Four generations of fun and delight as we got re-united at Park City, Utah. The food was fantastic as each family took their turn to fix a meal – couldn’t have eaten better. McKaylee twisted my arm to make my 40-mile stew, which is a river-running tradition — going back as many years as I am old, and we ate two 12 inch Dutch ovens full of that stuff.
On Saturday morning I broke my chain riding my mountain bike on some real steep trails, which I have never ridden before, which were located behind the timeshare. I have a fascinating spin off tale of this event, which I will share in a moment.
Near Park City is Midway, which is the home town of my ancestry. John Watkins is my great-great-grand-father, who had three wives and 32 children and first settled this beautiful little mountain village. The home you see here is the second home he built, and is being restored by the Hardy Foundation. Because of its historical significance, I had to show this beautiful English Tudor architectural style home to my family.
John was the bugler for the Martin Handcart Company and made the 1300-mile trek from Iowa City to the Great Salt Lake basin with his wife, Margaret Ackhurst Watkins, and two children, Elizabeth and John. Because of the early winter storms in Wyoming in 1856, 146 of the 575 in the company perished. John actually had a vision of this happening before they left Iowa City, but came West anyway, and all four of them survived. Elizabeth married my great-grand-father, Charles Edward Allan, and they settled in Mapleton.
Back to the bike story! Because I broke my bicycle chain, I went across the street from this home to a bicycle shop, where he gave me the link to fix it and the owner told me the “rest of the story!” He had helped to re-do the stuccoing on the first home John had built, which was the first home in Midway – about a block and a half to the SW from this one. He also told me of the Hardy Foundation, and that they had spent over a million dollars in restoring the home you see.
John was the first bishop in Midway, and everybody loved him – including the Indians. He also built a half-way house for the immigrants (converts) coming in who couldn’t speak English. There they had a chance to learn the language and a trade, so they could integrate into society.
My Grandson, Jonathan Lambson, and his family digitized several of my 35 mm slides, and we had a slide show Sunday evening, with lots of fun stories, showing our grand-children and great-grand-children pictures of our children when they were there ages. We have had some amazing experiences as a family, and my work has taken me around the globe with my wife accompanying.
Shelli’s husband, Bruce Owen, showed me a fun card trick. After figuring it out, we sprung off of it and invented a new one.
I thank the Lord for my precious family. My wife and I commented on the way home, “What a great life we have had.” We have been enormously blessed. Family is the most important unit in time and in eternity. United with the Lord, herein is fullness of joy.
David W. Allan