Thursday, October 29, 2009

O Pioneers! A field trip.

If you've read O Pioneers by Willa Cather, you will know that there is a small romantic side to pioneer life. But mostly plenty of hard work, heartache, and struggle. Yes, they cut a trail to the west and made habitable many barren and desolate parts of the country. Ever been to Nebraska? Then you know what I'm talking about.

It is easy, however, to forget the sacrifice and trials that the Pioneers faced, and day dream of a simpler life full of family, homegrown goodness and sleeping 5 to a bed. To imagine ourselves with our barefeet in the creek, catching fish, chewing on a piece of straw and watching the clouds go by, seems heavenly.

But if you really look into how life was, you will find that we are spoiled beyond belief in our modern day life, and I know that my pioneer ancestors would probably slap me if they heard me complain about laundry. Especially being that I barely even have to touch the laundry to do it, let alone wash, rinse, and wring by hand and then hang it to dry during an entire day devoted to just that.

So, with that in mind, welcome to the overview of Charlie's field trip from yesterday.

I was a lucky mom and got to chaperone. We went to Pioneer Farm in Eatonville, Wa. It was muddy and cold and there was no indoor plumbing to be found. The children quickly realized that meant outhouses with wooden toilet seats and a smell not experienced anywhere else in their tender little lives.

They were able to visit a Pioneer house, see how they kept their animals, how they washed clothes, cooked, and the 2 beds that 9 children shared. Of course it was all a ton of fun to do the "chores", jump in the hay, catch the chickens and work in the blacksmith shop.

They also got to experience a little of the life of Native Americans who shared the pacific northwest with homesteaders.

But at the end of it all, instead of snuggling into bed with 4 brothers after a dinner of bread and milk, and hoping that no one peed the bed that night, the kids in Charlie's class got to hop in a heated bus, and ride home to their televisions and single occupant beds.

Here are some fun, but generally fuzzy pictures. I was having an off camera day.

Me and charlie in his class before leaving. I think my nose is trying to dominate the whole photo. Seriously, does it really look like that?

A quick jaunt in the horsedrawn buggy.

The cutest fuzzy picture of charlie, ever!

Just chillin' with the boys from his tribe (class) after getting their friendly marks. These were markings that different tribes wore on their faces every day. They changed daily so that a stranger would stand out. It was the tribal version of don't talk to strangers. Effective.

It was a fun day. Of course I was a little tired, what with my warm coat, hand warmers, comfy insole shoes and bottled water. I don't know why anyone would think the Pioneers had it hard. Wimps.

1 comment:

  1. Charlie said he milked a goat but didn't bring the milk home. No picture of that? Pioneers did what they did because they had to for their survival. We do have a different life now but we have our own set of daily challenges. Perhaps we are born into the era in which we are most likely to succeed/survive.


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