Wednesday, June 13, 2007
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.)
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:
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!
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!
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 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.
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.
It was a good learning experience and a fun way to kick off our summer!