July 24, 2009

Pioneer Day

Today is Pioneer Day. A day we celebrate the early settlers of our church. When I was a young girl, my "sew" talented mother made me a pioneer dress and bonnet that I proudly wore to my Primary activity.
I hold pioneers very close to my heart. Their trials, hardships, and loss of loved ones are unimaginable. I cannot fathom leaving my home, packing up whatever belongings would fit on a covered wagon and making a trek, on foot, across the country on unknown territory. I have pioneer ancestors. I love them. I cannot wait for the day that I can look them in the eye and thank them for their sacrifice.
There is one story that I just love and am touched by everytime I tell or hear it. It's a story of a woman, from England, that eventually made the journey to Salt Lake City, Utah. (Pregnant!) Her name was Ellen and she had been a beauty queen back in England. After she and her family had settled and started making a little bit of money, her husband bought her a new pair of pretty, lace-up shoes. She even knitted some new socks, blue and white striped, to wear with them. Shortly after, Brigham Young announced that there were more immigrants from England coming to the valley and they needed to gather supplies to help aid in their journey. Ellen's husband didn't think they had anything to offer, but Ellen removed her shoes and socks and gave them to the men that were gathering these much needed supplies. She then wrapped her feet in burlap to make due.
Eventually, the immigrants were due to arrive. The people of Salt Lake would gather on the streets to welcome the parade of pioneers as they walked into the city. Ellen watched for her shoes, curious to see who had received them. There they were! On her best friend she had left behind in England years ago!
What a sweet example this woman is to me generations later. How often are we faced with the opportunity to give the shirt off our back...and then do we?
(The above book, Betsy Buttons, was written by my great aunt, Erla Young. I grew up reading this story about a little pioneer girl, Eliza, crossing the plains with her doll, Betsy Buttons, in tow. She even bit the hand of an Indian when he tried to grab her doll away! Such bravery.)


Pam said...

Beautiful sentiments and tribute, Angela. Thank you for sharing your tender heart. Happy Pioneer Day to all of you, too.


Anna Macfarlane said...

Is that your book? I've always wanted a Betsy Buttons book.

Great story, very inspiring.

Angela Henrie said...

Anna, look on line. I'm sure you can find one.

Kimberly said...

Happy Pioneer day! Thank you for sharing the sweet story. Can you imagine biting an Indian!!?? Have a great weekend. xxx kim

Debbie & Don said...

I drove by the house, I like your blue door. Happy soap carving day to you too.

Jill said...

What a precious story! and a sweet reminder!

Debbie & Don said...

I was by your way today 7-24-09 and maybe hubbie needs to come through the back door. I think the gate would be lovely in distressed blue.

Pam said...

Ange...Did you realize that Ellen Neibaur was the wife of Alexander who was the first Jew to join the church at the time of Brigham Young? He is your great, great, great, great grandfather on the Hill side.

Angela Henrie said...

Yes, I realized that. I read all about them and their 10? children. Did you know his father was a physician for Napolean? Napolean wanted him to work for him as a translator and spy, but he wouldn't because he didn't agree with Napolean's politics.

Sabrina Mix said...

It just remember me the Coraline movie.