Sunday, March 22, 2009


Look at my new pretty blue hat! Okay, so a hard hat might not be the pinnacle of fashion, but this one is special.

I acquired this yesterday when I did my first shift as a volunteer at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. Visitors travel 650 feet underground to the museum, housed in the rooms left after salt is mined from them. I've been underground a few times and it's an ultra cool experience. I did training a few months ago to volunteer. For reasons I cannot understand, from the first time I saw the little trolleys that people ride on through the mine section I have been itching to drive them. Why? I have no idea.

I realize most people would not be that excited over driving something that is essentially a golf cart with a top speed of 6 mph. But, hey, I find many things to be happy about in the average day and this is one of them. (I recommend it as a way to be happier in daily life - be happy about small things!)

At training we got to drive very briefly, but I've been a little nervous about driving the whole route. What if I didn't do it right? What if I went too slow or fast and got the timing off? What if, what if, what if? Good grief.

This past week when Tonya asked for volunteers I decided it was time to do it. I haven't done anything in awhile that made me a little nervous and I think that can be good for us. It gets the blood circulating. This was an opportunity to do something new and different, and that makes different parts of the brain work, and that's got to be good.

Unfortunately, this week they've had record crowds so I did my practice run with full groups. I was paired with Kerry who is a veteran. The first tour he drove and gave the tour, the second one he let me drive the last little bit, after we stopped so people could pick up salt. And the last tour I drove on my own, with his direction and advice. He was very helpful.

It was a fun experience. I can't wait to do it again. I want to learn the little spiel so I can do the talking part, too. All I had to do yesterday was go with people in the elevator so I had 90 seconds to fill, which was pretty easy. That radio background comes in handy at the strangest times.

Oh... and the blue hat is for volunteers. Employees wear silver ones and visitors wear white ones. Now, when you visit you'll know who is who. Just don't ask me anything too complex yet.
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