Monday, October 19, 2009

Travel in Terms of Time and Distance

We live in an amazing time and amongst much wealth. Think about it. For a pittance (relatively speaking and only if you buy your tickets ahead of time) we have at our disposal a multi-million dollar aircraft that will transport us from the west coast half way across the country in a matter of hours. For a handful of dollars we can travel in a most luxurious manner.

Those of my generation are only a couple generations removed from those who homesteaded the Midwest. One set of German grandparents married in New York City, lived in Illinois, homesteaded in Michigan in the late 1890s (oh, Man, that makes me sound ancient) and then moved to Nebraska where they lived out their days.

Great-grandparents on the other side of the family immigrated from Sweden and homesteaded in Nebraska where my great-grandfather spent his first winter living in a dugout in the creek bank. He and his Swedish bride built a wood two-story home that is (barely) still standing. Their son, my grandfather, raised his family in that house during the Great Depression.

My husband's family moved westward gradually, starting in Pennsylvania early in our country's history, moving onward to Ohio, then Illinois, then Iowa, then Nebraska. Now his family is scattered to California, Oregon, Hawaii, Texas, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska. I can't even begin to relate where my family members now reside. Suffice it to say they are scattered far and wide.

In the grand scheme of things the lives of our grandparents were lived not so very long ago. Their journeys were long and hard...shipboard from their native lands...wagons and railroad westward. Life itself was hard.

And tomorrow we will traverse half the continent in the time it took them to travel by horse from homestead to distant town and back.

Wouldn't they be astounded!

I wonder what life will be like for our grandchildren's grandchildren.

And, nope, Baby is not here yet. We will have to wait to see him at Thanksgiving.



Debby said...

The little stinker will probably be on his way by the time you open your own front door!

Where in PA did your hubby's family start out?

Karen said...

As a Pennsylvanian myself, I also wondered the same question Debby asked. And, yes, your post was very thought-provoking. A hundred years isn't really that long, relatively speaking, yet look where we are today!

Kelly said...

Yep, he'll probably arrive right after you depart! At least you've enjoyed your time there and created some wonderful memories.

I remember my mother telling me how, as a little girl, she would listed to her older relatives rehash Civil War stories. She had relatives that had fought on both sides.

Dorothy said...

Oh that uncooperative baby! There's still time. I'm hoping he comes before you have to board that plane.

Daria said...

It is amazing what what we have these days ... compared to what our parents had or experienced.

Laurie M. said...

With all the airlines and automakers failing, we may end up in covered wagons again before too long. Be extra nice to your friends who own horses and oxen!

I hope you have a safe and wonderful return trip!