I "Was" a Bad Pioneer

EARLY AMERICAN PIONEERS' HOMES

were like this one. No electricity, television, running water, phones, or internet.
were like this one. No electricity, television, running water, phones, or internet.

More Early American Pioneer Images

ASA MERCER was an early American educator in pioneer days in our country's infancy.
ASA MERCER was an early American educator in pioneer days in our country's infancy.
THE HEN HOUSE was an important part of pioneer living. Eggs were gathered to prepare a hearty breakfast for the working pioneer families.
THE HEN HOUSE was an important part of pioneer living. Eggs were gathered to prepare a hearty breakfast for the working pioneer families.
FIREPLACES served as places to cook food and a source of warmth for pioneer families.
FIREPLACES served as places to cook food and a source of warmth for pioneer families.
KNIVES such as this were used to carve tools, skin game and clean fish that were used for food for early pioneers.
KNIVES such as this were used to carve tools, skin game and clean fish that were used for food for early pioneers.
HUNTERS used long rifles to kill the game that they needed for feeding their families in early American pioneer homes.
HUNTERS used long rifles to kill the game that they needed for feeding their families in early American pioneer homes.
FASHIONABLE GARB for a teacher, minister, or judge in early America.
FASHIONABLE GARB for a teacher, minister, or judge in early America.
PIONEER HUNTERS sometimes hunted together in order to "bag" more needed-game.
PIONEER HUNTERS sometimes hunted together in order to "bag" more needed-game.
SAVING A BUCK for food, clothes, and other uses was the way of the early American pioneers.
SAVING A BUCK for food, clothes, and other uses was the way of the early American pioneers.
SPINNING WHEELS were used to spin thread to sew the clothing of early American pioneers.
SPINNING WHEELS were used to spin thread to sew the clothing of early American pioneers.

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

what this house lacked in luxuries, it made up for it with warmth, dry clothes, and a good place to sleep.
what this house lacked in luxuries, it made up for it with warmth, dry clothes, and a good place to sleep.

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

This was a fun read! :) When we moved out to the farmhouse in December, I had to wait 9 weeks for the internet guy to make his rounds out to our part of BFE. I was reacquainted with that archaic item called a book. I was almost finished detoxing from my computer/internet when he FINALLY showed up. He had actually called to say it was going to be another 4 weeks, but I guess when I reached through the phone line and slapped the monkey p*ss out of him, he got the hint. :)

On the other hand, I have spent plenty of time (days and weeks at a time) in the Alaska wilderness without internet, gps, cell phone, etc. just hunting, fishing, horseback riding and enjoying beautiful summer days. :) Sure do miss it...I wonder if they have internet in the wilderness finally...later, gonna go find out! :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

What an interesting subject, Kenneth! I wouldn't have liked to be a pioneer either. But my parents were pioneers in the Southwest Texas area where they went with a primitive Model T water well drilling rig, tents, bedrolls, a camping type cooker that used stones heated on open fire, 3 small kids (I wasn't yet born) and made the first roads through cactus, rocks and other unfriendly terrain and unfriendly flora and fauna!

I can't even fathom it, to be honest! And I've experienced the same places, but in much better vehicles and better accommodations, though when I was a kid, there was no electricity or other utilities. Dad drilled the deep well, though - so we had good water!

BTW - the internet is still only accessible there via satellite! :-)


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Loved your Honest Hub on Pioneer Life...I too would NOT have wanted to live back then. I need all my Modern Conveniences...From a Hair Dryer, to a Micro Wave... and what would I do without my "Mac"? Anyway, a real Fun read, and Food for thought, and I wouldn't be hunting, nor would Lover Man...Oh well!


AtHomeHeather profile image

AtHomeHeather 4 years ago from PA

Very funny and a different take on the pioneer life that you usually hear! Usually people are talking about how cool it would have been to live in that age. A simpler life as my grandfather would say. I won't lie I enjoy my modern tech also! Great Hub, thanks for the laughs!


jasontoheal 4 years ago

Very amusing. I can relate to yourself in this respect.

I have tried most of my life to enjoy camping, but I have reached a point in my life where I can openly admit that depriving myself of my day to day comforts is not something I actually find pleasurable.


DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

DRG Da Real Grinc 4 years ago from All over the USA

Ty so much for giving this insight. I love to learn and this Hub caught me by surprise. Made me realize a thing or two. Awesome job.


pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Made me laugh. Made me think about the pioneers. They certainly are an elite lot.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, TTombs!

I appreciate your comments so much. I actually began feeling sorry for you for having to endure those ordeals, but let me present something to you.

You used the term "wilderness," in your comments, but I wager you have never visited My hometown of Hamilton, Alabama? I refer to this place as resembling "Mayberry," from the iconic Andy Griffith Show, but I love it. Have lived here for 58 years and what is scary is that I will die here. I have no finances to carry me to places where you, Nellieanna or any of my followers live. And this isnt a plea for donations. Just an honest confession.

We have 1 walk-in theater. A SuperCenter (Walmart); several nationally-known restaurants--Hardee's; KFC, Pizza Hut and such. We all know each other, including our mayor, city council and police on a first-name basis and on Aug. 28, we are having our 2nd Wet/Dry vote on alcohol sales.

I think of the two of us, YOU are in heaven, my friend. Please keep in touch with me. I would love to read your emails about where you live now. And you are Welcome to Visit Me in Hamilton anytime.

Your Friend,

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

My Dear Nellieanna . . .please refer to my comments to TTombs . . .your childhood, to me, was a great adventure. If my parents had done half the stuff that your parents did, I bet that I would be a more well-balanced person, mentally and socially.

But my dad was a share-cropper. Mama was a homemaker by choice. Later she worked in a garment/textile factory which are now extinct in our part of the USA.

I went to school, graduated from 12th grade in 1972, went right to a job to help my dad with family finances. And thats pretty much IT.

Ive said this to hubbers on occasion . . ."I am a simple man with a simple mind on a simple mission: to make as many people smile with my simple hubs as I can. Simply put, I am an average guy."

Thanks again for your treasured friendship, Nellie!

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, b.Malin . . .forget about it--living back then. I would have went nuts from not having what conveniences we have been blessed with now. But I know "some" about "pioneering" in 1961. I was 8. My sister and her husband, bought a black and white Philco TV . . .I was hooked with the first show I watched: Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford. Then mama got a washer, but only dried clothes on a clothesline.

In 1962, she got an electric stove. Man, were we uptown or what!

In 1965, we owned our own TV. My sister and husband had moved into their own home.

In 1968, we owned our own COLOR TV . . .I was so proud. And in 1973 . . .I owned by first new car. I was on "Cloud Nine." And so it goes.

And today, I am an "appliance addict."

Please pray for me.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

a Warm Hello, AtHomeHeather,

thank you so much for your interesting and delightful comments. Your grandpa was right, a simpler life indeed, but me? I was no pioneer. My dad would never allow me to use an axe to chop down trees. My mom would never let me near her woodstove . . .and no, it wasn't made from wood. Just a joke.

I feel that I would have been a better "survivor," if my parents had allowed me to master their "toys."

Just a thought.

Kenneth

and Heather, be careful when microwaving a Baby Ruth.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, JasontoHeal,

Thanks, man, for the support in my confession of my "non-pioneer" days. Some are born with the gifts to be pioneer as those who are cattle farmers, carpenters, and such, but not me. I wonder sometimes, like we all do, if I were born at the wrong time of life or not.

Then I take a sip of coffee and think about napping.

Visit with me again, Jason.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, DRG,

Appreciate your comment and input. Your words are very nice and needed. I too learned something when I wrote this. I am not a strong man in relation to surviving on my wits.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello and greetings, PennyofHeaven,

Thanks so much for your sweet and appreciated comment. Yes, they were an elite lot. I can guess that our own Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon was a pioneer of sorts. So was Jimi Hendrix who was first to play guitar mostly with his equipment. And so are YOU, Penny, with your works in the hubs.

I guess we are all unique in some ways. But not me being a pioneer. I am far from elite.

Hey, visit with me again! I loved it.

Kenneth


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

I laughed through the whole thing! I would not make a good pioneer either...I can't live without TV! And I could never kill any animal, so I would have been a vegetarian pioneer. Very funny hub! I'm sure most of us these days would never be able to endure what they did.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

I had a great time reading your hub! I think in this case, I am a lot like you...would make a terrible pioneer too!!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear catgypsy . . .LOL, a vegetarian pioneer? That is a first. And good for YOU to hub about this. And a non-gun user pioneer. Oh the list goes on. Please, catgypsy, do one. A "non-everything" pioneer. That would BE a true pioneer to survive without ANY help.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, picklesandrufus,

aren't you glad that "we" will never be put to that test? Im afraid that I would freeze when it came time to shoot an animal. Im like catgypsy. Deer especially are so beautiful. I would just hope that God would help me like He did the Children of Israel when they were in the wilderness--and send them quail for meat. I could live with that. Even with no rice.

Kenneth


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Haha...the vegetarian, yes! As far as using a gun, I would have no problem there. but it wouldn't be used on animals....


Debra Emerson 4 years ago

I would not have wanted to be a pioneer. But if you think about it the pioneers had to work very hard to get by. I love the Hub!!!


pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 4 years ago from New Zealand

Awww you are to kind Kenneth. Yes and I believe we are all unique and very special individuals like yourself. n


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

LOL, catgypsy! I understand that. I forgot to mention that in pioneer days, the land poachers were a band to contend with. A gun would be my last resort, but I too, to protect my family or friends, would use a double-barrel shotgun. And leave the animals be.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Debra,

Thank you, dear friend, for your comment and compliment. Thats how I feel. As a kid, I got a taste of working in the fields--pulling corn, hoeing cotton and such, although not as much as my parents did, I tasted enough hard work that I knew that I wasnt cut-out for a farm life. I love my parents and always will, but I confess. I couldnt "hold them a light" to their work ethics, rising early and working past sundown.

God rest their souls.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, PennyofHeaven,

(I like that name!)

I wasnt being too kind, just honest with you. And today is MY turn to say "thanks to you," for your kind remark. Unique? Me? Thats the first time in my life Ive ever been called unique. Ive been called lots of things, but not unique. Thanks. And

YOU ALL HERE AND ON MY FOLLOWERS LIST, HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY 4TH OF JULY.

Kenneth

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