Today when I got home from work my 6.9 year old grand daughter Phoebe was waiting anxiously at the door for me. She had an assignment from school and desparately needed my help. She had to bring a 'pioneer artifact with her to school tomorrow and felt I could help her out.
It turns out I collect stuff and some of these things could very well be considered 'pioneer artifacts'. I went out to my studio and took a look around. There were many things on the shelves. Things I had collected through the many years of my travels. One item caught my eye. It was a spike from the Kettle Valley Railroad - Myra Canyon to be exact. Back in the late 1970's I had driven my Toyota Land Cruiser over the trestles and through some tunnels - just before they took out the rails. It was an amazing trip - an adventure of a lifetime. I had picked up the spike from the historic rail roadbed as a souvenir.
The second 'pioneer artifact' was an old kerosene lantern. I had snapped it up when my parents had downsized years ago. It reminded me of family camping trips. I showed Phoebe how a handle lifted the glass and how the wick was trimmed and lit. The mechanisms were rusted and stiff now, covered with decades old dirt and rust. Phoebe was amazed with the antique device.
I asked Phoebe to choose betwen the two artifacts. Her choice was predictable... she would take both.