Granpa’s Story

Grandpa’s Story

Grandpa 1937

Grandpa 1937

My love of the outdoors is also shared by my parents and their parents.   My grandfather’s story takes place during the Great Depression of 1929-1930.  When he was in the 6th grade he started working  for his Uncle and during the summers.  He says he never received more than $1 a day.  He and his brother, Ed, would start plowing his uncle’s dry farm just up the canyon from his home in Bloomington, ID.  He recalls:

“Ed and I would take our camping gear up to the Flat Hallow and camp all week while we plowed.  Saturday night we would come home with a wagon, and spend Sunday at home with our family.  Again, on Monday morning, we would load our wagon with provisions of food supplies.

We did all of our cooking over an open bonfire.  Most of our cooking was done in a big, black, cast iron fry pan.  We got so we could make our food quite palatable.  We slept underneath the stars most of the time, but when it rained we would go inside an old log cabin that leaked.

We kept one saddle horse tied up at night so that we could round up the big bunch of horses that we turned loose at night to graze.  One of us would cook breakfast while the other hunted for the work horses.  They were quite often over the hill down in Paris Canyon.  I remember many mornings that I sat on my horse on top of the mountain and watched the beautiful sunrise.  There is something when one is living out in the open with nature that has a spell indescribable on a person.

During the month of June, everything turns green in the Bear Lake Valley, including the hills, canyons and little valleys around it.  The birds have all come back, and there is never a quiet moment during the day.  I enjoyed every minute in this setting…The sun always seemed to shine.  The air was fresh and the grass we plowed under was green.  Occasionally, a lone coyote would wonder across our lonely little valley, or a family of deer come over the brow of the hill looking this way and that to see what was changing the color of their world.”

He goes on to talk about a group of friends coming to their camp for a party.  They roasted “weenies and marshmallows”.  I think something should be said here about the power of nature on the mind, especially as a place of peace  in times of economic difficulty.

One Response

  1. I agree. I spent a summer living mostly outdoors, and it was surreal. I felt I knew myself and the Lord and all His creatures in a totally new way. I remember one morning feeling such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the beauty of the earth that I felt to say a prayer of thanks, but I was surrounded by such beauty I couldn’t close my eyes. I decided that it would be okay to pray with my eyes open, that if the good Lord had hypnotized me with the beauty of the flowers, trees and fresh air, he would allow an open-eyed prayer while I enjoyed it!

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