Sunday, June 2, 2013

Eternal Rest

In Hurricane, Utah, presented without further comment:

These Are My People

My forebears figured in our recent trip to Southern Utah and Yellowstone.

On our way up to Salt Lake from Zion National Park (quite beautiful and the subject of a subsequent post), we took the back way that included Parowan, Utah.  My great-grandma Dahlstrom, nee Marybelle Wardell, was born there.  I wanted to swing by the city cemetery to find any of my ancestors' gravestones.

I found John Wardell's headstone first, but Alexander Orton and his wife, Jane Holmes, took some doing.  Here they are:

 I don't know why his wife that I descended from wasn't buried next to him.  His other wife has a headstone to the right of him.  I need to find out if I have any biographies from that family in my files.

 I like that it says at the bottom:  A tender mother and a faithful friend.  What a lovely way to be remembered.
Rowdy was impressed that they had this plaque affixed to their headstones. They were in the Third Handcart Company, dragging their possessions across the plains in a small cart.  No horses, no oxen, no nice wagon, just a handcart. Yup. That's my people.  Faith in every footstep!

One night in Jackson Hole, we were eating at a pizzeria.  We had spent the entire day in Yellowstone and had not much but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for nourishment, so we were very hungry.  Rowdy ordered an 18" pizza.  We were seated next to a party of elderly Europeans, and as people of that demographic are wont to do, they STARED at us and our pizza.  I realized that I could play it one of two ways, either be irritated and offended that they were obviously thinking that we were piggy Americans, or smile and make conversation.  So, I chose option two and started talking to the little old man sitting next to me.

It turns out that they were from Denmark.  Aha!  My great-grandma was Danish!  Huzzah!  Thanks, Grandma Chaffee!  That made big points right there.  He and his wife and several others were on a three-week trip across North America, starting at San Francisco and ending in NYC.  He said, "I wanted to see how two young people like yourselves could eat all of that food", but I said, "No, that would be unwise.  We are going to take most of it home and eat it tomorrow."  He was very impressed that we would be so young and fit because, as he said to me, "Isn't it true that many Americans are fat?"  We chatted for a few more minutes, until they had to leave and catch their bus to continue their trip.  He gave me a handshake, hug and kiss on the cheek and Rowdy a handshake and hearty clap on the back of the neck.  It was fun to turn things around and make friends.  I hope that they have a great trip across the country.
My Rad Life!