Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Pioneer Home

Ever think of going back in time? Imagine if that were possible? I'd go back to pioneer times I think. Before electricity. Before the industrial age when machines took everything over. I think life would be brutal and hard but you wouldn't have time to dwell on that because you'd be too busy just trying to survive. And anyone who lived near you would be in the exact same boat and you'd support each other because you'd have no other choice but to do so. Your survival would depend on knowing your neighbour and caring for them and vice-versa.

Your life would be full. To the brim. Working your land. Maintaining your land. Making your home. Growing food. Hunting. Gathering. Preparing the food. Preserving it. Caring for your animals. Repairing the few items of clothing you have. Keeping your home warm. Caring for your family.

Imagine having to go out to the well for water? Every time you needed to bathe or cook or clean, out to the well you would go and you'd have to carry that load of water back with you every time. Your body would be so strong. And your mind would follow, I think. Can you even imagine that kind of life? I can't. Not really.

But I'd like to try it, you know, just for a few days? If only to be reminded of what is important in life. But also to know how truly lucky I am to be living where I do right now.

Can I even begin to understand how lucky I am?


The above "Pioneer Home" was a family effort that all three of us worked on as a team with The Boy as lead designer and maker. It was made with stuff we had around the house.


  1. This is a great project for a family and it looks fantastic! As a matter of fact, I can imagine myself living a pioneer life as long as I have internet access :P
    Joking aside, I think that maybe for us used to all the modern commodities it is difficult to fathom the idea of not having them or living without them. However, I often entertain myself with the idea (and genuinely wishing) that one day I will have a place in the country, where my family would get closer to nature and to who we are as a family and people.
    Lovely post for thought Michele!

  2. Sometimes while watching TV I'll realize that my grandma and gramps didn't have TV. That's how she was able to make those lovely quilts. An example of how progress is a deterrent.

  3. What wonderful musings about pioneer times. And what an impressive diorama! It's incredible. What a wonderful group art project. Is that rosemary grass? If yes, it must smell delicious. I think that your writings about pioneer times makes you able to imagine it. It is not the time for me, but I like hearing your views of it. Going camping makes me think of these times and I really don't like camping and being dirty. It's just a thing I have a hard time with. Hehehheehe.

    1. It's not rosemary (good idea though). It's actually pine needles collected from our 2013 Christmas tree. We kept a bunch and they actually came in handy... :)

  4. We love the pioneers,such a wonderful project!

  5. lovely project, good thinking!!!!
    xxxx Ale (another lucky girl!)

  6. Hello Michele,
    The box is beautifully done. But if you were so busy all day you would not be able to make your incredible artwork, and even worse, we would not be able to see it!
    Big hug,

  7. You all did such an amazing job!
    What is funny to me is, in December, we were all playing a silly game with friends and one of the questions was "If you could visit any time period, when would it be?", and I chose the pioneer days for exactly those reasons!
    Like minds.

  8. As a genealogy hobbyist, I think going back to pioneer times would be awesome, even if, as you say, only for a couple days. And I think your pioneer house diorama is really cool! My grandma had only cold running water and only a chamber-pot for indoors - and old catalogs were used as toilet paper. Some things are really nice in the modern world, but I could live without hearing boom-boom-boom from cars :)

  9. Love the social history this piece has brought to mind, in you all obviously and I adore that the inner lid is a bright sunny scene too!
    I recently read The Snow Child which evoked that spirit of adventure but also the hopelessness and hardship of hard winters, solid earth and crops failing. All set against a womans wish for a child. It was not my usual kind of read but its description of life in those times cativated me.

    It must have been an incredibly hard life for folks back then, so many of whom sailed away into the unknown on little more than the offchance of finding a better kind of life for themselves. I agree with you though, they must have had far more important values, than we in todays (western) cultures could really understand now.
    We take, take, take and depend so much on commodities, we overlook the land and our original place in it. We are sheltered by bricks, finances, energy, world wide access be it by aircraft, car or internet and all manner of other incidental thinsg we are convinced we cannot live without.
    Few of us would suvive these days living on our wits, no matter how many Bruce Willis films we have seen lol
    Giac is right in one way, we'd have been so busy we'd have little time to craft! But then the growing of food, raising animals, the rag rugs, clothing or quilts and covers would have been the way in which we'd have expressed our selves.

  10. Bonjour ! Superbe petite cabane ... et oui l'envie de se rappeler à l'essentiel de temps en temps ....

  11. It is fabulous and funny and cool! I dunno, Michele, I have a stronnnng suspicion that if your lil family was plopped down on a pioneer prairie, you would have a fighting chance of making a go of it. You are all three some of the most ingenious people around. I know you'd do much better than me!

  12. This reminds me of a public tv show that had people live in various times, from WWII to colonial times, and in that one their faces got all grimy and they had to make bread, use 'starter' for it, the men lost weight and were skinny and one man concerned about it but doctor said he was fit and fine. It is not easy to build fires, weave cloth, grow a garden, fetch water esp. in the winter when things are so harsh. Now we are all pretty soft.

  13. It's amazing. I am happy I live in the time that I do. My son made a trebuchet for school out of recycled materials including a cereal box and I thought about you.

  14. A caixa com a representação está primorosa mas você me deixou cansada...(risada) Muito trabalho, muito trabalho, muito trabalho... Prefiro o mundo atual com seus confortos e...tempo para fazer os trabalhos que gosto.
    Um abraço!

    PS: Fiquei muito honrada com sua visita e comentário! Me senti muito importante pois, você é uns dos "meu ídolos"! Obrigada!


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