Family Roots

So, my sister has a problem.

Well, really, my parents have a problem.

And if my sister and my parents have a problem, so do I.

My parents bought a used camp trailer last year, and it was in pretty rough shape.  It is now in worse shape for the winter, as my sister discovered as she came down yesterday to prepare it for the season.  Bad enough that the roof and at least two walls will need to be replaced.

And, as I don’t have anything else to do at the moment, I was drafted into helping.

I got to do deconstruction.

I genuinely enjoyed the drive down.  It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it’s now legal for me to drive my car, so I wasn’t as paranoid about cops, but I’m going to claim it had everything to do with the time of year.

I spotted several largish patches of wildflowers–indian paintbrush and globe mallow. I could see meadowlarks singing their hearts out on fence posts, and saw perhaps a dozen hawks and eagles.  I could smell the sagebrush, and the alfalfa that’s ready to cut, and the rye just starting to bloom.

And then my nose stopped working and my eyes started to swell shut.   Ahhh, spring.

I came into town a different way than I usually, do, mostly because I wanted to stop and take pictures of wildflowers if I saw any more,  and I had a car pass me, that I later passed, and I didn’t want it to see me stopped on the side of the road.  Yeah, I’m insecure like that.

I drove though what I consider my real home town, the place where I lived until I was 8.  It’s been more than 20 years since we moved, but it still feels like home.

I figured, since I was already there, and my eyes were already swelling shut from the rye, I might as well swing by the cemetary, to find the grave of Clayborne Elder. (You can read about him here)

So, here’s the thing.  I know the Leamington cemetery.  I know a lot of people who are buried in the Leamington cemetery.  Heck, I’m related to perhaps half of them.  But I’ve always known that.  I’ve always known that my Mom’s ancestors settled the area, and I’m still related to at least a third of the population in and around this community.

But that’s all my mom’s side.  Clayborne Elder is–different, somehow.

I found his grave, and discovered that it’s very well taken care of.  There’s a fence around it, and the old sandstone headstone was replaced by a granite one at some point.

The plaque underneath says he came across the plains. "Faith in every footstep", and whatnot.

When I saw it, I started to cry.

My roots in this area run deep.  I always knew that they did, but when I was standing there, realizing that this was my family–from my paternal line, surrounded by maternal ancestors, I felt them go even deeper.  It’s weird.  I felt the family connection, and also the connection to place.

This is where I belong, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

view from the Leamington Cemetery

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3 responses to “Family Roots”

  1. william wallace says :

    Corianne / If young Claybourne be alive today
    he would give his blessing.. to tell you cant live
    in the past, no more can you live on yesterdays
    meal ..you need todays meal. The struggle of the
    past in having todays freedom allowing spiritual
    development…now that having that freedom…
    dont look to the past but be in the present, thus
    looking to the future… No matter where you go
    in the world.. no matter material position such
    in never giving the satisfaction one seeks such
    thirst ends only with a open heart making that
    CONNECTION unto the ALMIGHTY / ALLAH…

    In love there’s no death nor there be darkness
    the soul ever granted another form..given the
    breath of life, thus seek not amongst the dead
    when I stand in song rejoicing with the living.

  2. The Parent says :

    So, I think the Wilson part of you should be very, very, uncomfortable surrounded by all of that Nielson and Nelson part of you! It seems that we’ve made a huge, and I do mean HUGE, discovery. No wonder you’re so confusing!!!

  3. The Parent says :

    Or is it that you are confused?

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