Wednesday, June 13, 2007

O Pioneers...

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My husband and son left on Monday to participate in a pioneer trek, a recreation of the experience of handcart pioneers. Here is my husband, dressed and ready to go. (Marvin left early and I missed getting a picture of him.)

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Isn't he handsome? The girls and I were jealous and decided we would have our own pioneer experience while they were gone. Did you ever see those PBS historical reality shows, such as Frontier House and 1900 House? We tried to recreate our own version. I'll let the girls journal entries tell the story:

Emily:

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June 12, 2007

To be a pioneer is fun, but hard! First, we built a loaf of homemade bread. Then we got 3 and a half bucketfulls of cherries. It was fun! When I was a pioneer girl I felt that I hardly had any free time. I would bring in water from the well. Then I would wash in the basin. Then I would watch Cyrus while Mom built dinner. What I liked best about being a pioneer is when we picked cherries for a homemade pie. Yumm! What I did not like about being a pioneer is doing all that work! Not very much play time, and always work, work, work! What I learned is pioneer life is hard. I want to do it again!

PS. We also made butter!


Maddy:

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June 12, 2007

We picked cherries and made a pie. We fetched water from the well. We waltzed. We lit candles. We swam in the pond. I crocheted. It was fun. We ate pancakes, eggs and sausage. We built butter and bread and biscuits. We weeded, pitted cherries, broke beans and picked peas. I hope to do this again!

Mom:

We also read histories of our pioneer ancestors, bathed in a big wash tub in the kitchen with water we heated on the stove and did rag curls. Well, I didn't bathe in the wash tub or have rag curls, but the girls did. I did do some laundry in my big black enamel pot and rinsed it out in the pond (wading pool). In the dark. So my neighbors wouldn't think I was nuts! And for the record, we cheated. We chose to stick with modern diapering and toileting. Because I really am not crazy.

I learned:

I would not have made for an attractive pioneer. The "no make up, hair parted down the middle and worn tightly in a bun, hairy leg" look does not become me.
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Their lives were focused on feeding their families. The vast majority of my time was spend gardening, picking produce, cooking and cleaning up after meals. As long as there had been enough food, I would have liked this part of pioneer life. I really enjoyed the cooking, baking and gardening.

Their lives were simpler, but much more exhausting.

They spent a lot more time interacting with each other.

After spending two days thinking about what kind of lives my ancestors lived, I started to consider what they would think about the way we live today. I decided they would have been in wonder about many things such as refridgerators, freezers, cars and phones. But, they would have considered much of what we fill our lives with as excessive and unnecessary. And our use of resources as wasteful.

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It was a good learning experience and a fun way to kick off our summer!

19 comments:

  1. What a neat experience for you to give your girls! Sounds like it gave them a lot to remember!

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  2. what a fantastic idea! you are such a cool mom. I will have to try that out when we move back. Sometimes I feel like a pioneer here though.

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  3. That sounds so incredibly cool! I love the photos!!!

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  4. what an awesome idea! I know I'm not that brave! LOL

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  5. Nettie that sounds like so much fun! Your daughters journal entries are adorable. It sounds like it is something that they will forever remember. My mom stopped by as I was looking at your blog and I was telling her about it. She also thinks it would be fun and we both agree that you must be a wonderful mom!
    -Jessica

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  6. Neighbor Jane PayneJune 13, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Nettie, what a great idea. That was so committed and good of you to provide the whole family with an experience. I loved reading their entries. This would make a darling tag book for your sofa table.

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  7. What a great idea for the girls. You are a wonderful mom. I'm sure they will always remember this experience.

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  8. What an awesome Mom you are! They will probably remember this forever. I would be sending off my hubby and son and then getting online, lol. I love that the girls got so into their roles and stuck with the projects.

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  9. What a fun experience!!! I'll bet that it's something your kids always remember. I like how you took the pictures in black and white to look more authentic. I don't know if hairy legs become anyone! ;) Thanks for sharing! :)

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  10. I can't believe you went to so much work. What a great experience!! You will have to let us know how the hubby and Marv fared on the "real" trek. I loved the pictures. Way to go creating some fantastic memories for the kiddies.

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  11. My brief visit has turned into a need to bookmark your site, because wow...what an amazing and inspiring mom you are.

    I might just manage to like you despite. =P

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  12. What a great experince. Our young people are going on a trek this year too. Unfortunatly, J is to young to go. She would have to be 14. I wish I could do some kind of thing like this with my kids but I think my DH would not get it. Great pics.

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  13. what a great idea! it looks like so much fun and I bet the girls will remember it always!

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  14. What a great activity! I'm trying to work up the courage to spend a night out under the stars with my kiddos to study astrology. I think I may wait until we get back up north to try "roughing" it with the kiddos! LOL Momma doesn't like bugs and heat.

    You'll have to let us in on your bread "building" secrets! *wink* Such cute girls.

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  15. ditto what Kimberly said. your pictures and experiences are always so inspiring!

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  16. Where did you get the outfits??? I've planned on doing a pioneer week with my girls and love your ideas. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  17. wow that is amazing and your pictures are so great! what a memorable experience for your girls!

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  18. Jessi, they happened to be clothes we already had on hand. And I collect aprons, so they came in handy for it, too!

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