I "Was" a Bad Pioneer
EARLY AMERICAN PIONEERS' HOMES
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An Honest Look at How "I" Would Have Failed as an Early American Pioneer
WRITER'S NOTE: This, for all intents and purposes, is a serious hub. Serious because it is the Gospel truth about just how terrible "I" would have been if I had been among America's first pioneers. God bless these brave people. (Kenneth).
I admit it. I would have been a terrible pioneer in early America. For some men, this confession is one of devastating ramifications. Life-changing. Serious place to be. But not for me. I am glad to "come clean," with you and possibly dispel some quieted rumors among you who might have gathered from my stories, that "I" came from a good, solid pioneer stock. Maybe my grandparents (on both sides of my parents) did. Not me.
And for once in a very long time, I am glad. Yes, I am very content to be where I am in life and what I have survived which will remain in my past. Forgotten. Buried. Never mentioned again. No, I wasn't arrested for cattle rustling, bootlegging liquor or shoplifting. It's just that my previous 57 years are not ones I would write home about if I were in a summer camp for kids.
Back to my pioneer observations. Why would "I" have been such a terrible pioneer? Well I can tell you this much. The list is endless, involved and very in-depth. In short, not everyone born in those early days of our country's birth, were cut from "pioneer material." Men and women who carved out our country and her vast regions of homelands, were endowed by God with super-human strength, endurance, patience and a will to live against all odds and adversaries.
I have trouble when my Internet goes down. I feel panic welling-up in my heart. I pace the floors. Look out my living room windows in hopes that a CenturyLink tech will soon arrive. Oh yeah, CenturyLink is my Internet provider.
When I run out of coffee, you can see the "real" me come out. I sweat profusely. Talk to myself. Pray to God in the style of Mother Teresa. And fall on my knees when my wife says, "you need more coffee?" when she writes a new grocery list. And of course I answer with a resounding, "yes." What did you think I said, "no, not this time?"
When it comes to tilling the very ground around our house to make a produce garden, I fold like a cheap lawn chair from K-Mart. I panic. My nerves tie in knots. And my stomach hurts. I can tell you with a clear conscience, "I am no farmer," such as the Biblical Able who was slain by his brother, Cain.
Oh, and when I have to chase stray dogs away from our home, I get to being really righteous and understanding. "Awww, those dogs are just new friends in animal skins," I say philosophically to my impatient wife who is glaring at me for not going outside to see how much damage the stray dogs have done to our carport. Hey, I don't want to anger God who made animals. And made them before He made us, friends. I want to stay on His good side the very best I can for the rest of my days, I might add.
Early pioneers, God bless these hearty, brave souls again, knew how to read the stars for directions and the moon for times and seasons to plant, harvest and live in harmonious-accord with their fellow pioneersmen and pioneerswomen. Me? If you take me to a wooded area in the dark and make me find my way home, I might as well sit down until daylight comes. I am no "star reader," or horoscope discerner. I have to use modern conveniences to get-by just like you. And while I am at it. Why have I not heard anyone else admit to not being a pioneer? I guess you want me to be the "scapegoat," right?
And that camping-out, sleeping under the stars, forget about it. I might have made it back then if I had been given a Sears tent that sleeps nine. But since Sears hadn't been born, I would have made myself a bed out of straw, grass and boughs from the trees. At least I would have been covered so wild animals couldn't find me for their evening meal.
Speaking of meals. Early pioneers depended on God, of course, and wild game for food. Animals like rabbit, deer and some bear meat to round-out the cupboard. Nothing was wasted. The meat was preserved for later use and the hides were used for clothing. Now can you really picture me drawing-down on some innocent deer who is only minding his business eating grass and weeds? Are you kidding me?
I might catch some smart-alecky fish to eat, but the deer are not going to be killed on my watch. Not because I am a naturalist, but because I don't have the nerve to kill something as pretty as a deer. That includes rabbits too. Moose, that's a different story. They are not as attractive as deer.
Now we come to "the" toughest part of this pioneer confession. Building a house from mud, timber and what few rocks I could find laying around. Where did these early pioneers learn the mathematics of building a perfectly-squared log cabin? They were lovely in design and perfect to use. With fireplaces that were used for heat as well as cooking.
But the foundation, walls and roof, that's where I would have "thrown in the towel." I am not a carpenter. I would have been fired by Jesus' earthly dad, Joseph, for the only thing I know about carpentry is sawdust and that cannot be worth much. Then you have the ceiling beams and things that support the house. Plus creating a mixture of pitch (which is raw tar) to seal-up the cracks for winters in pioneer days were a lot colder than in 2012.
The marrying of a lovely pioneer woman, I could handle. Even the ways I could help her with her housework, no problem. But the back-breaking, callus-causing, blood-shedding work of raising a house, barn and fence to boot, well, count this inept man completely out.
If it were possible, I would now make a deal with "life." A deal that will not make "life" lose that much face and "I" can hold my head up with some pride.
Why not allow me to be born in the late 1940's when big bands were popular. Nightclubs were "the fad." Women in elegant evening gowns and men in expensive tuxedos. And the cars so glitzy that you could see yourself in the fenders.
And with the electricity, apartment buildings, telephones and running water, being a pioneer in this time frame would have "been a snap."
Just don't expect me to cut the grass. I did enough of that in my early pioneer life.
ANOTHER EARLY PIONEER HOME
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