Friday, February 27, 2009

My westward journal #6

4-13-1820

Dear journal,

Before the light was even up, we hitched the oxen teams to every wagon and we took into the unknown. A few hours later, we reached Ash Hollow. Like a silent signal, every wagon stopped. Everybody started trickling out of their wagons to look down the hill. I went to stand by father. He ran his hand through his ruffled hair and sighed. “Okay folks. We are going to have to get down there. We need rope. Lots of it. And make sure they’re thick and strong too.” Father finished speaking and everyone started getting rope. With all the rope gathered and put in a pile, it looked like a small mountain. Soon, people started tying ropes anywhere they could. Father looked at me. “When it’s our turn, your mother is going to drive the wagon. I want you to stay inside the wagon while you go down. I’m going to stay up here and help the other wagons get down. Do you understand that? Maggie?” I nodded. The first wagon started its decent. Five hours later, all wagons were accounted for. We looked around the hollow, and noticed it was full of ash trees, hence the name ‘Ash Hollow’. There was a stream for water, washing clothes, and washing dishes. We built a campfire and had our lunch. Father and the other men got together and decided that we were going to stay here for a few days. This was a good place. I liked it here. Would Oregon look like this?

Maggie, 9 years old

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My westward journal #5

4-12-1820

Dear journal,

We’ve had a rough journey so far. We had been traveling for a few hours when my father shouted. I saw dozens of eyes follow the direction my father pointed. I squinted my eyes and I saw that the sign said Fort Kearney. I gave a shout for joy and leaped off the wagon. I ran around looking for Jasper. I found him jumping up and down like I was. He caught my arm and we jumped up and down some more. I was so caught up in my mini celebration, I didn’t here my name get called until the last minute. “Maggie! Come over here this minute!” I backed away from Jasper and ran back to my parents. I got back on the wagon just as we entered Fort Kearney. I looked around at the Fort and I smelled food. A few hours after we arrived, I was comfortably full and well rested. I walked around with Jasper looking for stuff to buy. I finally found some new pencils and a new notepad. I sent a few letters to family back home. I will miss this place.

Maggie, 9 years old

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My westward journal #4

4-10-1820

Dear journal,

We crossed the Kansas River today. It was deep and swirly. We crossed the river using the Pappan Ferry. My family paid four dollars and thirty cents to cross the river. Once we got to the middle, a little girl that was four years old fell off her wagon into the river. She went under and never came up. Her mother screamed, “Annie!” Her mother tried to jump in the river to save her little girl, but her husband held her back. After seeing Annie drown, I stayed close to either mother or father. During the rest of the rest of the crossing, my legs were shaking uncontrollably. After our wagon train got to the other side we stopped for lunch. The men unhitched the oxen teams while the girls helped prepare the food. After a rushed meal of cornbread, we hitched the oxen back on the wagon. We started up again and I once again fell asleep against father’s shoulders.

Maggie, 9 years old

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My westward journal #3

4-9-1820

Dear journal,

Our first night of travel was tricky. Our wagon train had to cross the Blue River. It was difficult, but nobody was doubtful. I stayed with mother and father while we crossed the river. I was a little frightened. While each wagon crossed carefully, we were preparing our wagon for the crossing. I was becoming very sleepy, and I slumped against fathers shoulders. When I woke up the morning, the sun was shining brightly. I looked around our camp and everything was very quiet. I got off the seat and looked for my parents. Before long, I heard a piercing scream. I ran toward the noise, and almost bumped into father. I looked at him and asked what was wrong. “Oh, Maggie.” He sighed. “Earlier this morning, a few men went to search for roots and such. One of the men was bitten by a rattlesnake. He died just now.” I felt tears stinging my eyes as I asked about the scream. It was his wife. I went back to the wagon and cried. It was so sad. How many more people would we lose? Would it ever be mother or father? Or Jasper?

Maggie, 9 years old

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My westward journal #2

Dear journal,

This morning my father, mother, and myself left for Independence. In my schoolbag, I have brought a notepad (the one I’m writing in right now), a pencil, a small mirror, a bunch of hair ribbons, and two small hairbrushes. I haven’t a clue on what my parents have brought, but I know it’s minimal. Once we got to Independence, my father bought a wagon and oxen team of four. We hitched the oxen team to the wagon and loaded our things into the wagon. Before we took off with a group of people we became friends with, I looked around the town. The buildings didn’t look very sturdy, like they were going to collapse any minute. The road was dirt and every time someone walked along it, they kicked up little puffs of dust. I feel weird in this town. Different. And I don’t know why. Before long, we fed and watered the oxen and took off with our little wagon train into the unknown. I’m not expecting anything good to come of this trip. But, I do have a new friend! He’s my age and his name is Jasper. He’s a good friend too and he’s funny.

Maggie, 9 years old

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My westward journal #1

This is an assignment that I have to do in my History class at school. We created a family that was going to Oregon. In my westward journal, the mom is 24 years old and her name is Abby. The dad is 25 years old and his name is John. Their daughters name is Maggie and she’s 9 years old. I’m writing this journal from Maggie’s perspective. The year is 1820.


4-7-1820

Dear journal,

When I woke up this morning, I could smell bacon and eggs. It was a bright morning and I went downstairs feeling happy. All that changed. I noticed the look on mothers face. Her lips were in a tight mashed line, and her face was white. I then stole a quick look at my father. He caught my eyes. “Oh Maggie. Good, you’re up. There’s something I need to tell you. We’re moving to Oregon.” I quickly became the same person as my mother. I looked at father head on. “Okay. What shall I bring?” My voice was shaking. Father told me I could fill my schoolbag with everything that could fit. I got out of the kitchen and went to pack my things. My whole body was shaking. The tears were uncontrollable now. They started streaming down my face. I threw everything that I owned into that schoolbag. I set it down on my bed and walked downstairs again and asked when we were to leave. I learned that it was tomorrow. I left the house and said goodbye to my friends early. Would I ever see them again? Would Oregon be what my father is expecting?

Maggie, 9 years old

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Don't lose patience!!!!

I haven't had anything interesting to write in a while, so that's why I've been putting up the stories that I've written. The story I am working on now is called 'The Goodbye Letter'. It sounds sad, but trust me it's not. When I am done with the story, I'll post it, but for now, don't lose patience!!!!