Sigh. real life intervenes.
Anyway, here's what was just over that rise, viewed though a rain-splattered windsheild:
This is Assumption Catholic Church, in Cedron, Missouri. This lovely little church, built in 1838, is no longer an active parish. But the church and its cemetery are being maintained through the efforts of a devoted local group.
Thanks to their efforts, I was able to visit the grave of Lorenz Weingartner, my great-great grandfather. Part of the excitement of this discovery was the ability to confirm bits and pieces of information about him gathered from my family, and to correct some of our errors.
But most of all, I was grateful to see a place where my ancestors had gathered and sought the comforts of their faith together, a place where some of them probably met their future spouses, where they were wed, where their children were baptized, and where, as with Lorenz Weingartner, they were laid to rest. I had the chance to think of their courage in leaving their own families Germany, crossing the Atlantic, and then half the U.S.. They settled in western Missouri and started farms there.
The area where my family lived is beautiful. It's not far from the Missouri River, near the Lewis and Clark Trail. My thanks again to the Cedron Church preservationists — without them, it is unlikely I would have ever had those peaceful moments in Cedron.