Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Granddaughter Moira

We were blessed with the birth of Moira, our oldest son’s child, on September 13, 2009. As it happens, Jo’s birthday is also September 13, so it was a real blessing for Jo. Besides Moira, our son also has two sons, Nate and Liam.  Moira is now a year and four months old.

Over the last year plus, when visiting, Moira not only didn’t want anything to do with me, she had a tendency to start crying. At some point, I started taking off my cap when I would go see them, and it turns out she didn’t like the caps for some reason. While she still didn’t cry, she still didn’t want to get anywhere near me. She would stand off at least 10 or 12 feet away and if I stood up, she would head for her mother.

It was some time before she even began to go to Jo. But, part of that is because Jo managed to go by their home more often than I did.

Today, we had a busy schedule of sorts. We had dental appointments (yes, on a Saturday) and then we were going to the son’s home and buy them all lunch. In addition to having pizza and breadsticks, we sat down to watch an animated movie on the TV that was about a young Viking and him taming dragons instead of killing them. It is named “How to Tame Your Dragon.”

Throughout the day, Moira did her usual thing of staying away from me, but watching me a lot to see what I might choose to do. While watching the movie, she did manage to get closer to me as she passed by the chair I was in, but she still wouldn’t get near me or come to me. She went by me several times, and each time, I would just smile at her.

Oh, side note here…..anyone seeing me smile at them, just know that it is a fake smile…..I have false teeth. (Yeah, I know. Awfully cheesy joke.)

Anyway, as we were all getting ready to leave, Jo and I in one direction and Kevin and his family in another, Moira came around the chair and right up to me and handed me one of her shoes. I was flabbergasted with that one. Then she went and got her other shoe and brought it to me. After her mom and dad finished dressing her, I then put her shoes on her, and as I did so, I looked up and she was smiling. I was in hog-heaven with that.

Then, just before we went out the door, I put my arms out to her and she let me hold her. Then, it became a great day.

Meet Moira.


After we left the kids’ house, Jo and I drove down to the area around the river in Oklahoma City where they have begun a process of erecting statues depicting the Land Run of 1889. I wanted to get pictures of the statues because I had heard that one statue of a covered wagon was being chased by a dog. (Maybe he’s not a “barking dog” but it is still kind of the same image.)


Their series of statures are pretty large and part of the Bricktown Canal goes between some of them. Another statue is of a wagon pulled by two horse that is rearing at the “river crossing” in front of them.


When the Land Run Monument is finished, there are supposed to be something like 45 different statues. (Oh, one is even a Jack Rabbit.  Look at the lower right of the following photo.) The statues are roughly 50 percent larger than life sized.


Some of the lighting wasn’t really great, so I’ll need to go back down and take more pictures when there is morning light. I may wait until spring so that the trees and grass will be green again, similar to the time when the actual Land Run was conducted.

There is one other major memorial here in Oklahoma City, one which I haven’t been able to make myself visit.  It is the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, located downtown, where the Murrah Building bombing back in 1995 took place.  Perhaps I’ll get there sometime for photos of that memorial.

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