So much has happened, where do I start? Well, as you know, TRAINS! No, I didn’t just have a spasm, but I am super excited about our next endeavor. What do I mean by caps-shouting TRAINS?
It’s true, trains have been central to our history, and specifically YOUR history, dear Aunt. Will travelled by train to Bingham Lake, Minnesota to become your husband. You travelled together to California on a train to start a new life. And when it was time (a mere 6 months later), your dear husband mercifully brought you back home to your parents aboard a train, a ride you knew would be your last.
But I’ve learned not to be sad for you, and in your honor I want to help pay tribute and homage to all of our pioneer families who lived and died by rail. I want to bring a real train to our city of Murrieta. (And that’s what I mean when I caps-shout TRAIN!) I feel a calling that it should be placed near the site of the old Murrieta train depot, where the history of the location can be brought back to life to honor our local history.
When I think of what you endured, Pearl, and when I read your letters from 1894 detailing the hope you held onto in the midst of suffering, it brings me to tears and it also brings me great strength. Some people might find that funny, but I think that’s what you would have liked about me, not the fact that I am overly sentimental, but the fact that I care so very deeply and that I muster up all the willpower from deep within with a fierce determination to accomplish anything that will help others. (Although as a schoolteacher, you would be disappointed with my run-on sentences!)
I know the road getting there (as in acquiring and moving a TRAIN) is neither quick nor easy (nor even realistic to most other people). But, like you, I have a spirited will that drives me to serve others and follow my passion along the way. And in this endeavor, I am driven to provide our community with (a really cool and freaking awesome train) a unique cultural arts center in the heart of our historic downtown, that also happens to be an old train car.
As I work out the details of this wild dream, wish me luck! I know you are rooting for me, and I want to make you proud. Tell Fanny and Pa hi, and hug my grandpa for me if you can. And until then, toot toot!
Your loving Niece,