Family roots, transplanted primroses, and origins

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  • Rev. Walter Klockers

  • 1

    Walter Klockers/courtesy photo The old Klockers family homestead in Swansonville, Wash.

  • Rev. Walter Klockers

  • 1

    Walter Klockers/courtesy photo The old Klockers family homestead in Swansonville, Wash.

Just a few days ago, I took time to visit my father. He is 97 1/2 years old now. I made the trip to Port Townsend because he had fallen and was in the hospital. Turns out he had pneumonia and was quite weak. The good news is that he has since recovered from his bacterial lung infection and is now regaining his strength in rehab.

Upon my return trip, on a whim, I turned off the main road just outside of Chimicum to visit a small community called Swansonville.

I wanted to see the old Klockers homestead which had been abandoned for many years. I pulled up to the main gate and starred at the no trespassing sign for quite some time. I ultimately decided that this wasn’t enough reason to stop me. My cousin now owned the property. It is true that I hadn’t seen her in many years, but I was sure that she wouldn’t mind. So I turned off the car, took my camera, and squeezed past the gate. I walked down the long driveway toward that old grand house. It was surrounded by familiar outbuildings, which were now in a sorry state, as well as ancient fruit trees. I remembered climbing the cherry trees as a boy.

I took many pictures and was ready to leave. That’s when I looked down and saw a number of pretty yellow flowers growing by the steps. Upon closer inspection, they were a variety of dainty primrose. I decided to take some home with me. So I scooped up five with surrounding soil, wrapped them in broad strips of wet moss, and carefully placed this precious find into a paper bag. I am happy to report that they have now been successfully transplanted into my garden here in Moses Lake.

I am reminded by this visit of my origins, part of my lineage. My paternal grandparents had been transplanted from Vaasa, Finland.

If we look back, we all should feel a depth of gratitude for our roots and beginnings.

I thankfully acknowledge that part of my family comes from Swedish-speaking Finns.

Yet, more importantly, my ultimate origin, my very life, has been given to me by a gracious and loving God.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.

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