Friday, February 05, 2010

Fort Alexander Trail

One of the things I love about history is learning the many trails in the lives of Pioneers as they settled this Great Nation. From the Trail of Tears, to the Santa Fe and Oregon, trails that are ingrained in the lives of many, each of them unique in their path. More recent and revitalized trails like Route 66, steeped in memories of glorious and tragic times, yet still creating more.

I'm fascinated by these trails not for the paths themselves, but for their personality. One created by those who forge them, travel them and live them. We all have our life trail, each of us on a journey with anticipation of a beautiful ride. Sometimes those rides are bumpy, but eventually they smooth out and we see the rough spots, behind us for now, as a minor detail to our ultimate destiny.

Such is the story of Kathy and I's trail to Fort Alexander in Warsaw Missouri. I wrote 2 years ago about our Warsaw Migration, then thinking it would be several years before we actually made our final move from Kansas City. The small shack on the Lake of the Ozarks came to Kathy's attention over a decade ago, and since that time we've spent countless hours building, fixing and landscaping to, someday, make it our permanent home. That's the wonderful part of being the owner of a website like ours, you can do it from just about anywhere.

But Fort Alexander isn't just "anywhere", it's in a community we have come to love. In the city, I couldn't tell you any of our neighbors names, and probably wouldn't recognize them if I ran into them at the store. That's not saying that those who live in big cities don't interact with anyone, it's just the fast pace and hustle and bussel can get in the way. In Warsaw however, our neighbors are our friends, each sharing our passion for living in a small, but tight nit community. Many of them, like us, moving there from Kansas City to get away from the mayhem to a more simpler life.

And now the lure of the lake has attracted our own family, with Kathy's brother John and his wife Kat moving from New Mexico to just around the corner. Kathy's father John Sr and his wife Carissa buying a vacation home just up from John and Kat's place, with hopes on our part they too will become more permanent neighbors. Family drawn like moths to the glowing flame of our small community. A community steeped in history in it's own right, and one we have dreamed being a part of for a very long time.

So when a bump in my own road came up last August, and I found myself staring at a choice between staying in the corporate world, or joining Kathy full time with Legends Of America, we saw more than just business opportunity. We saw the opportunity to complete our journey out of Kansas City and blaze our final trail to Warsaw.

As a write this, our town home in Lenexa is in the midst of remodeling, with goals of putting it on the market by March. I'm eagerly going through our merchandise ready to start relocating our shipping center to our new home, and excitement is building toward our big move this Spring. Our little one bedroom lake shack has grown to a beautiful home, complete with a cabin in the back for an office and guest house, and a new garage for expanded storage to help our business grow. Kathy and I joke around about it becoming a compound, as it seems to never cease expanding. I even bought her a bull horn so she could call the neighbors over for beer and barbecue, and I suspect she will eventually want a podium built on our "parade grounds" so she can preach the history of the American West. Maybe I'm joking about that part...but then again knowing Kathy, maybe not.

And so our journey on the Fort Alexander trail is almost complete. Our hope is that our new home will continue to inspire and motivate our writing about this incredible nation, and the many trails our fore fathers have forged to better lives. Lives that to this day touch each American in their own special way. We also hope that you, our valued readers and friends, enjoy success and peace on your own trails, for it's the smallest parts of our own history that become Legends to our children, grand children, and neighbors.