This tale is mostly true:
My great-grandmother crossed the plains going to the promised land of California in a covered wagon. The year was 1866. She left St. Louis, Missouri, eight months after the end of the Civil War.
Her name was Rebecca Joyce. Her husband, Jeremiah, drove the wagon as Rebecca walked alongside—there was no room for riding. The wagon carried the things needed to start a new life. Rebecca walked the entire two thousand miles.
I know this because my family still has her diary. It recounts the harrowing trek across an unexplored land.
One hundred and sixty-six men, women, and children left on that fateful journey. One hundred and fifteen lived to see California—fifty-one souls did not.
Forty-two days after leaving Missouri, Rebecca reloaded her husband’s long gun as he fought off Indians from under their wagon. Twelve people were killed in that encounter. When they crossed the Green River, six of their party drowned. On the high plains, cholera hit, thirty-three died over a two-day period.
I tell you of these things for a reason. You younger folks of today have it easy, but still you complain. Well, what do you think of this? Rebecca crossed a continent—an untamed continent—with an iPhone 1 and only 2G service! And no video camera! Can you imagine the hardship? Can you picture what that poor woman had to go through to keep up with the goings-on of the Kardashian clan and what was trending on Twitter? The horror!
The next time your phone takes all of 0.0002 seconds to connect to Facebook and you think that’s an eternity, please remember Rebecca Joyce fighting off disease and Indians—worse still, she was in the dark on the latest news concerning Kim’s butt.
Christmas Day, 2015