In 2005 I took the boys on the Southwest Chief from Fullerton, CA to Kansas City, MO. They were 12 and 10 at the time. What mom wouldn’t think a sleeper car, a dining car and 2 days on a train doesn’t sound like fun?
My husband flew from Orange County, CA to Kansas City and rented a van so he could pick us up at Union Station. We were on an adventure to find the Oregon Trail, and a little area known as Marshall County, KS where his family had been from in the 1860′s… It was an exciting adventure in genealogy and history, and it was our own!
We found cousins we had never met, and dead relatives with headstones as tall as the boys! We loved the adventure, and found not only the Oregon Trail complete with the ruts and old campsites, but the Pony Express trail as well.
We had such a great trip, we did it again later in the year, driving from Portland, OR where I was raised, backwards on the trail through Baker City, OR and into Idaho, then across Wyoming, Nebraska and into Kansas. I had always known I had Mormon roots through my mom’s side, but we had been raised Methodist, and our EuroAmerican grandparents were my influence and values.
I had joined the daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and found the English Great Great Grandmother that had come to America in 1855, and left economic conditions that were not good in England. She walked the trail from Council Bluffs, IA in 1856 with the famed Willie Handcart Company and knew hardships and challenges. I visited her headstone in Ogden, UT where she died in 1920. It was such a stroke of luck to find someone so amazing that it gave me courage and inspiration to do more with my own life, and the fact that I had so many comforts and had never known such “cold” as my pioneer ancestors.
I shared it with my own mother, and it brought us closer and helped her deal with her own faith, and pride in who her ancestors were. It was important to our own family and faith, that we shared this ancestor and the lines of her own DNA. I honored her and her line.
When my own family nurtured http://www.TheTaleoftheTrail.org it brought us together to share history, trains, genealogy, American faith and courage with our own sons. I hope that America can come together just now, and recognize that our President should hold the faith for our future, and our Country in their hearts. They should believe that we are One Nation Under God. The faith to lead our Nation and the World, because these days the goal is for all Mankind to know that Man should be Kind. That was the message of Jesus. We see him as the son of God, because man was not very kind, and we needed a teacher. I’m good with that.
Let us not tell others what to believe, but to have faith in our own family, our DNA, and a willingness to work together towards a common goal, at the community level. Let the Mayors work locally, the Governors work with the States, and the Federal Government help with the big stuff. Corruption is not allowed, integrity does matter, and we’re watching now! Pay attention to your thoughts and your actions. It’s good to be awake!