Do you have the pioneering spirit?
I would like to think I do within limits! I can make do with what I have, I can eat food I grow, I can cook over a fire, I can get creative with things, I can forage, etc.
The pioneers did so much more. We have been enjoying a new series about the frontiersmen who made the path to the west. It is so amazing that any of us are here today. LITERALLY.
I think we romanticize the 'old days'. We watch Little House on the Prairie and think wow, that's cool. That show doesn't even come close to explaining what many of our ancestors went through.
I know I have relatives that came here prior to the American Revolution, and much has been documented about them (I am fortunate on that account). They braved Indian raids and deaths, they made roads and literally had to build their homesteads from the ground up. My 6th great grandpa was captured and held by Indiana for 3 years - luckily he was eventually rescued. I thank God everyday that I am here. One small change in our linage can change everything.
They fought to survive disease without doctors. They fought for daily life.
LIFE WAS NOT EASY BY ANY MEANS!
When we look at pictures of mountains and woods today - we think how beautiful. They saw wilderness they had to conquer. They had to cut roads through those woods and mountains to move further inland into the country. They had crude tools (compared to today) and even their tools were often hand made.
They had to cut trees (by hand) to build homes and clear land to grow crops. Everything was done by hand.
If weather didn't cooperate, they didn't have food. Drought meant no fresh food - there was no where to go get some either (until towns were made).
EVERYTHING had to be made.
Food, clothes and foot ware, bedding, housing, furniture, medicine you name it.
You had to find a good water source to survive.
You had to deal with native Americans protecting their areas, and you had to deal with wild animals protecting their area as well. You had to have protection - often in the form of bow and arrows, and most ammunition was reloaded and homemade.
If lightening fires happened there was no fire department to call. If marauders showed up, there was no police department. Drought, flood, wind, etc. all took their toll on pioneers.
Everything was an obstacle.
Today, living off the grid is a way of life many people want. That is fantastic and I applaud them - but in most cases it still isn't the same. Folks are using modern tools, chain saws, buying seeds from others, buying a good wood stove, start out with clothing and good footwear. They can get flour, sugar, salt, yeast, medicine etc. from stores.
No one has to go without today.
I love to garden and preserve what we grow. I love to re-cycle things into new things. I love to learn about the old ways. I can forage, barter, cook over wood, gather water, etc. Do I want to give up the luxury of lights, water, heat, modern vehicles, tools, etc. - NOT REALLY. I could probably survive a while without it if I had to, but I sure don't want to.
Could you survive for a while - if life as we know it changes?
Have you every really thought about what your ancestors went through each and everyday of their lives?
It is amazing.
I KNOW this was life - and all they knew - but it surely didn't make it any easier.
I think I will look back at my childhood as the 'good old days' (for me, maybe not my parents), but I will never look at the early building of our nation as thus again.
I am so grateful for all the blessings I have. We take so much for granted.
The next time you flip a light switch, turn on a faucet, open a package of food - stop and think about what your ancestors did. They were awesome!
It is quite humbling!