Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family History

                This past weekend we went back home to my husband’s stomping grounds.  During our early years of marriage, we lived in the small little town and both our boys were born in the local hospital.  We have celebrated weddings, births, holidays, and funerals with family and friends.  Laughter and tears have played a factor in the relationships that develop and continue to grow.  On this trip, we made some history and looked at history.
                The afternoon of the wedding, four of the cousins of the bride (my husband being one of them) were in charge of directing traffic to park in the field and drive the guests in the golf carts up to the house.  Before they started to arrive in full force, my daughter and the bride’s cousin on the other side went for a little ride.  Side note: the bride’s cousin is the son of one of my old teachers.  His brother and I were a year apart in high school.  We grew up about a twelve hours drive from here.  He instructed Madelle to turn the cart and hit the gas pedal.  “Don’t worry about the brake.”  She listened.  The ending result?  They put the golf cart in the ditch.  Since no one was hurt, we all laughed until the tears flowed.

                I must admit that I became very misty eyed throughout the wedding.  Every time I kept looking at the bride, I saw the sweet little four-year-old at my wedding.  Love ya a ton Savannah!
                Our daughter has not been to the family farm that she remembers.  I believe she went out in her baby/toddler years.  We took her out and told her some stories.  I love the farm.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of memories, but the ones I have are precious: sleeping on the couch, playing whist, the priest visit, Grandma’s good cooking, and branding.  Madelle heard the story of Uncle LeRoy standing at the top of the barn roof daring Uncle Cliff or Ray to throw a rock at him.  The end result, Uncle LeRoy fell from the roof with a headache.  He being a daring boy also climbed up the windmill at the age of three or four.  Since he couldn’t get down, Grandma had to climb up after him.  Me being afraid of heights, he might have had to stay up there for a while.

                The church and cemetery were our other stop.  This little building, for a handful of families out in the middle of the prairie, filled the community with faith.  They prayed, laughed, and cried together here.  My father-in-law went to church here beginning when he was born as did all his brothers and sisters.  Years later my husband attended church here from time to time as well.  He and his siblings went to vacation Bible school here in the summer.  The modest dwelling has no plumbing.  In the back one of the outhouses has fallen down.  The other still stands as the winds whip past it. 

                Sadly I noted the water damage inside the church.  The paint on the outside needs a fresh coat or two.  The bell is gone.  I was happy to see a new roof and a new door is getting ready to be hung.  Some people think it is a waste of money to spend on a church that isn’t used anymore.  I think it is a waste to let these buildings fall to the ground.  A few should be saved for historical purposes.  This little chapel would be perfect for such a task.

                More tears were shed at the cemetery.  Over half the people buried here on the prairie are relatives.  My dear little nephew, sister-in-law, Grandma, Grandpa, and an Uncle on my husband’s side are the few I personally knew.  He knew so many more.  As we looked, prayed, and chatted, I straightened flowers and pulled a couple of weeds.  When I come out here, part of my heart wishes we still lived in the area.  I would visit regularly to clean up the area though it is taken good care of when so far off the beaten path.  I would also work at painting and cleaning the church.  Alas, this will have to be a task of others.
                Blessings to you all.

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