Lately I have been thinking about me. My Nebraska. My family. My history. Did my family struggle in a sod house? Did they come here on the hopes that they would find a better life? I don’t know anything about my history. I have put in a request to my parents because all of the old people in my family are gone. I hope they know more than I do.
I complain about living in my tiny house (720 square feet) that has a huge yard and is close to 2 grocery stores, several bars and restaurants, and schools. How is is this hard? It’s not. I can’t imagine my family digging out a hill to create my home with my several children to farm a land filled with rattlesnakes and unknown creatures (yeah, yeah I’m talking about Willa Cather’s writing).
The only memory I know that hearkens to my history is one that my Great Grandfather gave me while sitting in a Runza in Kearney, Nebraska. He was born in 1916 I believe, maybe 1918. He lived out on a farm with his parents and his many siblings. His younger sister had polio. They traveled via horse, to school, to other farms, etc. One day, when I was 18, he told me about how he had to rescue his polio ridden sister when a horse took off with her as she was sitting on the wagon. The horses took off for some reason in a scare and he had to jump on his horse and chase after them. He did and his sister was fine. I don’t know why he shared this story with me but I wish he had shared more. I hold onto this. I miss him. He was quiet and rarely spoke of anything, especially not his history. He died in 2005 and he was such an amazing part of my life.
So where did I come from? I know my roots are Nebraskan for at least the past 100 years. What happened before then? Where did this story start? What other stories am I missing out on? Someone please tell me!!!