“Today’s Pioneers” By Chad Robert Parker

Utah celebrates Pioneer Day on July 24th each year to recognize the Pioneers who crossed the plains and settled into the state. When I recently moved homes I thought of the Pioneers. I used to live near Nauvoo, Illinois where the Mormon Pioneers began their journey.

It’s a long ways, even by car. I have made that drive more than a few times. The landscape changes drastically. I can’t even imagine the sacrifices of walking through winter snow, losing loved ones to the extreme cold, and leaving so much behind.

When my wife and I moved from my first home I felt some of the grief of picking up and starting again. We, of course, got to keep most of our belongings. But with the down economy striking shortly after me making the house investment we needed to hit the reset button. I felt like I was handing over my baby. I wondered where we would land next. I hoped we would be like the Pioneers in two ways: 1) Leave the place we had as nice for the next occupants; and 2) Look forward to any opportunities ahead.

I remember being in awe with the Mormon Pioneers who were basically pushed out of their homes before the mobs came through with malicious intent and the authority of an extermination order from the government. I was shocked by how they cleaned up their homes to be as presentable as can be. Some placed their fine china down the well to protect it from looting and fire, but they still had to leave it behind for whoever might come along and hopefully take good care of it and benefit by it. That’s how we tried to leave our home as we downgraded to our current living standards.

Writer’s don’t often make enough but that’s the road we are traveling down. No matter. We are happy. We are looking forward to making the most of each new day.

Happy Pioneer Day, world!