Friday, August 13, 2010

Smiles and miles

Early this week we drove to our state capitol for a field trip.

One hundred and fifty years ago or so,
a journey on the Oregon Trail required a lot more
than the loaf of challah and water bottles we took along.

That paver says, to reference my source, that the six-month journey would require more than 400 pounds of food per person.

"200 pounds of flour, 75 pounds of bacon, 10 pounds of rice, 5 pounds of coffee, 2 pounds of tea, 25 pounds of sugar...."

(And I thought my pantry was stocked.)

Less than 100 years after making that journey, Oregonians reportedly
looked like the 1938 mural above. Wheat and apples and overalls. I'm liking it.

We learned that the "respectable" folks of 1845 and 1846
were going right past our house on the Applegate Trail.

I did not make this up.

(Does it lend me any respectability?)

The rotunda of the capitol building is beautiful.

I nursed the baby on a marble bench underneath that gorgeous sight.

As I sat on that bench I thought about the women who nursed their babies
on wagon seats and under trees and while stirring cornmeal dinner
over a campfire.

We sure have an easier life today.

Meanwhile the girls dabbled in a little politics.

(Gratuitous picture of Salvador smiling.
He slept in the sling throughout our capitol walk.
Yep, I was the baby-wearing homeschool mama shepherding four girls
past a marble statue of Sacajawea,
past crowds of attorneys and statesmen and journalists.
20 years ago I was one of those with a press badge
and high heels and high expectations.
It was fun back then. But it was awesome being on the other side of the badge.
Wearing my baby and my sandals.
Kinda makes me smile just thinking about it.)

The girls were excited to find our little village
-- really an unincorporated rural one-stop-sign junction --
on an antique map of the state.

We don't generally show up on modern maps

except for the maps we made
in geography lessons last year.

Our house was built in 1880s as the area's first church. It didn't have a resident pastor, as many remote churches didn't. So a traveling preacher would visit once a quarter or so and the community members would take turn teaching most weeks.

Living in a historical landmark -- albeit a small, stone-foundation, stick-built landmark -- may have fostered the girls' interest in Oregon's history.

Or maybe it was that golden pioneer statue on the top of the building.

(Laura wanted to take him home.)

Instead our souvenirs are pictures. And remembered smiles.


Mama Hen said...

Hi Miriam! Thank you so much for visiting my blog.I looked through yours and will be back to visit. I saw on your profile you like P&P, Rear Window,and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Me too!

And I love your restored house. So pretty!

Anonymous said...

I love anonymom home school field trips to old work haunts...sometimes people I used to work with walk right by and look at me quizzically, like they just saw someone they used to know. And I think "yep, you're right, you used to know someone who looks just like me, but that's not her now". And it makes me grin! And so does that hopeless flirt of a baby - too much!

Miriam said...

I love "anonymom." What a fun word!