Homesteading Lessons (a museum field trip)

IMG_1562We took a drive down to Colorado Springs with Rodney and Pat to see a museum that before now had escaped our attention.  The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum.  It is housed in an old courthouse (the building itself a beauty) and held rooms of homesteading lessons.

IMG_1560First, it is always good to have friends with you on your homesteading journey.

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Pat and I took these still life, serious photographs after dressing up in Pioneer clothing.  I hate to admit that I have these outfits…and wear them.  They are quite practical!  You have a pocket in your apron to put things as you are cleaning the house, hanging the laundry, or if you are a modern gal, you can put your cell phone in there.  The bonnets keep the sun from blaring in your face.  The long skirts keep the weeds from hitting your legs, chickens from pecking, and keep you warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.  Very practical.

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Make sure you can protect your family.  There are a lot of screwy folks out there.  I used to view myself as the ultimate peace keeper, the one that would not fight.  If someone should break in I would hope a cast iron pan would do.  I could never harm someone so I would just hope for protection.  Now, I look at Maryjane, my children, even my animals, and I would fight pretty hard now.

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I cannot tell you how nice this vehicle looks to me.  One or two lovely horses leading it.  A chance to feel the wind in one’s hair and see the surrounding country side.  The vehicle also looks a lot easier to maintain than our old cars!

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Make sure that you can fit everything you own in a trunk (or 82 in my case) so that you can move easily if necessary and so that you don’t get too caught up in material things.  Just the necessities folks.

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When you make something, take pride in your work.  No ho hum work.  Make it last, make it beautiful.

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Children do not need every toy that is shown on commercials.  They will grow bored, the toys will end up in a landfill, and you will be broke.  A nice simple doll is a little girl’s favorite toy.  I made one of these for Maryjane for Christmas.

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Find tools for the job.  Where can I purchase (or how do I make) these implements?  The corn husker thing would save me some time getting the corn off the cobs.  This fabulous shovel is specifically for digging up potatoes without nicking them.

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Keep your spinning wheel near your writing desk so that you can get a lot done during the day.

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Welcome everyone into your home.  Colorado Springs was home to the Cotton Club.  It was the first night club in the country that allowed any race to enter and was owned by a black woman.  She had a big sign in the window that said “Everyone Welcome” much like our sign that says Welcome to Grammie and Papa’s.  Ours promises cookies and unlimited hugs.

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This is how you avoid the gym.  Work in the fields, work hard, ride your bicycle.

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Keep yourself healthy with herbal medicines.  This apothecary replica looks a lot like mine!  I was mesmerized.

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Be inspired.  I love how the length of lace looks at the borders of this hand made quilt.  I will have to try that when I make my next quilt.

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Play music and love life.  Relax in the evenings and get your fiddle out.

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I don’t know if it’s because I have had so many homesteaders in my family history (nearly all my family dates back to at least the 1700’s) that I am so fascinated by all these things.  Could it pass down in one’s DNA?  Or is it the simple fact that I love homesteading itself.  I love simplicity, quiet, hard work, and relaxing in the evenings.  I love being a housewife, a preserver, a farmer.  I love this life of animals, and the mixture of grief and profound happiness.  The sense of accomplishment and helping the earth.

I need to be playing my fiddle more!

4 thoughts on “Homesteading Lessons (a museum field trip)

  1. I love museums like that. We’ve run across several on accident when we’ve traveled, usually in some town off the beaten path. They always make me dream a bit of what life was like then.

    1. I love the ones that are in historic buildings. Fort Garland in Southern Colorado is so neat. The original bunkers and exhibits from when Kit Carson was there. There is so much history out there to learn!

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