Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Pioneer Day!

Today is Pioneer Day, the day we remember the sacrifices our ancestors made coming out west to settle in the Salt Lake Valley. My friends in UT get the whole day off work, have parades, fireworks, the whole shabang. Here in Idaho it's not as big of a deal. Usually there are church parties and such.

This year, I've decided to celebrate by making some Pioneer Woman's apple dumplings. I've been wanting to try them forever so today is the day.

Pioneer Day always makes me remember a few things.

First, when I was about 13 the youth in our church went on a pioneer reenactment over-nighter. We made handcarts and then pulled them for 2 days with all our provisions. It was TOUGH!! We got caught in a terrible thunder and lightening storm, mud up to our ankles, and our hair stood on end because of the static electricity in the air due to lightening. It was scary. We were at the top of a hill trying to come down, but we had to do it slowly and one cart at a time. Those of us waiting for our turn to get down had to sit 100 feet apart from each other, so that if the lightening hit anyone it wouldn't travel and hit anyone else. How's that for calming? Thankfully, no one was hit and I have never appreciated the pioneers more.

Second, our family reunion to Martin's Cove, WY, where we dressed in pioneer era clothing and pulled handcarts for several miles in the heat and dirt. I was pregnant with Carter and had a horrible migraine headache. Near the end, I gave up and had to ride out on the wimp wagon (aka 4 wheeler) with my mother in law who needed a knee replacement. Jarom will never let me live that one down. He always tells me I would have died on the plains, and I don't argue with him.

And third, the birth of Halle. No she wasn't born on pioneer day or anywhere close to it. She's a November birthday, but the doctor sang me pioneer songs during labor. Halle was stuck and the dr. needed to use forceps to get her out. I kind of argued with him (okay I really argued) because I didn't want him to use them. I was afraid of them. So he sang me the popular children's pioneer song, "For some must push and some must pull..." I didn't think it was funny, but now I am sentimental about that silly song.


Anonymous said...

Oh, cute baby. I can't believe her face was ever that fat.

Jennifer P. said...

Why can I so see Dr. Lowder singing...? He's a bit of an odd one :)!

I would have died on the plains too. I can't go into labor on my own--always needed an epidural, so I would have been one of those women who either died in childbirth or had like all her babies die. Thank goodness for the pioneers' sacrifice, but I am sooooo grateful to live today! I have taken to using the phrase "you can go in my wagon" in reference to the time we'll all end up (maybe!) walking to Missouri one day. Like when Miki improvised such a good fire pit---she can go in my wagon. Or when my friend Molly cooked the most delicious gourment dinner in dutch ovens---my wagon! Emily Loria with her ability to sew---my wagon! And what will I be contributing to my own wagon? Hmmmmmm.....not sure! It will be a very nicely decorated wagon though :)!!!

There's a novel for you to read!

That was a great post!

Trooper Thorn said...

Tales of early settlements in Manitoba (where I used live) included a Hutterite family who were snowed under in their one room sod hut during a yellow fever outbreak. One child died but they could not get the door open to take her outside for more than a week. Later, that spring, the father travelled the day's journey to the Red River Settlement (now Winnipeg) to buy supplies to build the big house. The ferry capsized as he crossed the Red River, his heavy fur coat pulling him down and he drowned.

The story has all the makings of a very depressing Middle School reading list novel.

It's amazing the early settlers survived long enough in North America to give us the opportunity to have cappuccino machines and the Internet.

becky ward said...

i HATE thunder and lightning. I would have for sure passed out if i was there. and i have never heard that story about halle. very entertaining!

Miki said...

Have I heard that song before? Maybe not...maybe and my blasted memory. Why did I forget about this when you were pregnant with Carter? Maybe we weren't yet close...just getting there (with your baby step friend making Miki pal here...push her and she runs for the hills!). Anyway, I don't like that doctor. I shouldn't say that probably. It's mean of me. I don't like him.

I too, would have been good at bringing babies into the world, but none of them would have survived. All of my children had jaundice, and I think their only chances to make it would have been if they were born in the summer.

My in-laws are serving in Russia, and just what they go through on a daily basis to have water and food just seems to put me in a humble mood lately. This post also (sorry I'm so jumbled) makes me appreciate daily things. I guess my "broken things" post doesn't seem so bad anymore.

Elena said...

Mom- I know she sure came out chubby but then things changed.

Jennifer- Where am I in your wagon???!! HA! Just kidding, I don't even know that I want me in my own wagon.

Trooper- Thanks for that great story. I am so grateful for living in the day of "internet and cappucino makers".

Becky- You just make me laugh.

Miki- Oh dear, I should have stated that I loved that doctor, but he did have some funny quirks. But yes, I LOVED him and would go back to him in a heart beat.

Emily said...

Awwwwwwww, your stories were so nice to read! Thanks for sharing.

I cannot believe the lightening one. How come I always miss out on the treks? My other ward went on a trek right after we moved out of it. And my young women class did a trek the year I graduated and I missed out that year too! I guess it is not meant to be... I don't think I would have made it in that storm! I would have been crying.

Don't worry Jennifer, I would trade my sewing skills for you to braid my hair or something... maybe hold a handkerchief over my eyes while I gave birth to keep the sun off of me... and then help bury me because I would have died because Josh weighed 9 pounds and I would have bled to death.

Two years ago I had to give a talk about the Pioneers on the Sunday after pioneer day, and the day before-- Jeff and the kids and i took a flight out to Nauvoo. It was such a hard talk to give. Jeff cried through his whole talk. It was a mess. I couldn't help it though, after what the Saints endured, how could you not cry!

I am with Miki, why have I never heard that pioneer song. And is it just in my primary that they don't sing the ol' classics anymore. What happened to "Pioneer Children?"

Jewelle said...

That is hilarious that your doctor sang that! Thanks for reminding us to be thankful for our pioneer ancestors! I feel like this holiday gets "passed over" now that I live in Idaho instead of Utah.

"The Queen in Residence" said...

I love the humor of the Dr. My Orthodontist sang, "Won't you be my Neighbor", as he adjusted my braces. So I guess all people do or sing kooky things.

I did a pioneer trek and it was awful. 4 days of sheer agony and then we had to kill and pluck a turkey. I think that is when I started clicking my shoes and chanting, "there's no place like home, there's no place like home......."

I want to go to Martin's Cove, my good friends parents are serving their mission there as we speak. I think those places help us remember the sacrifice and the blessings that we do get to enjoy.

Some of us in Utah go the day off, I just got home from work.

Brenda said...

I believe I might have been on that same trek, when you were 13! I remember rain, and thunder and lightning! OH, and falling on my face, because I was pulling so hard on a handcart and it was totally muddy! I also remember sleeping in muddy wet jeans, in a lovely tarp/tent. I so would have died on the plains as well!!! What a darling little baby too!!!

Manwaring Family said...

Elena - you are so sweet! I didn't even go to Martin's Cove because I was pregnant (due in a couple of weeks - when did you have Carter?) Dr. Lowder was my doctor, but then I had to switch because of insurance - that is one of the BEST birth stories I have ever heard :) P.S. We would LOVE to have Carter on our team!!!

lee ann said...

Sheez! Those were some scary moments. I so would have died. Especially when prego. There's no way I would have made it. And the fact that your dr sang to you...that kinda frightens me :-) Let's just be thankful you're both safe and sound...and that you have an Expedition with air.

Elena said...

Brenda- I'm sure you were on that trek. It was a stake thing. Remember how we all had to get off the path and pull the carts over the sage brush because it was easier than pulling throught the rivers of mud? Man that was quite the experience. Our poor leaders.

Joni- Carter wasn't born until March. I was only a few months along for that reunion. I think Jaden being due any day completely validates you not coming! :)

Brandon and Emily said...

Man I wish that we celebrated Pioneer Day so we can have work off! Your doctor story cracks me up! Who does that?

Elise said...

That is the meanest doctor ever! I would have kicked him in the head! ;) Just kidding-- you're awesome that now you have good memories of the song!

I think a pioneer trek would definitely give me a better appreciation for the pioneers. And yours sounds extra freaky with the lightning! SCARY!!!

Jennifer P. said...

You can come along in my wagon to tend to all the animals that we will eat :)! And be the plucky comic relief of course!

Did you go read Trooper Thorne's blog? He's commented on my blog 2-3 times, and he's actually really talented. A little R-rated at times, but he wants to be the next Dooce.

Jennifer said...

That is a neat story that Halle will be able to treasure forever!