Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wandering in the Desert

 June 3, 2015
When I was a child my family spent many weekends exploring old ghost towns, abandoned mine shafts (don't worry, it was only the men who explored those), and following dry washes in the desert. Those were lovely times, bouncing about on the backseat of the old English Land Rover, while trying to scale small rocky embankments blanketed with shifting sand.
 We made many discoveries on our weekend outings, but none as memorable as our recent trip to Castle Dome Museum near the foothills of Yuma, Arizona.

The museum consists of 23 buildings. Some original to the ghost town while others are reconstructions typical of the era. They appear to be haphazardly strewn about with little rhyme or reason, and yet there's a certain charm to each ones placement amongst the cactus and rugged desert landscape.
Many of the buildings serve as mini museums filled with beautiful old artifacts found while wandering in the desert.
One building in particular is the general store stocked with old canned goods, linens, and some of the latest fashions of the late nineteenth century, all faded and time worn.

As I stood there gazing into the display cases I imagined the women who would frequent the store each week to make their household purchases.
Would they have a child on one hip and another in tow?
Would they have a smile accompanied by a radiant glow?
Or would they be tired and bent from the heat of the desert sun.
 Perhaps there would be enough money left to buy a new pair of shoes for the baby or a bolt of fabric for a new dress or maybe a pitcher to hold wildflowers...
Or perhaps there would be nothing left at all.

As I walked out the door of the old general store I began to ponder how often I romanticize the past with all its beautiful architecture, clothing and customs. How easy it is to daydream of being a Victorian lady clothed in petticoats and flowing gowns. How I've often said, "Why did the Lord choose to place me here instead of there."
(And yet even as I think on those questions I know that this is where He has placed me
and that this is the time that He has appointed for me). 

We continued to explore the other buildings...a church... a diner...and a hotel that was found by the couple who own the museum. One morning as they were taking their daily walk they happened upon it sitting in the middle of nowhere. Since it belonged to no-one they took it apart board by board and relocated it to the museum. Who says you can't find anything wonderful while wandering in the desert.

After several hours of exploration the desert heat was becoming unbearable so we decided to drive back into town and leave the old ghost town behind, but hopefully we'll be back another day.


Anonymous said...

Hello Cori, I enjoyed reading your great post about your wanderings!

Come Away With Me said...

Hi Cori, it's so good to see you posting again! I, on the other hand, have (at least temporarily) closed my blog; words have faded and my photos have not inspired me at all for a few months now. However, I still spend time visiting my blogging friends. The day may come when I return, but in the meantime, as I said, it is lovely to see you back in the swing of things. I love that beautiful lace and that you are making costumes and playing dress up! And I am so glad I stumbled back upon your blog; it's been a long time since I visited. Sara at Come Away With Me (I'm not sure if you can email me from this comment; if not and you want to, leave me a comment here and I'll try to get in touch.)

Cori Gagnier said...

Hi Sara,
It's good to hear from you and I hope all is well.
I think I've got your email in my contacts so will email you from there tomorrow.

I miss seeing you around!
Much love to you, Cori