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Tuesday, 5 August 2014
An unplanned stop at our local Pioneer Heritage Village was a delightful and educational revelation!

A stop in nearby Huntsville, Ontario took us back to a simpler time ~ one that felt remarkably like our own in terms of the shift to self-sufficiency, homemade and home grown that we, like so many others, are trying to embrace. 

As a child, trips to similar living history museums may have evoked the "thank goodness we don't live that way today!' sentiment that sent us home to hug our televisions and high-five our VCRs.

But this trip was different.  More like we should high five our pioneering ancestors for living more simply... not that they had a *choice*... but because their simpler, hard working, close to the land lifestyle is helping a lot of us find our way back to what really matters.

Rowan and I found ourselves admiring the rail fences and the rabbit proofed herb garden~ finding useful direction for our own livestock and gardens.  We appreciated the candlemaking tips (our own attempts having gone very poorly!) and the brilliance of the all-in-one butter churn/cradle that could be rocked by the mama with her foot while she did her mending was downright impressive.  She came home with the "coolest toy ever" ~ a Jacob's Ladder!

The Village boasts a number of original homes from the 1800s, which have been moved to the site.  The schoolhouse predated our own residence by about 25 years, but gave us an opportunity to see how our home was originally laid out and used in its school days.  Rowan enjoyed the blacksmith shop, although she wasn't sure how to take it when the elderly gentleman smith stated that given her love of tools and dirt she "should have been born a boy". Ha!

Recently we have been discussing how so many women's goods have not withstood the test of time being soft goods and generally used and reused into non-existence, so we took particular notice of the textiles and handwork of this earlier era.   As Rowan noted in a recent lesson~ the Vikings are famed for their ships and expeditions, but they wouldn't have gotten very far if the Norse women had not woven their sails!
 Recent reading of "Little House on the Prairie"has opened my daughter's eyes to the work and play of children in earlier times.  If you have the opportunity to pair any of the early Laura Ingalls Wilder stories with a trip to pioneer settlement, you won't be disappointed. The chapters of LHOP detailing how Pa built the wooden cabin, or made the wooden door were perfectly illustrated by the buildings we encountered (which my almost-9 year old thought was pretty cool).
This is one of those places that makes a homeschooling parent rejoice ~ bringing to life the stories and history we study with lots of hands on and interactive experiences. We will definitely be going again soon! ♥♥


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