For Momma - Memorial Slide Show (Turn Playlist Music off before watching)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"You Want to Move Where?" - Traveling Back In time -

 As I drive East on Road 46 from Gurley to the Nelk and Habben Homesteads I somehow felt transported back to the days when this young family may have traveled to town for supplies in their wagon. I purposely drive slowly during the 7 mile trip from the junction of Hwy 385 and Road 46, so that I can take in what they would have seen. With the exception of the few homes I see along the way, I’m sure that not much has changed in this area since it was first settled. As I pass Road 125 a hawk swoops down in front of my Durango and catches a small rabbit alongside the road, poor rabbit. The main crops I see are corn and grain. Today these fields are irrigated with large sprinkling systems but when the Nelk’s and Habben’s lived here they would have had to depend on the rain to water their crops.

 Approaching the crossroads of Road 46 and Road 127, I feel excited to see this land where my ancestors had lived. I look across the fields and in my mind I can make out the faint outline of a man working behind a team of horses pulling a plow. The day is hot but there is a slight breeze blowing. The Nelk farm is planted with grain and the gentle blowing of the wind makes it appear as ripples in the water.

The Habben farm is at rest but there are remnants of corn stalks possibly from last year’s crop. The old soddies are gone and there is no evidence left of the family’s existence here. Due to the drought Fred was often gone for periods of time delivery mail and supplies by wagon between Sidney and the various towns in the area. According to the stories Fred told his grandchildren, he worked for Buffalo Bill Cody, delivery the payroll for the men who were building “Rest Ranch” in North Platte, Nebraska.

As I walk down the road I get a sense of the loneliness that Tena may have felt here in isolation for days on end. Tena told her children that she would climb up to the perch on the windmill and play her accordion or harmonica to pass the hours.

Although I was alone, I could feel the presence of these ancestors by my side as I viewed this small part of their lives. It was the same feeling I had as I wrote my book “Searching”. They seemed to enter my office one by one and became a part of my life. In the end it was difficult to finally say the book was done because it seemed to mean a farewell that I was not prepared to make. As each person’s story was completed they left until I was once again alone.

It may be a romantic view of things or wishful thinking but, I was glad to once again feel their presence with me as I stood on the land they once called home.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this series. It was great that you were able to travel and get a feel for how things would have been for your ancestors.



Related Posts with Thumbnails