Arkansas has been the ancestral home for four generations on both my maternal and paternal sides. Growing up my immediate family moved from coast to coast and to places in-between following my father’s profession. I never grew up around my grand parents but instead visited with my family a few times a year. I cherish fond memories of traveling back to Arkansas to visit our family and the connection to where my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great, great-grandparents lived and worked the land.
The history and stories of their lives is long and intriguing. Full of hard work, action, adventure and overcoming incredible odds and obstacles. 20+ years ago I took my two daughters along with my mother and we visited Crawford County Arkansas so my mom could share with them the places and stories that I was fortunate enough to learn about during my childhood visits.
Fast forward to today, or rather late October 2016. Another trip to Arkansas, this time with my mother, now 82 , and my oldest grand daughter, 11. The opportunity to have my mother share first-hand with my grand daughter our family history was priceless as we traveled to the locations where our ancestors lived, visited the cemeteries where they now rest and for her to pass down our deep family ties to this area.
From the trip I returned with gigabytes of new photos documenting our journey and those of our ancestors which can be shared family and added to my research. I learned new insights regarding the lives of some of my ancestors. However, my most valuable thing I took away from this journey was the overwhelming fullness in my heart that came from seeing history unfold before my eyes with my mother and grand daughter.
Seize the day, share the memories and when you can, create the opportunity to build new memories while passing down the old ones.