“My writings were autumn leaves, bright and beautiful and flashy. But unmoored from their larger, more imposing hosts, simply dropped to the forest floor to be trampled upon and turned into humus for an acorn to grow one day into a mighty oak. But who remembered the leaves that mulched and gave the nutrient? It's the oak we admire.”
A very public physical journey at the time (1870's), a very private emotional journey for Carrie.
Maybe because we were full time rvers for four years, I think this is of particular interest to that group of travelers. This is another story where Jane Kirkpatrick does what she does best, teaching about women, life lessons, pondering our lives and living with others.
I'm grateful that we were able to go to Colorado and see Colorado Springs and the Garden Of The Gods, having personally seen some of the areas that she wrote of in this book. A regret we have is that we hadn't gotten to see Yellowstone. It must have been awesome to see these areas before they were populated as they are now. The very real dangers of weather and wildlife were more of an issue then with the mode of travel, often on foot, with miles of wilderness surrounding them. Still people wanted to travel to a better life, and looked where they could for accurate information.
Carrie Strahan's husband wrote books and pamphlets designed to lure pioneers into the West. He worked for the UP Railroad, who wanted "settled" towns before bringing their trains through. This was still a time when women were frowned on for travelling to outlying areas and having occupations other than making a home for family and children. Carrie insisted that she travel with her husband on his necessary forays into the frontier, gaining experience she never would have had, but also giving up a life that other women had. As time goes by she wonders about her contribution to the immigrant movement across America, and is constantly berated for doing it. We are all shaped by the paths that we cross.
I highly recommend this book, especially to women of all ages. There's no doubt that you'll find something you can learn, and gain an insight and perspective of your own life as well as Carrie's.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Jane, speaking of her sister: "I was struck by how one could make a tape— or write a memoir— of sweetness and light while beneath the words were feelings that were much different. I never forgot those moments with her as she spoke of what was really happening for her on that journey."
"It’s always worse when you’re not where you’ve been, yet not where you’re going to be. You can’t sit down and think too long about it, you have to keep going. And it’s easier to blame someone else, if you can, for your misery while you’re in the middle of it. I do it all the time.”