A hundred years ago, there was a legendary “tie yourself down” stretch of railroad along Beaver Canyon, one of the places my great grandmother, Sophia, worked as a cook for the railroad crews laying track. The road was so rough, several men were stationed there with the sole purpose of cleaning up the box cars that weren’t tied down and therefore tipped over and smashed on the rocks below. “Tie yourself down,” meaning prepare for a rough ride, is a phrase I whispered, to give myself courage, long before I knew the term probably originated with my family’s railroad background.
Stories are so powerful we don’t have to remember how or when we heard them only that they work. In this case, the family mantra for courage was just there, often repeated, not explained, until I asked.
What’s your “tie yourself down” story?