Not Finished Yet

IMG_4367 Mt. Rushmore Avenue of Flags.JPG

We were gone last week. We decided to venture out to the Black Hills in South Dakota. (Which is why I have not been reading any blogs or commenting!  I will be attempting to catch up soon.)

One of the places that we continue to visit, when we get out that way, is Mt. Rushmore. It never changes but it is just something that seems to beckon us to stop and wander around. This time we were able to visit with the last known remaining carver of the mountain, Nick Clifford. He is 96 years old this year and still sharp as a tack.

IMG_4372 Nick Clifford ~ Last Remaining Worker.JPG

After speaking with him and reading the plaques along the trails, that wind around the base of the heads; we rediscovered the fact that the sculpture was actually never finished. They quit carving on it when the US entered World War II. Originally the presidents were supposed to have their coats as part of the sculpture.

It was a beautiful day to be outdoors enjoying the view. The flags were fluttering in the breeze, the crowds were thinner due to school starting, and we were able to stroll the trails in the sun and take our time reading plaques that helped to educate us.

It did really strike me that this project was never finished. My first thought was they should have finished it or should be finishing it now. My second thought was that this memorial is a pretty accurate representation of our country and of us as people….we are not yet finished.

We are constantly changing….sometimes for the better….sometimes not. We have gone through wars, riots, racial challenges, scandals, parades, cheering on our veterans, raising children, everyday life, etc.  Some good…..some not.

On this day, the 11th of September, it is good to remember that we are not yet finished.  This is a day that, as a country, and as a world we won’t forget. For my generation….it is our Pearl Harbor.

We have learned things since that day. There are still things that we, as a country, need to change. There are challenges still to be faced. We are growing and will continue to grow for years to come. Some things will change and others will not.

People will still be people with strong feelings and opinions about things. There will be wars, because we, as a world are made up of imperfect people. We will struggle with events and we will celebrate other events.

We will continue growing, with those four stone faces looking on. I sometimes wonder what they would make of this country and it’s people. I wonder if it would be what they had in mind when they were in charge.

I anticipate that my husband and I will make a trek to those heads a few more times before we are done….at least I hope to in the years to come. I also anticipate that we will grow as we are chiseled, hewn and shaped into what we were meant to be.


IMG_4356 Chiseled and Hewn

May we be gracious while we are being shaped and carved into what we are meant to be. May we persevere and in the end stand firm as a mountain. May we realize that we are not yet finished……..

“When things do not go your way,
remember that every challenge
— every adversity
— contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.” 

― Roy T. Bennett


39 thoughts on “Not Finished Yet

  1. beaconsoflife says:

    Oh, this makes me want to go there. I have never been to Mt. Rushmore. It looks like a wonderful site to visit and I liked learning about how it was not completed yet. Great way to connect the incompletion of the monument to our country and the diverse opinions of the people in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. susieshy45 says:

    It is great that America has a great memorial to some of its greatest Presidents but as you said, each of those sculptures is one in the making. What man could not complete nature would do, I guess. Anyway the likenesses to the presidents is very accurate. Do they have plans to add more presidents to the wall of fame ?
    Is it cold weather in SD already ? Great that you could visit one of the carvers in person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Susie, I don’t think they plan to put anymore presidents on the mountain. I have a feeling that on things like that our country has gotten really budget conscious. It takes a big dreamer to have the vision to carve a mountain……I wonder sometimes where all those dreamers have gone?
      We had one night where it got down to 26 degrees farenheit. That was pretty cold in our pop up camper!

      Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Wall is a favorite of my husband. He loves everything about it…Maple covered donuts to the backyard.
      We camped in the Buffalo Gap Grasslands right outside the Pinnacles entrance. We had never tried the dispersed camping before and thought we should this time. It was nice and quiet and the view was amazing. We were camped on the rim of the badlands.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb says:

    Wow I did not realize that there was anyone still alive that created Mt. Rushmore…what an honor to be able to have met him. I bet he has stories to tell. You are right, we are not finished, I don’t thing we are ever finished until we stop breathing. Yes you are right Sept 11 was our Pearl Harbor…I say a prayer for all the lost souls and their families whenever I see the time is 9:11, I will never forget them or that day. I did not realize that Mt. Rushmore was not finished either. Do you know if there are any plans to finish it? What a wonderful trip you had!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s