they lived through wars. the depression. plagues. epidemics. droughts. blizzards. floods. they left school at young ages to get jobs to help support their families. they married young. there was no birth control and childbirth could be deadly. and so could childhood. they traveled to fresh starts by foot, horseback, covered wagon, train, automobile. they milked cows. put in crops. gardened. canned. knit. quilted. worked from sunup to sundown and then some. they rejoiced. they mourned. and because they kept on keeping on, I am here.