This week my daughter’s grade has been celebrating ‘Pioneer week’ and has challenged the students to eat home lunches, wear dresses, not watch television, walk home from school, eat oatmeal for breakfast and the list goes on. We have been noticing everything in every detail we do…brushing our teeth we imagined what the pioneers used—horse hair and animal bone handles, we have talked about how they took baths, washed their clothes, how they didn’t have refrigerators or ice to keep things cold, how they didn’t have running water and had to use an outdoor hole to go the bathroom–no toilets.
It has been a week of thanks, even in the tin-foil dinners we prepared by fire last night. I wanted to try and make a memorable meal over coals, so my daughter would have a better idea of what the pioneers ate, how things were prepared, how things were done. It was a great lesson. She looked at the pile of potatoes, carrots, hamburger, onions, garlic, soup and said “yuck.” She was determined not to eat it, but with some loving nudges, she tried it & enjoyed the experience. She even had seconds. It made us truly appreciate the love that went into everything.
Even though we have so many excessities (my own word) it made us appreciate so many things we take for granted. We have music & television in every room, every car, we have running water, warm showers, running toilets, fruits & veggies (groceries) readily available for the taking, numerous pairs of shoes, more than one outfit, phones that call from anywhere, computers that do so much, cars that drive us anywhere we need to be…the list goes on and on, but this week has been a great lesson in remembering where we once were, where we have come and what we truly should and need to be grateful for. We are blessed daily with sooo much.
My mother is a wonderful story teller & has studied pioneers for years & has many amazing stories she can tell, she researched her own pioneer history & has told stories of children freezing, families selecting what little items they could take on the long journey, children making the journey without their parents, families leaving their dead loved ones behind, lots of illness and death. It truly humbles you to think of the severe winters, the hardships, the small handcarts that held their life treasures & necessities, the sacrifices that every family made to travel so far (some from distant lands like Australia & Europe) and then arrive in a desert land to begin again…to build, to till, to try and create a new life. It’s humbling because we are given so much, so freely & we take it for granted so easily.
Take a moment and think of your rich ancestral heritage. Where did you come from? What stories are held within your family? What sacrifices were made? What can you learn from them? What can you teach your children about their history? Lots to think about.
Here is a beautiful tribute I came across that has amazing images and a gorgeous song. It made me truly imagine the long walk that the pioneers took to find a better place to live.
Life is like this…a beautiful journey to a higher place. Peace & Love to you.