It’s been a Family History kind of week, this week; dominated mostly, by the once-every-four-years handcart reenactment that our church organizes for the youth. Called “Trek”, it’s an off the grid space during the summer where they work as groups to pull their stuff in real handcarts; bringing them closer to the pioneers, their own ancestors, and each other. Last Sunday saw me still finishing the sewing the pioneer clothes for my youngest (yup, it’s been that kind of year) but it turned out super cute! Then she was packed, and I could focus on packing for her brother.
Well- that was my hopes anyway. In the end he was overcome with bad scout camp memories and fears stuck in rigid thinking mode- and I just couldn’t find it in my heart to force him to go. So I let him stay home, tho I still have yet to feel up to unpacking his gear; while bright and early Wednesday morning, off went my youngest. I was more than a little jealous.
(oh- I should include a side note here; one of the few invisible struggles that Kydee inherited is a real sensitivity to a lot of foods. So we also experimented with a pintrest recipe for high protein survival bars. They turned out great- I’ll put them on a post sometime soon.)
Moving thru the week was quiet- all the other kids missed their joyous sister. but some of it was good. Everyone was on such a zoned-out even keel, that for much of Friday, I enjoyed participating in the “World Indexing Event” with my church. This had me reading all sorts of marriage records for people in Kentucky- a place I have never been, but now I feel lovingly connected to.
Then Saturday came and it was time to go get Kydee, and hear all the stories from their adventure. Quite the adventure of fun it was. We were regaled with the story of her being caught wrong against the bushes and knocked over–right into the path of the cart-wheel. And we were all amazed and our faith strengthened to find out that all she got was a couple of small bruises. And her Great Grandpa would be suitably proud to hear that she did exceptionally awesome at the rifle range. 🙂
The part called the “Women’s Pull” where all the guys hike up the hill early to allow the kids to feel the struggle of the time when the men of that pioneer group had been called to be in the “Mormon Battalion”. Yup- that’s really what the handcarts looked like.
DK was a little sad about his choice to stay home when he heard that; but then not, as he listened to the talk from the other boys about how they all enjoyed talking together. His peers are growing old enough to not tease or actively hurt, but they still never talk to him as a friend. sigh. I ache for him, well for all of my angels really in my most private heart; but if I frown or let the tears escape, it makes them sad and panic– so I smile.
anyway-speaking of angels; Angels sure watched over my Kydee on her trek. The spirit has whispered a lot to me this week too, prompting me in pondering some of my own ancestors that traveled those long paths of immigration. Crossing vast landscapes for what they believed in. I actually have a lot of pioneers in my heritage- but one in particular has been on my mind all week. Her name was Marianne Gardiol; a lovely little (under 5′ tall) Italian girl from the Pyranees Mountains. At 19, she left her home and family and all she knew, and traveled by foot, boat, and train from Italy to frontier Utah. I wonder in awe at the courage and determination in such an adventure. And when she landed in Salt Lake City, meeting Brigham Young, she still did not speak any English. But When President Young called to John Dalton Jr. and said “I want you to look after her”- Her faith was great enough to trust the Prophet of her new faith and marry the blonde man who was nearly 18″ taller than she was. 🙂 And she never did waver in her commitment, tho family stories say that she never really got good at English. Still, I feel a strong connection. Her dark hair changed my family line for all the following generations till my and my sister’s girls. And I think likewise, it might be thru her that my family has always felt so strongly about Sticking true to your faith no matter what… and also of the power of close family ties to make it thru all that life throws at you. She was truly a mighty woman of valor.
You know, perhaps this is why we are encouraged to seek out our family stories. tonight’s ponderings have really helped me. Knowing someone who loves you, has gone thru it all before, and out the other side– it helps. Tonight has brought comfort and courage to the trenches of daily life. It helps me remember that we can make it too. (And I sure have some cute pioneer girls of my own 🙂 )