Question: What gift was a little community in Blanding, Utah given?
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“His Christmas Gift”
“It was during the very early days of the settlement of Blanding, Utah and the little community was dependent for their water supply on the stream that came down the ditch from the nearby mountain. On the 23rd and 24th of December the water failed to appear and we were under the necessity of hunting small patches of snow, or of carrying water from West Water Springs down in the canyon half a mile away.
The comfort and progress of the town was first in the mind of Walter C. Lyman, from the time he was shown the place in a wonderful dream, eight years before. He was eager and watchful for the well-being of the town. On the morning of the 24th of December, Walter took his shovel and started off up the ditch to see what had become of the little stream of water up on which we were depending. He took no lunch with him, having no notion of how far he might go or how long he would be gone, but the farther he went the more interesting the hunt became. He knew there was water up there somewhere if it had not all frozen solid and he figured that he might find it in the next rod ahead.
He walked on and on. He had brought no extra coat, having left on the spur of the moment, and when it began to snow he still would not turn back when at every step forward he might find the illusive water. So he went on mile after mile, and late in the day, soaked and hungry, but warmed with hope at the thought of getting the water down to the needy little community, he found where an ice-jam clogged the ditch and turned the stream off into the brush.
He shoveled away all the stoppage of ice, cleaned out the ditch below and got the water headed again for the town. Coming down the ditch he scanned every foot of it for any other places where the stream might be hindered, or stopped again, and paused to remove obstructions here and there, leaving the channel clear and open all the way. It was after dark Christmas Eve when he got home, wet and weary, but exulting in the fact of his having found and removed the trouble; yet he was fearful that in all that long distance the stream might choke up again with floating ice, or the ice which might form in it as it came slowly along.
As he lay thinking about it after having gone to bed, he resolved to go back the next morning if the water had not reach the town. The ditch ran near his home, so near he could almost venture out in his night-clothes to see if the water was in it. He was awake very early, ready to go, when he heard the welcome trickle of the water in the ditch. The town heard it, too, when they awakened, prepared to go with their buckets to West Water. It was Christmas and Uncle Walter had made his appropriate gift to everybody in the little isolated community, all without mentioning a word of the great effort he went to to anyone.”
Is there something this Christmas that keeps coming to your mind? What lengths will I go to bring it about – mile after mile?
Kate Carver, Our Pioneer Heritage, p. 196-197, submitted by Albert Lyman.