Sunday, April 16, 2017

Stroll through history at the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas

Donna Esposito and Clede Gorrell
Amazing stories of German relocation to this area in May 1846 are told at the Pioneer Museum. With photos, videos, refurbished homes, schools and farm equipment, we learned about the trials and tribulations of 120 German men, women and children who began the last segment of the long and dangerous journey to their new home in Texas. Hope of a freer, more prosperous future for themselves and children strengthened them to endure the miseries of the trip and the hardships yet to come.  It is a definite MUST SEE when you are in the Texas hill country.

 In Fredericksburg, traces of the past are all around you. A quick glance suggests the German heritage of the town - the limestone constructions of its buildings, the names of its commercial buildings, the celebrations and festivals.
Susan Dale at the Pioneer Museum entrance
Barb Ziehler, Susan Howard, Jan Murray
Donna Esposito, Jan Murray, Clede Gorrell

Susan Howard admires the limestone buildings

Flowers Everywhere at Wildseed Farms

Day 2 of the tour brought us to Wildseed Farms, located outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. The iconic Bluebonnets have bloomed and gone but the red Poppies are brilliant now. One of the largest producers of the Red Poppy Seed, Wildseed Farms brochure states, "We are honored to represent our wonderful veterans and we also realize that Freedom is not Free!"

In 1915 John McCrae, a Canadian doctor and teacher, wrote this verse which remains among the most memorable war poems ever written.  The poppy has stood as the official symbol of Canada's Remembrance Day since 1921. Many of us raised funds for veterans as children selling poppies in schools.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky
Julie Moore, Donna Esposito
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Artists come daily to paint, sketch, watercolor

Nancy Evans, Ruth McLeod, Julie Moore

Nancy Evans, Pam den Draak, Julie Moore

Somber Memorial at Fort Hood

Our tour guides, Linda Fritsch and Lindy Isacksen made sure we saw as much as possible in three days. Staying at the Shilo Inn in Killeen, TX we walked to the touching memorial dedicated to the 13 victims from the November 5, 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
It was a somber time to reflect and respect our military.
More information at