A childhood memory from back in the 1960’s has resurfaced to the front of my mind today. At the time, I had just learned about the Lewis and Clark Expedition in my grade school class. Partly because of the continuous responsibility we had with our egg farm, it wasn’t often that we as a family would travel very far from home. So even an over night trip from our home in Rexburg down the six or seven hours it took back then to travel to Salt Lake City or Provo, where my Uncle Ed lived, was memorable to me.
This particular visit was made in the cold of winter. I can remember that because we traveled in what we later called our old blue van. It was cold in the back of that van. An animal cracker box looked very close to its actual shape, and the motor was under metal lid literally between the driver’s seat and front passengers seat. At the time, this was our best home delivery egg van. We could bolt in bench seats (which more resembled benches than seats) to accommodate all us kids. To a nine year old, a 6 or 7 hour car ride seems more like days long. I remember lying on the cold floor of that van, the only place where I could stretch out, and stare out the windows at the mountain range as we slowly made our way back home.
As I lay there, I remembered the story of Sacagawea, who as a small Indian girl who lived in the Pacific Northwest, was stolen by another warring Indian tribe and was taken by them to their homeland back to the east. As she traveled with her captors, Sacagawea looked for and memorized landmarks so she could eventually find her way back home. Of course that is why she was so valuable to Lewis and Clark as their Indian guide into the Pacific Northwest.
So while thinking about this story, my nine year old mind wondered if I would be able to find my way back home. As I stared at the Wasatch Mountain Range, I studied the shapes and tried to memorize landmarks so I could find my way back home too.
Today, we traveled along this same place to attend a family reunion for my Beautiful Wife’s family being held North of Salt Lake. As I drove, I looked at those same landmarks of the mountain range and remembered my childhood thoughts when I had first studied them. Those landmarks have become some what of a symbol to me showing me the way back to my childhood home. Tomorrow morning I’ll travel that same path, only this time all the way to my hometown of Rexburg. As I ride along, I’ll be looking at those mountains and I be wondering about other landmarks which can lead me back home. I’m looking forward to a great visit with my parents and other family who still live there.
But besides the contour of those mountain ranges which I memorized years ago, I wonder what other landmarks are leading me back home. Certainly, number 1 on my addenda is to get lots of quality visiting in with my parents and other family. But something else draws me. I’m not sure what. Memories… reminiscing… walking the streets and traveling the roads I grew up around. Maybe I be visiting the remnants of our old egg farm. Maybe I need to secure more landmarks back to my past… to my memories… so I will never forget… so I can accurately write about the wonderful family I descend from.