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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Family Reunion: Blood, Soil, and Shared Memories in the Shadow of the Tetons

"Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life" with:
round button chicken
My great-great grandmother Mariah Allen, had the honor of
naming the peak on the far right, Mt. Moran
I stand on the soil of the Wyoming homestead of my forebearers, in what is now the Grand Teton National Park. The mighty peaks are watching, just as they had watched my great-great-grandparents Charles and Mariah break soil here.  My rubber soled running shoes are planted upon a foundation stone that was likely laid by the hands of my father's great-grandfather.  I am contemplating the discovery of some now-wild strawberry plants under the brush near where the house once stood.  Did my great-great grandmother plant the great-great grandparents of these hearty strawberry plants?  I cannot know.

Quinn got to go, which he found delightfully happy.
He is, after all, part of the family.
"They had a refrigerator", says my Great Aunt Joy, who has childhood memories here. Once the baby of the family, she is now,in her eighties,  the matriarch of the family.  I shiver slightly as time speeds, quietly but manifestly, by.  "They opened a window in the kitchen and dug a box out of the snow to place the perishables in, closing the window to keep them cold."

Well, of course they did!  The epiphany of pioneer practicality washes over my modern mind.  Why didn't I think of that?  Well, ...because I didn't need to, certainly.  Could they have known that a century later, their descendants would marvel at this revelation?  I'm sure not; they were simply keeping the milk cold.  

I glance at my daughter, who will bring her grandchildren here, to stand upon these stones. She is talking to the cousin that is closest to her in age.  They aren't thinking of it today, but they will meet, many years hence, in the shadow of these mountains, to stand upon foundation stones and to bend to find hidden hearty strawberry plants.  They will talk of refrigerators of snow.  They will tell the stories, and the minds of their grandchildren will be filled with thoughts of college and futures, but, still, those grandchildren will quietly tuck the stories away in their hearts, and they will remember. 

After ten days and 2136 miles, Quinn was ready to go home.

Looking for ways to build family ties and memories?  

Blessings Dear Ones,
May your heart ties run deep and your memories be filled with peace and joy,

Pax Christi,


  1. Beautiful! Love the dog. We have a border collie who is of course a member of the family!

  2. I to love the Tetons I was born about 3 hours south in Rock Springs Wyoming. I also can relate to standing where your Great Great Grandparents stood and worked the land My dad is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the when my grandma died the last piece of land was sold this land had been in the family for 6 generations. The first brick home 5 years ago was still standing on a piece of the land that had been sold earlier during a financial hardship


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