we're kind of a big deal

i had been putting off reading all together this summer. i felt i was "too busy...too stressed...too hot" blah blah blah. all excuses. so i asked a good friend for help. "i need a good book pronto!" she handed me this one. it was fabulous and got me right back onto the reading train.

with a renewed vigor of reading, i figured august is a perfect month to read about this valley that is our home.  so i finally picked up our copy of this book that i have been meaning to read, for, oh, forever. i was not prepared for what i read.  i felt completely ashamed at my wailing and gnashing of teeth over this land. this sand. this heat.

this is what i needed to read. nothing endears you to a place or person as much as knowing them, knowing what they've been through. knowing their hard times and their good. a familiarity if you will. the early mormon missionary families sent here dealt with all the heat and sand and wind that i am, but had no homes, no shade, no water, and indians kifing all their stuff at night. one of my favorite parts of the book was a wife, writing home to her sister in Provo, Utah where they had just left:
"I expect you want to know what I think of this thorny country. There is the mesquite tree that we burn with briars sticking out in every direction; the bascrew, the flowers and seed of which are like a bench screw and they scratch; then the muscratch, if you get any of that on you, it sticks; then the devil's pin...The houses have little red ants so thick that they eat up the bedbugs...There are no fruit trees...there are no good houses here. I like the folks here though. They stay and make the best of it because they are sent...I expect the Lord will bless the land for our sakes. The folks in Provo don't know what hard work it is to live down here. When anybody works and you can see anything they have accomplished, it is encouraging....Respectfully yours, Martha Mills." (56)
and i knew before, but i guess i didn't really know, that the Muddy, Nevada Stake (now the Logandale, Nevada stake) was the first Stake established for our church west of Utah. like, ever.  it encompassed the virgin valley, moapa valley, las vegas valley, and other outlying areas. the families' stories of trials and endurance and faith from this stake are humbling to say in the least. and i'm very grateful for the heritage that is running through my children. and i'm proud that they will call this land their home. and i'm grateful for air conditioning, running water and modern day plumbing.

the end.


my name is becky kelly said...

if you read about Warren Foote or Thomas G. Myers i'm related to them. i'm famous.
good for you for reading that. i need to. i also need to return "healthy sleep habits" to the library, thanks for that one.

Carol said...

I am so glad you like the Guernsey book. It is one of my favorites. My ward book club picked it and it was the reason I started going. Love her humor and getting to learn something I didn't know before. So sad she passed away and there won't be anything else from the author.

Jed Wheeler Family said...

I need to read that one I think I have some ancestors in there.

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