Monday, September 28, 2009

Pioneer Days:making new friends

O.K. all you cute homeschooling families, start drooling. It's Pioneer Days here in Northern Illinois. All of these pioneer type of people (who live in normal houses during the rest of the year) gear up in 19th century pioneering wear and spend the weekend out in their homemade tents, living just like our early settlers did 200 years ago.

Apparently, life isn't hard enough for these folks, so they need to go all out and dress up in period outfits and cook with period foods in old fashioned ways. The good part is that they let us taste what they are making: like this homemade apple butter: yum! (beautiful color, too)

And the music is always a treat at these things. There's nothing like the hammer dulcimer! Love it. Yes, this was fun music!But this was especially nice for us. We have a friend, Sam, who lives in the end of the 18th century. Think George Washington. In fact, George happens to be one of Sam's friends.

Sam came here all the way from Virginia to scout out the land. Sam has made every inch of clothing he wears, and there's a story about everything he has or has on. He loves to tell stories of his exploits, his friends and music.

We were enrapt by his stories.
Here's Bear with him. Remember I told you about Bear? Bear doesn't see, but he enjoyed feeling all of the handmade bags, that were made waterproof with beeswax. He enjoyed feeling the homemade bullet maker, the allows you to melt down lead for pellets.
He showed us his small leather pouch that held a leather bound notebook with a "lead" in which to write.
It just so happens that Bear lives in the 17th century and prefers to speak in German. He spends most of his time with J.S. Bach and the Baroque artists.
Bear is quite the singer also and sang some hymns from the time period, while wearing the hat I made for him. He was not overly thrilled about the hat at first, but after everyone was complimenting him on it, he got used to it. I told Bear that everyone was going to be in costume, and he'd fit in better if he wore the hat. At first he was nervous that Sam might try to make him into a slave on his plantation, but Sam assured us that he pays his servants and does not own any slaves. They had so much to talk about that Bear asked if he could stay with Sam while we just looked at the other sites. Who knows what lands they conquered, songs they sung, or who they met on their "journey"... All I know is that the two of them hit it off famously.
And to think that Bear did not want to go to Pioneer Days. I told him that if he did not come with us, he was going to have to stay home and take a nap. He said, "Yes, Mrs. Webber" which is also what he said to me when he was being naughty and I scolded him a few times.

You see, Bear had a 5th grade teacher at his school for the Blind that was named "Mrs. Webber". Apparently, there is more than a name in common with this lady. Bear lived at the school full time, since his family left him there at a young age. He has no regrets; it seems. He loved his school and his teachers, even the ones that spanked him.

Now yesterday when they called on Bear to sing a solo at chapel yesterday, he said, "Mrs. Webber said I had to sing, and she even told me what I was singing. And you just don't cross her.." And everyone in the chapel started laughing.

So, he sang "Jehovah Tsidkenu" and we all loved it. Thanks Bear for coming and blessing us. And thank you Sam. I'm so glad you could take time out from your busy scouting schedule to bless us with your stories and friendship.

Makes me wonder why some of us are so set to live in this century?


bargainshopper4myfamily said...

Hello Jena,
I loved your post! It looks like a memory making day! It was great talking to you the other day! So good to hear your voice and do a little catching up! I miss you much. Barbara

Kathryn said...

I loved this post, too. Sometimes i spend too much time in the past (reading) but i love the simpler life of those times. I love many of our conveniences now, but miss the pacing then. (A lot more work, tho.)

Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Becky said...

I agree with Kathryn. This was a great post too.
I wish I could have been there. It sounds so fun.

Ruby said...

That sounds like a great day out for you guys, especially Bear, and a labour of love for those folk who do the pioneering thing. We have similar "open days" at our local Heritage Village, but we do not celebrate Pioneering Day. It sounds like a great idea.

Mrs. Parunak said...

OK, yup, I'm drooling. What a fun time you guys had. That looks like such a great family activity/field trip.

MommaMindy said...

I was just sitting here thinking about how we moved to opposite ends of the world, but thanks to blogging, I'm in your life every day. I'm enjoying the reunion, sister.

Jenny P. said...

That sounds absolutely excellent! I've always loved going to Prairie and Pioneer days and playing dress up.

Bear sounds like quite a character :-) Thanks for sharing!

sara said...

First France now Pioneer Days! You're having way too much fun. :) Really looks like a good time.