Have you ever mulled the time frame of your birth? Not something minute like the exact minute but more like a certain era, decade or century? Wish you’d been born earlier to experience some part of history you’ve only read about? Or perhaps a few years later-or farther into the future? When I reminisce about my 1950’s-1960’s childhood, there’s not much I’d change. I’m forever grateful when and where I was born, although I really could stand to be a few years younger. I’d take better care of myself. Hindsight. Karma.
After discussing Hubs’ childhood, here I am typing about the dude again. I guess it was the part where I listed all the different crap (useful stuff though) he can do, most without formal training that brought this on. He’s just a handy guy. So when he says- “man I wish I’d been born when”- I can’t really roll my eyes too far back. (makes me dizzy anyway) Because with Hubs capabilities, he could have easily made them a reality.
When we’re watching a western this is how the conversation starts. He’ll say, “I wish I’d been born when the West was young.” (Just shoot me now). He gets giddy (up) at the prospect of being part of a wagon train. A. Wagon. Train. For real. Covering a whopping 10 miles a day over rough terrain, (much like Michigan’s roads today, just at a faster clip to fully experience the sheer magnitude of our ginormous potholes). No rest stops or bathrooms smelling of disinfectant. Nada on the fast food restaurants or hotels offering clean, hot showers and freshly laundered sheets. With king size beds. I mean, where’s the appeal in that?
Staking his claim to 40 acres and living off the land. Plowing virgin fields. With oxen. (I don’t even know what they are. Or care). Hubs, a sweaty hot mess, tripping over rocks, tree stumps, but happy and content. Listening to his iPod while plowing:
Me & you and a dog named Boo
Traveling and livin’ off this land.
Me & you and a dog named Boo
How I love bein’ a free man.
Building a log cabin before winter sets in. With his bare hands. Emailing his list of construction requirements to Menard’s, anxiously awaiting all the lumber, plumbing, wallboard, cordless drills, (has to be cordless because there’s no electricity out there yet) nail guns and fixtures to be delivered. Right. Being several miles from your closest neighbor. More than that from the closest town. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Not to this chick. I’ve come to terms long ago and readily admit to being a loner. For the most part I enjoy my own company and don’t feel the compulsion to be entertained by others. But I’m not crazy about back breaking work either. Truth is, I’m lazy. There’s something very appealing about a warm/cool, well lit home with scads of unread books at my fingertips. Spiffy new glasses when I notice the fine print is getting harder for me to read. Fresh, clean tap water with the touch of a handle, not pumping outdoors during all kinds of inclement weather. Maybe if I’d never experienced some of these luxuries, I’d be more inclined to hop on that wagon train with John.
OK, I’ll just come right out with it. I’m a wuss. Although I hope never to require the use of many of these products, their availability is highly appreciated-like antibiotics, novocain, epidurals, root canals, hospitals, grocery stores, ready made clothing, comfortable shoes, refrigeration, natural gas, crisp, soft sheets on an 18 inch mattress. Love my Jeep with heated seats, air conditioning, waiting in my garage until I decide I need to go somewhere.
Hey, its not like I’m without some of the necessary skills. I can sweep, mop, clean and cook. Even can my own meat, spaghetti sauce, veggies, jams, pickles and beets but everything’s been simplified for me. Dependable stoves, pressure cookers, jars, lids, hot running water, Dawn. They’ve just made it too easy for me to backtrack. Here’s the real game changer. I’m so spoiled when it comes to canning. Just check my canning journal, see when it’s apricot season or cucumber time. Find the dude who grows what I need, hop in the car with some cash in hand and off I go. I grow absolutely nothing. (That’s why God made Farmer’s Market). I don’t want to grow anything. Weeding doesn’t make me feel good. Preserving fruits and vegetables makes me feel good. And tastes good, but I’m not compelled to grow it myself.
I don’t think I would have made a very good pioneer woman. There’s not a lot of appealing lure for me to wear flouncy, stiff fabric dresses, corsets, shawls (I’d probably start myself on fire) or clunky, ill fitting shoes. Here’s the deal. I’m more of a shower, wash my hair everyday kind of girl. I get bitchy if I miss a day of either one. I guess that’s why I find books like The Outlander series totally unrealistic and implausible. (I enjoyed reading them but some aspects are so far from reality). Here’s my cliff note version.
The weather has been a constant, bone chilling, freezing rain/drizzle for 5 days straight while you and your significant other travel 4 miles a day with one horse so you have to take turns walking. You’re hitched (arranged marriage so you’re still virtual strangers in every department, except sex. Exploration there has been a rousing success. Every which way and constantly, even though he suffered a serious stab wound a week prior and his shoulder was dislocated). He’s valiantly trying to outrun a band of ne’re-do-wells who are hell bent on killing the hurt husband and doing some indescribable icky stuff with you, letting every lucky guy in their crew have a turn. Your one meal a day consists of a small piece of tough as nails jerky and a biscuit that’s showing some colorful mold, is hard as a brick, (so you haven’t pooped for a week, plus you ran out of Charman 2 weeks ago). You’ve been sitting on a stinky horse 6 hours a day, walking for another 3, don’t own a toothbrush or a bar of soap, your hair’s so greasy it hangs in attractive clumps and smells much like the hog yard. Yet you can’t wait to stop for the night so you can jump Jaime’s bones every freaking night for hours. On the ice cold, slick, sleet covered ground. Without a shower or warm bed. Because he’s just so hot. It’s true, you can make this shit up! Nope this is one scenario I never daydream about. This is like my worst nightmare. Sorry Hubs…
One thought on “Wagons-ho…”
Hi Denise, Wagon Train travel: Not my cup-of-tea either ! Paul
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