I'm sitting eating lunch today with Charlie and Pete. All is quiet, except for the iPod music and chewing. Then, Charlie said to me nonchalantly,
"So, mom, how was Trek?"
Last Thursday until Saturday Dave and I participated in our stake's Pioneer Trek as a Ma and Pa. We dropped Charlie and Pete off at a friend's house Wed. night. We dressed in pioneer clothing, pulled/pushed a handcart (actually as Ma and Pa we weren't aloud to touch the handcart but I did help on the "Woman's Pull"), ate pioneer food, drank lots of water seasoned with dirt, slept under the stars, prayed, cried, laughed, hurt, sang, starved, then ate, were worn out "dead tired" many times, hiked until 1 am, made many new friends whom I love very much, strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ and my husband, missed my two boys, read scriptures, barely slept, danced at a Hoe Down, was wooed by my husband by a slow dance to the live band in the rain, washed my hair in the river, stank like I've never stunk in my life, played my harmonica around the fire, peed in the woods many times, got bit by lots of bugs and spiders, sweat, ......and loved every minute of it. I can't really explain everything because most of it was a very sacred and personal experience. I do, however, share it with those in my assigned family (13) and the other 105 youth and Ma's and Pa's.
Though, it was only 3 days, it felt like a long time that I was "out-of-touch". It felt weird to get inside our car and sit back on that cushion seat and turn on the A/C. It was wonderful to take a shower and brush my teeth twice and climb into my own bed. I have a greater appreciation for all I have, food, clothes, home, everything! I have a greater appreciation for my pioneer heritage and those who made the real Trek West. Especially my grandfather, Thomas Giles, who was a blind harpist. He came from Wales and lost his sight in a coal mining accident. He also lost his wife and two children on the trek West but he endured to the end. I have a greater love for myself. I have a greater love for my husband and my family. I have many new, true friends. I have a stronger testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Would I do it again? Ask me in a couple months and I will probably say yes.
AND the greatest miracle of all: I escaped with 0 ticks!!! A true miracle.