Back to My Roots

During my growing up years, I was uprooted many times. I was a resilent child and adapted to the many changes in location, friends, and schools. But through all the changes in my life, there was one constant:
Ramah is the home of the forebears on my Mother's side. Those hardy Pioneers were sent out to colonize and to tame the wilderness. To give you an idea just how hardy they were--
after drought, famine, pestilence and a smallpox epidemic, many of the settlers packed it in and headed back to Utah.
But not my relations.
Some would call that stubborn and maybe a little crazy.
I like to call it Faith and Gumption.
They stayed and built up a little community. Not as showy as Salt Lake City maybe, and they don't have their own Temple yet. And the current citizens only recently got the streets paved. But it's my Mecca. I return there every few years to remind myself where I came from.
And it turns out, I came from the dirt.
So, I go back to the dirt and pitch a tent.
And I spend some quality time with some of the descendants of those stubborn Pioneers.
This is the first gathering since my Grandmother Idelle passed away last year.
We gathered at her house for our reunion just like we always have.
But she wasn't there and we had to carry on without her.

This is the home my Grandparents built-it started out as a two-room cabin and was added upon over the years as their family grew. My Aunt and her family bought the house and have worked hard to clean and repair it while keeping the essence of the home we all love and remember.

This bookcase was always filled with good books. Many of them have been passed along to family members as mementos.

My Grandmother's "Easy-Read" large number phone--with the numbers upside down.
It takes a little getting used to. You have to use this phone because there is NO cell phone coverage out in the middle of nowhere, which is where Ramah happens to be located.

I was happy to see the hollyhocks still growing in the very spot where my Grandmother showed my cousins and me how to make dolls out of the flowers when we were little girls. We amused ourselves for many a pleasant hour playing with our Hollyhock dolls.

The chicken coop where I learned to gather eggs and
I also learned to stay away from the mean old rooster.

The barn has been transformed into our family reunion Bistro--we took our meals al fresco out in the country air.

One of the contributors to the "country air"
Indoor plumbing is a luxury I don't take for granted!

I wrote a little skit about the "Courtship of Joe and Idelle". Our Grandparents' love story is sweet and funny. Here you see the climactic scene where Joe (AKA my nephew Spencer) is proposing to Idelle (AKA my cousin Tonya).

The other cast members were my niece, Alyssa and my cousin's daughter.
Their costumes were actually clothes that belonged to our Grandparents.
When we were going through the clothes to choose the ones we would use, I held a dress up and it smelled just like my Grandmother. And I spilled over with tears of sweet memories of a loving, feminine, strong, faithful woman who is my Grandmother. And my sister and my cousins and I all cried together as they comforted me and we were happy that we had such a Grandmother in our lives and we were all assured in our hearts that we will see her again.

Our reunion was held the weekend of Pioneer Day. Trust me, it's a big deal in Ramah. In Utah, it's a state holiday and in Ramah, New Mexico it's the biggest happening of the year.

Our contribution to the parade was a float showing our patriotism--something our Grandparents ingrained in us. The theme of the celebration was "All is Well"
Andy asked how big the parade was.
My cousin Colleen said: "We signed up late to have a float in the parade and we were second on the list."

But, in spite of our joking about it being the shortest parade in history, there were actually 4 floats (2 more even later entries than ours!), a huge tractor, a few horse-drawn carts, a little boy on a John Deere power wheel, and the entire fire and rescue squad. And the biggest crowd of people I have ever seen in Ramah. I was so stunned, I just kept looking and looking at the crowd of people lining the road and almost forgot to watch the parade.

After the parade there was a street fair that included all kinds interesting offerings. Including my cousin's pie stand with the above sign. I don't know about the cowpies but the cherry pie I bought was delicious.


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