BY EARL B. CRAGUN,
Jan 23,1909- June 6, 2006
It is easy, in difficult times, to allow ourselves to be engulfed by our own problems, along with the rush of events beyond our control.
When such occasions occur, it could be helpful to reflect on those, the true pioneers, who smoothed the trails that we now travel in ease.
Our pioneer communities were not free ‘for the taking,’ as most of us who now live here sometimes suppose. They were bought with sweat and tears and heartaches. Pioneer life was neither romantic nor dashing. It was dull repetition of endless chores, bone-wearying work, drab clothing, crudely built dwellings, and extremely grinding poverty. Their very existence could only have been sustained by faith and determination.
We of the later generations enjoy great freedoms in making certain choices and, fortunately, are taught to sacrifice things of worldly value for other things of higher worth. How rewarding it is that we love our ancestral homeland! We remain in these pioneer communities through droughts, floods, poor prices, and sporadic prosperity – because this land conquered by our forebearers has a sacred attachment for us. There is something about our communities that somehow renews us. We are better for being a part of it.
Hopefully, we of the present generation do have at least a fairly clear understanding of why our predecessors came here and remained on the land. Like them, it is our home. We also belong to the land.