Thursday, January 6, 2011

Simeon's Cave; Stepping Out in Faith - Past and Present Part 5

Every morning, Helen found the wood for their fire that was put there by their neighbor. They tired of cold food and began cooking warm food in a coffee can by placing it in the coals with a pair of pliers. The neighbor continued to leave wood and Helen learned how to cook at the hearth like a pioneer woman might have many years ago.
It was several days before the ice cleared enough for me to make it the 23 miles from my house to theirs to check on them and bring them a warm drink. Every phone visit had begun with the hope that the electric crews would reach their house that day, along with a firm declaration that they were doing fine. I found them in good spirits and watched as Helen showed me how they were cooking their food. The house was so cold I shivered the entire visit. Sixty five years together had made them good partners in this kind of adventure. I talked about finding a way to get them out of the house and into a shelter, but they were satisfied to wait where they were. Little did we know then that they would wait an entire week before the electricity would be repaired to their house. That winter, I discovered that the pioneer spirit is alive and well, more than a hundred years after wagons carried settlers to homesteads across Kansas.
It was nearly February, that winter of 1875, before the snow cleared enough for neighbors to help Simeon repair the roof on their soddy. The Swartz family thanked God that they had the cave when it was needed and that they had listened to and obeyed God despite the questions and doubts of their neighbors.
One hundred thirty years separate the blizzard of 1875 and the ice storm of 2005. The same years span the distance between Simeon and his great granddaughter, Helen. The difference in strength, courage, and faith between Helen and her great grandfather, Simeon Swartz, is far less.

Simeon’s story was taken from events recorded in
Simeon Swartz Family History: 1727 Ancestors to 1958 Descendents by Orvo Swartz

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