ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

HUB IN THE HOOD: Pioneer Women WWGD?

Updated on March 23, 2013

PIONEER WOMEN: WWGD?

Pioneer women. I think about pioneer women all the time. While I am not certain this is normal behavior, I do know my ancestor-inspired thoughts propel me toward many kinds of otherwise overwhelming activities. These thoughts about pioneers started at age 8 when my parents traded in their suburban life for a rent-free existence on a 200 acre farm in a northern state. The house in which we lived was built in 1816, and although she was a doozy in her heyday she left much to be desired in the way of modern amenities. As a child, I was in heaven. My parents were in hell.

I never heard my mother complain as she split firewood, scraped ice off the inside of the living room walls, herded a nest of skunks out from under the front porch and hauled gallons of drinkable water (filled weekly at a neighboring farm using their garden hose) into the kitchen because the cistern water was laden with lime. I never heard her complain when she patiently waited for her turn to make use of the party line which was our phone service, kill poisonous snakes with a hoe, hull peas until her fingers bled or find us when we got lost in the corn field. I never heard her complain when she smeared Vaseline on our faces, bundled us up like Eskimos and sent us out to play in the snow for fifteen minutes at a time - since the windchill factor was -30. I never heard her complain when she had to drive an hour just to take us to the doctor or the dentist. And even now I am amazed that I cannot remember seeing even one bottle of wine or one prescription anywhere in the house. How did she do it?

My great grandmother was a Native American and she was so awesome she could shoot dinner with a pistol while riding a horse. She reared a gaggle of kids, taught herself how to read and write, could play several instruments, drove a Studebaker and chewed tobacco. My paternal great grandmother worked an enormous farm in the heat of the Southern sun, built a house by hand (which still stands to this day), gave birth to ten kids and still found time to help neighbors. I thought about these two women when I heard myself say, “Yes, Dr., meet me in the parking lot with the epidural and I am begging you to do the tubal.” I thought about them when I heard myself saying, “If I have to go to WalMart on a Saturday you can starve because fighting that crowd gives me hives.” I thought about them last night when I said, “We’re having frozen pizza.”

Pioneer women didn’t have a 24 hour clinic for sick babies, central heat and air, Tampax, mini vans, Dollar Tree or the Orkin man. Pioneer women did not have mani-pedis, $6 Merlot, wrinkle cream or peke-a-poos. (I see why moonshine had its appeal). Pioneer women did not engage in disposable marriages, speed dating, corporate ladders or black Fridays. Instead, Pioneer women birthed multiple children at home and those kids grew up and worked the farm. My grandmother was the youngest of ten - the baby - and she was raised by her older siblings. In fact, those kids helped build a house, raise the babies, cook, clean, harvest crops and take care of livestock. I can’t get mine to move a dirty pair of underoos from the bathroom floor to the hamper 2 feet away!

Whenever I have been daunted by some meticulous task, I clench my fist and whisper, “Granny could’ve done it.” That’s fuel for the fire as I reconnect with a deep inner ability to do the impossible. Everywhere I look I see bracelets saying WWJD. My bracelet would say “WWGD” (What Would Granny Do?) and it would remind me that I am far more able- bodied than modern society allows us the discomfort of being. Just when I think I cannot manage mating that last pair of socks...cannot fathom scribbling one more meal plan...when I can't bear the task of pushing one more buggy through Piggly Wiggly on a Saturday, I forge ahead because I know somewhere, up above, my great grandmothers are shaking their heads and Tsk-ing. Or maybe their mouths are agape as they marvel at my GE 5-eye glass-top stove with the convection oven. Who knows. All I know is that I never want to lose the grit and determination that makes these women such an inspiration to me. I want to be tough - I want to think I can handle whatever comes roaring my way.

Speaking of tough - why is it we praise the fierce accomplishments of these women when in truth, they just lived by the standards of their day? Momentarily, I envision my future great great grand children, who somehow have gotten ahold of my journals and articles and relish the revelation that "granny" (moi) didn't have robots to do everything around the house. I can hear them now, "I guess she had to chop her vegeatables by hand. And do laundry at will! Back then, they only had a few machines to help out with daily life! I don't know how they managed. I want to be tough like her!" Hey....I can dream.

Let us now return to the idea of the true pioneer woman. I recently heard a news bit about a small town deep in the wild heartlands of our nation. These townspeople have started a monthly tradition of holding a public class, free of charge, where a trade or skill is taught. One class was how to properly dress, skin, and butcher a deer; they even taught everyone how to tan the hide! Another class was devoted to the art of candle-making…the old fashion way. These people believe it is possible for our country to someday enter a period in which we must learn to be much more self-sustaining. Crumbling infrastructure aside, I immediately thought about pioneer women. It wouldn't kill me to at least think about sustaining myself. My predecessors made a way and they survived. Surely I can do it too!



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Sarahredhead profile imageAUTHOR

      Sarah Jackson 

      7 years ago from Southern United States

      Wow! I spent part of my childhoos on a 200+ acre farm - and I remember that even though we had power, it was very hard on my parents. I have always believed there are some things every person should know, including how to plant a garden, how to harvest meat and many more. Wait, wait....I feel a hub coming on! 25 things every person should know how to do and why!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I hope I can survive because it is coming down one day. I grew up rough but have lived easy as an adult. My poor Mama washed clothes for six children on a washboard. I griped when my washer was out for a few days. I would love to take the classes you mentioned. I am going to look for some around here. WWGD? Not look but find-and learn.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)