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.     

24 thoughts on “Landmarks”

  1.  I enjoyed and understood almost all of what you shared in this fine entry, but this sentence has me bewildered and unclear: 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.

  2. Hi ron, It’s been quite a while, glad to see you are in your new house. I loved the pics on Val’s site. This entry made me think about what I miss in my home town in Los Angeles County……Hah! Not much!!!!! Just my relatives. Colorado has spoiled me!

  3. Ron, I loved this entry.  I wish you would write more often.  It seems that when you do you always hit upon emotions I want to ecperience.  It is funny but I cant imagine anything more parallel to my own thots about the past than what I read on your site. 

    Another fine entry, Ron.
    I envy you that you have such a strong connection to the geography of your childhood. Sadly, the topography of my early years has changed dramatically, the neighborhoods changed by houses newly-constructed or torn-down.
    Shady, tree-lined streets are sunny thoroughfares now, since Dutch Elm disease years ago decimated nearly every ancient elm under whose shade I grew up. Some maples and pin oaks have been replanted here and there, but they’re just not the same. Main street is dotted with empty storefronts and little Mexican cantinas and grocery stores, and the old meat market where families purchased fresh, locally produced meats and cheeses was recently demolished.
    And the people? Most of the people with whom I grew up and attended school have relocated to places all over the world. Family has dispersed or died, and my emotional connection to "home" is all but dead, as well.
    It’s important that you continue to write your stories of your family and the life your forbears made together…such accounts may well become a thing of the past as people continue to drift away and society continues to buffer itself against deep ties with people and places.

  5. I’m always so amazed at the quality of writing here in blogland.  Thotman, yours, and Kent, come to mind right away.  I write for a living…and it is very stressful for when I come here in blogvilla, I try not to be so structured…and just let it flow so to speak without censoring myself.  
    Also, I guess i’m rebelling…taking the ezra pound way out, I guess (without his politics, I may add).  So anyway, just wanted to say I like what you said, and the way you structured it.  I’ll be back.   

  6. Hello Stranger, i hope you are enjoying your new home. The pictures is saw were very pretty. Hope all is going well with you. 

  7. Hi Ron,
    No matter how much travelling I do, I cannot get ANY sense of direction or memorize landmarks. My brain just does not work that way. Probably because of that I have recurring dreams of being lost, even inside buildings.  I once read an article that said that not being able to "get" directions is a learning disability just like dyslexia. Knowing that made me feel better but now I don’t even try,haha. Good thing I am able to use a map.

  8.  Was good to finally come here and see that your move went well and was successful and the family all settled in once again.  I enjoyed your "landmark’s" story very much.  How much I remember following the river buttes of the Yellowstone river and certain tree stands that had been planted to know how to find my way.  Have a wonderful August.  mtgal

  9.  I love the mountains in your state.  Have you traveled say to the east very much, or at all?  So glad you are moved and all settled in.  I think your new place is charming and your family seems to like it.

  10. Hey Ron,
        Great Entry!   After reading it I found myself remembering my childhood and the travels with my family.  I will explain to Richard what a "Dog House" in a van.  Keep up the good work.  Look foward to reading more.   

  11. Your blog  reminds me of  landmarks in my childhood.What impressed me most is that in my grandma’s ,a tree,a small shop,a line of old houses.They are all  in my mind.However,nowadays some are gone,pity:<
    anyway,a good childhood memeory is still there.

  12. I remember her story well…..  It was a great entry and I read somewhere what eventually happened to her but I can’t seem to remember anymore.  I will have to look through my old notes.  Read the Lewis and Clark new book about a year ago. 

  13. I’ve missed reading up on your stories, Ron.  They make an escape for me.  Glad to hear your dad is on his "feet" so to speak.  Hope you are well.  Write when you can, my friend.   

  14. Oh what a pleasant surprise it was so see you haunting the castle once again !!! The halls miss you !!!
    Hope all has been going well for you !I hope you do decide to start blogging agin, we all miss reading your
    wonderful post !!!
    Hope to see you more often

  15. Thanks for stopping by. Well I have been neglecting my blogger friends and can’t seem to find time. Working hard and I am just too tired when I get home. I land on the couch and then can’t get up! I just wanted to say hello and to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you! This year went fast…..too fast…..Pam:)

  16. thanks for stopping by, even if you aren’t blogging these days, it is always good to see your face when you stop in.  I have not forgotten your kindness in helping research family tree info.  I do believe it is a "dead" end, but I keep checking.. One never knows when something will pop up… Hi to your beautiful wife as well.. mtgal

  17. Hi Ron, Well, as you know, I continue to look for my ancestors as well as Mr. Guppies. 
    Ok..  so I heard on the news last night that VP Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are 8th cousins….  I looked on the news site online and it says that Mareen Duvall a French Emigrant is the connecting link.  Well, I thought that sounds like something connected to my grandfather’s relatives,   I knew that Mareen Duvall rang a bell …… and checked the family tree maker stuff I have: 
    Mareen Duvall’s daughter Susannah married Colonel Robert Tyler JR and  begat Elizabeth Tyler who married my ancestor Samuel Pottenger of MD, who had a son, Robert, who is the line my mother’s father descended from……  
    Anyway, so I look at another Duvall website …… and sure enough… Cheney is listed there..
    Then I checked out Barack’s mother’s heritage…

    So now it’s revealed that Barack Hussein Obama is a descendant of Mareen Duvall?Seems that Barack’s lineage on his mother’s side is:(at least that’s what I found when researching this stuff)Mareen Duvall (The Emigrant)/Susanna BrasseurMareen Duvall/Elizabeth JacobsJacob Duvall/Mary MilesJohn Miles Duvall/Anne TarletonGabriel Duvall/Mary GrableLouisiana Duvall/George Washington OverallSusan C. Overall/Christopher Columbus ClarkGabriella Clark/Harry Ellington ArmourRuth Lucille Armour/Ralph Waldo Emerson DunhamStanley Armour Dunham/Madelyn Lee PayneAnn Dunham/Barack ObamaBarack Obama
    Mareen Duvall "The Emigrant" was my 7th Great Grandfather!!!!! That makes him our children’s 8th Great Grandfather…. and related to Harry S Truman, Barack Obama, and VP Dick Cheney..
    One of my smart a** friends said , "So, who ya gonna vote for?"
    Just what ya wanted to hear right?  So, so much for ancestors eh? hugs to you and Vallerie, mtgal

  18. Kia ora Ron,
    thanks for your last visit in March.  Yep ive been gone a long time and you haven’t blogged for a while either I see.  Just dropped in to visit.  Memories of going home. hmmm.  Ive got a School reunion coming up in Easter next year.  Been wondering if I should go or not.  college wasn’t a particular happy place for me.  But then maybe it would be good to catch up with some of the old gals.  Well im still thinking about it.  Maybee….????.  Have a good day.
    ka kite ano

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