Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living In The Days Considered "Primitive"

At the start of this New Year, our theme will be living in the days often considered primitive. Nothing helped me to ponder this concept more than back around Christmas time when several massive ice storms ripped through our area, leaving us with out power for 5 days. On day number 3, I sat with my family on our sofa, huddled under a pile of quilts staring at the walls after our generator had stopped running; no t.v, no running water, no heat, and no bathroom....NOTHING! Nothing but the hissing crackle of the logs in the fireplace and candlelight. We did something as a family that we have genuinely not done in a very long time....even over dinner; we were having a conversation! Now I'm not saying that we don't communicate, but here, we were actually communicating with out the hum and the buzz of our modern life in the background. It is amazing how much clearer one can hear without background noise from the refrigerator, furnace or computer fan. (I will add that my teeth had started to chatter loudly at this point as the temperature in the house dipped below 30 degrees...now that was noisy!)

The truth is, our ancestors, though they may have been living in what we consider to be primitive or simpler days, their lives were not lacking. And, they certainly were ingenious inventors.
This month we will show, in a special edition of the recipe section, just how many of our modern day recipes still have their roots in recipes from the colonial and early Victorian era. We will also show some of the unconventional recipes too; like candied Violets. We will have a "Guess That Antique" section of the blog, where the first person to accurately guess and describe the functionality of a really odd looking antique will win 20% off in the artisan shoppe of their choice.Did you know that our "modern" invention of the apple corer and peeler has it's roots in medieval times? That certainly floored me when I had learned that....and here I had thought that my shiny, new, stainless steel corer/peeler from Pampered Chef was the height of modern convenience. Also, watch for our article on soap and it's amazing history. We invite you to join us!

The first image in this article is of Swedish imigrants who settled in Kansas and lived for the first few years in a mud dugout. This photo had been taken around 1856 inside that dugout....note that they still whitewashed the wall and kept it meticulously clean. The second image is of the same family years later after they had built their first timber structure on the homestead. These photos come from Mary at Oak Hollow Primitives.

1 comment:

Brenda, Rusty Creek Primitives said...

I was pondering this article yesterday as I was washing up the dishes and getting the last bit of laundry done "just in case" the ice storm hit and we lose power and I realized that we think the past was "simpler" but really...not so much. It really wasn't much different than today. Same problems they just had a different way of handling them than we do. I have to say I am thankful for running water and electricity. I am sooooo thankful for a bathroom (in the house!) and the internet. I do love conversation with my family...don't get me wrong but as I was "preparing" yesterday I thought about the expressions on so many of the old photos we've seen. Not too many looked very happy. LoL, do you suppose it was from all the "primitive" hard work and all that conversation that went on when the sun went down? I mean really....how long can we sit and talk to family before we want to pull our hair out? Okay so we think "yeah I could do it for weeks" but how about a lifetime? ....I don't know about you but I'm doing good to get through a holiday party and relieved the next day that I won't have to do it until the next holiday. Just being honest and relieved live in current times. But....I do love the items of old and I do love reading their stories. Perhaps the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side" has been one for the millenia.