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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Are we there yet?

On the trail again. . .

Do you suppose the children of the early pioneers questioned along the way "Are we there yet?" Every five minutes a repeat of the refrain, "Are we there yet?" An ever nagging, whiny "Are we there yet?",  "Are we there yet?",
"Are we there yet?"

via Google Images
Needless to say, the mode of travel was not by air conditioned automobile, camper or RV. Instead, it was by crude wagon, horseback or on foot. A grueling 2000-mile journey across western plains and mountainous trails would last five months. Conditions were harsh plagued with accidents, illness, raging river crossings, mud, dust, monotony, and often terror. In spite of unimaginable, unforeseen circumstances, they trekked onward ... onward toward a dream, hope of better times in a land to the west. 

via Google Images
The shadow of fear loomed endlessly regarding the possibility of encountering native Indians who had been reported as being savages. Can you imagine traveling into a territory where it was known for men to be killed and scalped while women were taken prisoner? That, of course, would indicate the women witnessed the brutal slaying of their husbands. While many of the women were eventually saved, it was reported they went insane and lived only a short time after being rescued from captivity. They had nothing left, their husbands were dead, more than likely the children too, wagons were burned and all possessions taken from them. They were stripped of everything in life they had ever known or owned.

Pathways of Pioneers: Massacre Rocks

Had it not been for the determination and perseverance of these early pioneers the west would not have been won. Winning, however, came at a high price for both the white man and the Native American Indians who, by the way, were not all savages. But, that is another story. . .

So, back to our initial question: "Are we there yet?" I do fear had one asked that question he or she would not have been brave enough or in the condition to ask it again! What do you think?
Long dresses, trousers with jackets, hot sultry weather, & tumbleweed were commonalities along the trail.
Hardy Pioneers
After taming the eastern seaboard, crossing the Western Frontier
proved to be just as treacherous as crossing the Atlantic.
This, however, did not impede the push westward
as hope, faith, and courage continued to prevail.

By crude wagon they traveled
With limited communications
Across the Mississippi
Westward to the Appalachians

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Walking beside the wagons
Eased the bumpy trails
But not the loudly clanging
Utensils and pails

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Fetching water from a stream
Collecting dried buffalo chips
Shaking out dusty blankets
Were never regarded as quips

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Days were long and grueling
Under the sweltering sun
Dusk welcomed time to rest
Once chores were finally done

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Gathering around the campfire
With smiles and laughter perchance
Lessened the pains of their labors
As they enjoyed song and dance
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With new land in sight
After months on the trail
Labors did not end
For bodies thin and frail
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Shelters needed building
Fields hoed then plowed
Candles dipped for lighting
To unveil the shroud

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Without modern tools
Hands aching to the bone
Time for rejoicing
In a place to call home

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Sod shanties, crude cabins
Canvas stretched across dirt floors
Muslin on the ceilings
Kept grime from falling indoors

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But, in spite of it all
Smiles of joy would beam
It was a place called home

A part of their dream

©2013 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults