Sunday, July 24, 2016

I See... How to Celebrate Pioneer Day

For those of us with pioneer ancestors, Pioneer Day holds special significance. My great-great grandmother Elizabeth Xavier Tait traveled all the way from Poona, India in 1856 as a member of the ill-fated Willie Handcart Company, a trip that left her permanent health scars. You can read about it here.

I always find inspiration this time of year in her sacrifice, but struggle in attempts to properly celebrate or commemorate it. We celebrate it every July 24th with parades and parties that express our gratitude, but I pondered this year on a better way to commemorate it. Elizabeth Xavier proved to her descendants that she could do hard things. What if... what if... I honored her this Pioneer Day by doing my own hard thing?

I have a weed-infested backyard that taunts me daily. Even with my best efforts I have so far failed to conquer this monster. So... on Monday, July 25th, all day long, I am committed to completing my hard thing- I will not sleep until I have eradicated every vestige of unwanted growth from the backyard. Just like my pioneer ancestor, I'll start at the break of dawn on the back lawn and continue until sunset. When the temperature soars to 95 degrees with 60% humidity and the pile of pulled weeds overcomes our yard trash can, I'll stop for a moment, wish to quit, then remember Elizabeth Xavier Tait trudging through the snows of high Wyoming and keep on pulling.

This is my hard thing.

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