Visiting a cousin in Mineral Wells, Texas was stepping back in time. My father became acquainted with her just one year ago when she came to a “Stinson Memorial” gravestone ceremony in Evansville, IN. She has been researching the Stinson name for 50 years. This is before Ancestry and 23andme were even a thought. She went on trips into record depositories, tax offices, libraries, scanned old newspapers and visited countless graves across America. Her parents met and married in Oklahoma and she is a “distant cousin” of mine. Aren’t we all distant cousins of someone?
“The elders within a culture are those responsible for remembering its stories.” pg. 104 ‘Backpacking with the Saints’, Beldon Lane. Our cousin is in her late 80s and was thrilled to be able to share enormous books of her research with me, the next generation. Will I invest the time needed to understand such dedication? I do not know.
After this visit we took the opportunity to visit Lake Mineral Wells State Park. There was the Penitentiary Hollow – a narrow path through steep rocks. A strange walk along bunkers and hidden bomb placements was followed by views of the Lake.
Stopping at a BIG Rocking Chair, we were treated to a few Texas oddities. The spices, eggs, outhouse, and Rock were a delightful experience and something to laugh about as we ate ice cream and bought BarBQ to take home.
“The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue,
So I know how to encourage tired people.
He wakes me up in the morning,
Wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears, and I didn’t go back to sleep,
didn’t pull the covers back over my head. I followed orders,..” Isaiah 50:4-5 The Message