’t have to have a lot of money to have a lot of fun. You just need to be creative with what you have! Great memories 🙂
Thanks for sharing your special field trip to see the kitties!
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What a creative day you all had, Leafy! I love it! Right up my alley!
The past week, I’ve enjoyed a couple mini field trips for my own sanity to a local state park where I sat by the lake and took in the sights and sounds of the water and the birds and squirrels busy gathering their winter stores. During our homeschool days, we spent many, many school days at this park. We’d pack their bookbags and some games and a lunch and park ourselves at a picnic table near the playground or the lake. We’d “do” school, play a few table and lawn games, take a hike, and have lunch. Sometimes, they waded in the creek. It was a favorite place of those years and remains one of my favorites today.
With my eye surgeries looming (first one was today), I felt in need of the peace a quiet lakeside retreat, even if only for an hour each time, could give. And the view will only get more gorgeous as autumn goes on!
Oh, by the way, our cat lived to be 23! Thank you for sharing a fun piece of your life with us! Blessings!
I have been so out of the loop with these Miss Cathy, my September and October got a bit busy!
I was lucky enough to have taken several field trips during my elementary school days, my only years I went to public school. The most standout field trip was in 3rd grade, when we took a ride on the Hershey Trolley in the middle of winter. The trolley actually came to our school to pick us up, and the tour conductor was excellent at tailoring his routine to a crowd of 8 and 9 year olds. Then as the formal tour was coming to an end, the whole class broke into “I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves” adding in the name of our teacher and our student teacher, both of whom were two of the nicest ladies you’d ever meet and just chuckled as we had our little child-like laughs. 3rd grade was by far my favorite year of elementary school!
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What a fun field trip! I never rode the trolley, but when Kira worked on it, I really wanted to do so to support her and to experience it. My favorite elementary school year was fourth grade. Our teacher was great! He made learning interesting. When I won the spelling bee, he gave me the prize of a bag of treats homemade by his wife! Thank you for sharing your story, Andrea! It’s nice to hear from you!