The man in the picture is my husband, Paul. You’ve seen much of his art on my site,, along with my poetry. Not only is he an accomplished artist and sculptor, he’s a teacher, a naturalist, a business man, an evangelizer, a true cowboy without a horse, a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He’s done many different things in his 79 years. One of his favorite things to do was to re-enact a frontier artist from the early days of the settling of our country.
In those years, so long ago, there were no smart phones, no computers or internet and no cameras. To let people know what lay beyond the average person’s eye, artists were commissioned to go along on expeditions to paint what was discovered along the way. Can you imagine experiencing great mountain ranges or the bubbling paint pots and geysers of Yellowstone for the first time? Can you picture camping close to Native American villages and visiting unknown cultures? The raging waters of wide and perilous rivers, the uncharted terrain, the stories, the people – all of it was being experienced by these early explorers as they traveled across the land.
Paul has always said he was born in the wrong century. He likes every opportunity to witness God’s magnificent handiwork. Nature has been sort of a sanctuary for him, having been born and raised in the inner city of Milwaukee and residing on the second floor of the family business – a funeral home.
Those early explorers didn’t carry bottled water or have air conditioned homes to return to at night. They slept on the floor of the plains – got their water from a nearby stream and hunted for their food. Times have changed, but I don’t think the American spirit has died. It’s just getting used to all the comforts afforded it in the past couple hundred year.
As we look ahead to this weekend and the ending of summer, let’s not forget those who built this great country of ours. We honor our veterans and those currently serving, but let’s remember those who forged ahead, without fear, to discover just what a gift this land is. Thank God for America. We still honor our flag. We still hold to the truth of the Constitution. We can travel across the vast horizons and behold the glory and majesty of our land – freely.
As vehicles get packed for a weekend of camping, summer fun, recreation and travel across this great nation, let’s keep in mind those early explorers as well. They had no idea what they’d face the next day, but they were compelled to see what lay ahead. God still has great plans for our land. I’m sure of it.