Monday, May 29, 2006

The Ozark Folk Center

Lately Jody has acquired a great deal of interest in blacksmithing. He mentioned that he would like to go to the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View because they have a working blacksmith shop that you can visit. We did a little internet research on the Ozark Folk Center last night and found out they were going to be open on Memorial day so we decided to take the kids and go on a mini-vacation.

The drive was only about an hour and a half one way. Thanks to the portable DVD player and some yummy snacks, the kids were in good spirits for the ride. We arrived at the OFC just in time for village to open.

The village consists of little shops spread over the beautiful backdrop of the Ozark Mountains. Each shop contains a craftsman of a particular trade. They had lye soap making, candle making, musical instruments, country kitchen cooking, quilting, a cooper, pottery, a knife maker, blacksmithing and many more. You can go into each shop (that is air-conditioned I might add) and watch the craftsman work. They tell you about their trade and answer questions.

I sent Jody to the blacksmith shop first thing. I know that's why he wanted to go, and I wanted him to get his fill before the kids got restless. Luckily, the kids love being outdoors so we wandered around the grounds while Jody talked to the blacksmith. We went to the swimgs where a sweet man named Bill and his mule Rosie took the kids and I for a ride around the carousel. By the time we finished with that and wandered around a little more, Jody was finished.

We went around to various other shops until the kids were too tired and grumpy to continue. We headed back to the van and stopped by Subway for a bite to eat before the long ride home. I have to admit, I was a little worn out too. I was glad Jody was driving and snuck in a little catnap for myself.

The Ozark Folk Center turned out to be a great mini-vacation. Jody and I would like to go back again, preferably without kids, and spend a day wandering around and taking in all there is to learn. It is fascinating seeing how things were done in the not-so-distant past, and it is a fascination that Jody and I both share.

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