I preface this with an apology as I am a new person to blogging. I have not posted anything recently due to winter ailments afflicting myself and my family. Being under the weather (and the blankets), I have had some time to ponder a few genealogical matters. The following is my latest submission, which I had meant to post on January 16th.
A few years ago, while visiting my grandmother and staying the night in her basement, I came across two diaries of my grandpa's from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Bound in black leather, the diaries were intended to be five-year diaries but were used instead for only a couple of years each. The space intended for additional years was used as extra writing space, in most instances.
I share the entry from January 16, 1948 as it records the birth of my mom and aunt. Having traversed the contemporary road that my grandparents traveled, I can only imagine the journey with my grandmother in the early morning hours in 1948. My understanding is that Ash Creek Road is much more developed today than it was in 1948 due, in part, to improvements made by oil companies. That being said, the road is a private road and maintained, as best as possible, by residents that live there. It is a road made of red shale that leaves a rusty red-brown dust on any vehicle willing to carry over the washboards that are an eternal feature along certain stretches.
The drive to the Lupton Place from Sheridan takes close to thirty minutes today. Recalling my own experience of driving my wife to the hospital in Salt Lake City twice in two years, I know the excitement and anticipation. Luckily, we only had to drive a few blocks up 700 East to reach our destination. There are so many things to consider about the mindset of my grandfather in driving his expectant wife to town. How did he react to her water breaking? Did he remain composed or was he scurrying about? What was the drive into town like? What was the delivery like? Was he involved?
The weather recorded for January 16, 1948 in Sheridan, Wyoming, where my mom and aunt (fraternal twins) were born, was cool, according to http://weather.org/weatherorg_records_and_averages.htm, reaching a high temperature of 19 degrees fahrenheit. The weather in my own lifetime has been increasingly milder, this year in particular with most of January reaching close to or over 40 degrees. I harken to say that I sound like an old-timer, recollecting the weather of my youth by saying, "When I was a kid the windchill was negative 45 degrees...."
Other entries in the diary include daily interactions with neighbors through helping with farming and ranching, community and family events. The entries are not elaborate affairs with feeling or emotion: they are simple accounts of the lives of rural folks. Also contained in the pages is an account of a rural neighborhood, roughly 20 years after being homesteaded, (give or take a few years in some cases).
The entry I enjoy the most is the entry for June 18, 1947. Written by my grandmother, it is a brief entry about their marriage ceremony. The wedding was held at the home of siblings Roy and Eunice Williams, my grandmother's aunt and uncle.
When my grandfather passed away in 2001, I spent time with my grandmother and had told her that I had cried a lot when I heard the news. After a brief pause, she confessed that she was afraid to cry fearing that she would be unable to stop.
The diaries offer some insight into the rural community that my grandparents both grew up and embraced. My grandfather was a member of the local school board and Farm Bureau while my grandmother was a member of the Lower Tongue River Women's Club, which consisted of various extended family members.