Thursday, July 28, 2011


Last weekend we paid another visit to that small town in Idaho I wrote about a couple of months ago. While Pioneer Day is a Utah holiday, they were settled by Mormon pioneers and join in the celebration every year with parades and rodeos and other events that hold the promise of making sweet summer memories. After a weekend enjoying cousins and delicious food and horses and time spent doing what we like to call shooting the breeze in the living room at night, we pulled out for the drive home. It wasn't until I had time sitting in the front seat that I realized for the first time why I think that little town is so dear to me. My ancestors were among the pioneers who settled that valley, and so when I am there, I am standing where they stood. I can't get much closer to my heritage than that. The ranch house we stay in every time we visit was built by my great-great grandfather in 1909. My great-grandfather's house that he purchased for something like $250 in the 1920s is still standing down the road. We are standing where they lived out their lives and there is something so special and important about that and something inside of me senses that when I'm there. Heritage is a powerful thing. When I hear their stories and look at their pictures, it makes me want to live a life of honor so they would be pleased to claim me as their own.

All of these pictures were taken in the same small town at one time... or another.

my great-great grandfather standing with two of his children in front of their log cabin

my great-grandfather, Noel Parke, 1917

Danilo trying to get Gracie to ride a pony, last weekend

my great-grandma, Clarice Olsen, right

my great-grandpa, Noel Parke, back row second from right
I knew him. He always told us he was a "handsome devil."

my handsome man on a horse last weekend

the Parke family float in the town parade last Saturday morning
led by a team of beautiful horses

Noel and Clarice

a few years into their marriage
yes my great-grandfather had a soul patch

Danilo jumping off the board at Rocky Ledge

Gracie thought my grandpa's twin brother was her Great-Grandpa Parke.
Sunday morning she was completely content to just kick back in the recliner and
share the living room with him. When I tried to take this picture she said, "Bye, Mom."
I got the idea and left them alone.

my grandpa and my great-uncle Dar (the twins) with their mother Clarice

Dar and Dianne made up 90 bottles of homemade root beer in vintage bottles for the holiday weekend

Dar demonstrating how to seal the caps on the bottles

my great-grandfather Noel with his three sons, Val, Darrel, and Darwin

Dar sucking in his gut before the picture was taken... but I had already taken it


Lynlee said...

My mom's family has got a place like this just north of Dallas where we have our family reunion's. It's got our original family farm which is still in use today with original barns and homes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Absolutely love being there and your post put all my thoughts into perfect sentences. Thanks for sharing!


Mom said...

I never thought as a little girl, that my little girl and her little girl would end up loving this place as much as I always have! Thanks for your wonderful walk down memory lane...I love all those people more than words can say! Love you!!