January 25, 2010

As I tiptoe through the house, I feel more like a pixie than a burgler. Well, not a pixie...but I can't remember which ones are the...ahem, stout little mystical fairies. Everyone is asleep so I'm taking an opportunity to put down a few random thoughts.

Today has been very rainy with flash flood warnings through the night. There are many places where the water is close to flooding the roadways right now. It's January in PA. We're supposed to have snow. Next week is the winter festival at Parker Dam but it looks like there may not be snow. Nearly everything has melted adding to the rising creeks.

How thankful I am that I have a warm, snug home to shut out the wind and driving rain. I've been reading about rocket stoves and I would love to build one. Some days I'd like to be completely off the grid! If we could install a windmill and a few solar panels I think we could eliminate buying power from the electric company. Strange for someone whose income depends on the power plant. If a rocket stove worked as a heat source, the only problem would be cooking. And baking. Ahh, that's another story! A beehive oven would be wonderful but not practical for everyday use. I'm not sure my life would permit me time to use a woodfired cookstove. If I had been born about 200 years earlier, I'd fit right in.
♫ ♪ I love tech-no-logy ♪♫♪ But no-t as much as you, you see. ♪♫♪♪ So, yeah. I'd miss the advances we've become accustomed to but living in a tent with only 18th century surroundings can be very liberating. At least for the 4 days we did it. I could so get into doing more reenacting. But all our friends who are part of a group are...FRENCH! I don't want to be french. They hate us. I'd much rather be a follower of Washington's troups.
Probably a female tinsmith would be somewhat out of place. There are a few tools that I need to gather as well as finding a source for tin plate. I AM going to do it! Meanwhile, I think I'll start making a few Pennsylvania chests or plain wooden storage boxes. Friends of ours were fortunate enough to meet someone from a movie set who gave them some really nice period "props" from "John Adams." We need a firkin and a few more wool blankets. And I'd love to have a goat cart to pull our stuff around the encampmment. Oh, now Im itching to get all the gear out and set up our colonial camp. Maybe winter camping!!! Now if I can just talk my family into it. Makes me wish for Fort Frederick Market!

Our family has learned several traditional skills that we can share with others to teach them about colonial history. Soapmaking, spinning with a drop spindle, knitting, campfire cooking, maple syrup, churning butter, making cordage...can't think but I know there's more. I remember when we went to the indian village to demonstrate soapmaking for a large homeschool group. That was a lot of fun.

Theater can play a big part in developing a colonial persona and presenting an accurate picture of an historical era. Haha, no pun intended. Of course history and research are really important too. How much fun would it be to have a little colonial farm or settlement where you could teach these skills to folks so they don't forget where we came from? Couple goats, flock of sheep, horse and buggy. Hah, today we call that Amish!

All that to say that I often think that life back in those days, although harder physically, was much less stressful. When everyone has their "place" then everyone knows what to expect and what's expected of them. Kind of like maintaining the status quo.

Well, I'm not sure what prompted all that!

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