Monday, September 7, 2009

The Lost have Returned

Actually we knew where we were - it's just that we didn't often have wi-fi so that I could tell you where we were and what was going on. Oh I have so many tales to tell - such an interesting adventure these past (almost) 6 weeks.

Editorial opinion to follow -should you want to quit reading
Today as we drove through western Montana I was particularly struck by the incredible strength of the pioneer women of this country. All the tasks of coming west with something as cumbersome as a covered wagon, usually with a team of oxen - over terrain which was inhospitable as well as impassible for many miles. I'm sure I would have been the first one to say 'OK - here's where we stop. I've had enough'. But those families traveled onward - westward - for months and years to get to the western states where I live. But it wasn't just the moving and the animals, but all the chores of cooking and feeding, clothing, nursing and nurturing. Of course I have also been listening to a book on CD about the early days of settling the U.S. by Louis L'Amour (amazingly philosophical about the whole thing) but that just made it all the more real. I kept looking out the window and trying to think would I have had the fortitude to go on in a wagon? I suspect that each set of mountain peaks, one row after another, would have been a cause for discouragement, not excitement.

[I will work on uploading more photos once home where I can play around with them.]

Western Montana, just starting into the mountains.

A story about quilts:
We visited the Crazy Horse Memorial. An incredible experience. There were many quilts in the museum/display there. They were all the pattern that I know as the Texas Lone Star and I wondered WHY? Eventually I found Freda, a Lakota-Sioux Trabal Elder and a quilter [82 yo]. This is her story: Long ago the Indians hunted buffalo and they served the people in many ways. They provided meat and skins for making TeePee's and wonderful, warm blankets. But the White Men came and the buffalo were soon killed off (virtually) and so the women needed a way to keep their families warm. Meanwhile, protestant 'missionaries' came to convert the native people to Christianity. They brought with them a quilt they called the Star of Bethlehem. The native peoples took the star symbol as their own because they had used the stars for many, many years to guide them in their journeys and that way they could have warm quilts with their own symbol. And at least with the Lakota-Sioux they still use that pattern as one that is meaningful to them. Fascinating.

More to come. Should arrive back home tomorrow evening.


Ballardquilter said...

Call me when you arrive and I'll come over with ginger biscuits.

Joke said...

Welcome home, traveller! Missed you :) Hug,