Going Back to Our Roots – Missouri holds a secret for us.
It appears we have gone back to our roots by moving to Missouri. Jim and I research our past family history regularly. We are very interested in the genealogy of our family. We knew we have roots on both sides of our family in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. I am the proud owner of several life histories of my grandparents and even some of my great and great, great grandparents. While reading the life story of my great grandmother Sarah this week, I came across a paragraph that touched my heart and soul. I share it with you now.
“Late in the summer of 1885 my father began building a four room, two story house on the tract. (In Wichita) I was about eleven years old when he moved the family into the new home. He also built a large barn with lean-to sheds on each side. He bought a fine team of horses and good wagon, two milk cows and two dozen white leghorn chickens, and spaded up a plot of garden ground. He dug a large cellar under the house and walled it up, set out shade trees and cherry, peach and apple trees and concord grapes, and fenced the place. The land and livestock, coupled with the thrift and industry of the family members provided a very good living for us with very little purchasing of foodstuffs necessary. Vegetables, potatoes, and other root crops were stored in the cellar for winter use; also fruits, sauerkraut, relishes and etc. “
They came before us and we have their words to tell what they did. Moving to our homestead in the Midwest feels like going back to our roots and finds us coming to know that they are on the property with us. They will help us as we build and sow. They will be there, encouraging us. We are not merely here on our own to figure life out. We are part of a huge family, connected to the past and building the future for our posterity.
Digging Our Roots
This week Jim dug out a root on our property and has several more to remove. These were small roots, but we have large ones also. Remember the Sycamore tree we named General Lee because we are sure it was here during the civil war. (See the video below) If the trees could talk, what would they tell us? Did our ancestors pass near here? Some of mine lived 15 – 20 miles away. Can I feel them near because they are familiar with this place? Do these trees know them?
It has caused a new perspective for us as we walk around the property. Not to think that they were here, but to know that they built their own homesteads in places within a couple hundred miles. We now go back to our roots which include: starting gardens, repairing the house, building a cellar in the future, and planting trees that we might find “very little purchasing of foodstuffs necessary” for us either.
Building a bridge from the past to the future
Our hearts are filled with joy because we have this homestead. Our sadness is that we never got it when our children were young so they could work the soil, build, raise animals and find stability in land and family. We build it now and perhaps when our children visit they will understand why we came to this land. Perhaps they too will feel their ancestral family as we all connect with the roots around us.