Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Pioneer Spirit

In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines
And you shiver when the cold wind blows...
~Cold Miner's Daughter
a Southern Appalachian American Folk song

There is nothing like a cold winter-like day to bring out the pioneer spirit within me. Preparing hearty meals for my family, baking, and wearing layers of clothes to stay warm indoors and out as we strive to keep the electricity bill as low as we can are ever-present concerns.

I like to imagine how the women in pioneer times kept their families warm and well-fed. They had a tougher time of it than we do, I'm sure, and yet they prevailed. I intend to not only survive, but to thrive as well.

I am making a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and a loaf of crusty bread tonight for dinner. The girls and I will also bake cookies for dessert. All of that cooking and baking will help warm up the house without the need of turning up the thermostat.

It's so cozy to be curled up on the couch wrapped in a warm blanket with a purring cat on my lap as I read, stitch, or daydream. There is always a vigorous cleaning needing to be done in some part of the house. I like to play music as I briskly clean. It helps get my blood circulating and I warm up quick.

Also keeping the blinds and curtains closed on the north side of the house helps to keep the cold weather out. As the sun rises in the sky and it warms up a bit, I open the blinds and curtains on the south side to let the sun shine in. I need the sun light, otherwise I get melancholy.

While I'm busy within these four walls, I can't help but wonder about the animals exposed to the elements. Do they have cozy places to hunker down out of the bone-chilling wind and stay warm? I pray so.


Bobbi said...

Great post! I love cold winter days and curling up with a good book in front of the fire. I also make homemade chicken noodle soup with a no-knead crusty bread! Chili is also a cold weather favorite.

Heidi said...

Hi Tracy! I get the same way. I feel like this even when I quilt. It is great to feel connected with the past. Jos and I talk about if things keep as they are in the world we will all need to live like in the days of old as things become too expensive or scarce.

Enjoy your dinner as it sounds great. Mine is cooking too. We are having a Dutch wintertime favorite ~ stampot.

Hugs ~

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh Tracy, I love your writing. I'm right there in your kitchen baking bread with you, looking out the window wondering about the winter the animals will endure. Beautiful.

It's true, cooking and baking help warm the house! I'm doing both today too, such a dark and miserable day, the aromas will help.

Our heat is from oil, it's like a second mortgage. We keep the house cool all the time and it still costs us a fortune. I really hope I make it through this winter, like the animals. :)

Susan in SC said...

This makes me want to go home and bake something! Cold weather brings that out in me too, especially on those rare occasions that it snows. I love to bake then!

sarah p said...

Wonderful post that makes me yearn for the cold, the cosiness ... I think I'll have to do some baking today (if I can stand the heat!)

Do you feed the animals over winter? Put out seeds and peanut butter balls for the birds, etc?

Tracy said...

Sarah, yes we do feed the birds seed & bits of bread. Occasionally we get a bag of apples to put out for the deer and such, too. :)

Mrs. Staggs said...

What a pretty new look your blog has right now Tracy. It's perfect for this season.

I love this post. Everything about it feels warm and cozy. I hope you're staying warm and cozy too!

All my best.

Lady Laurie said...

I often wonder how women did so much in the "olden days." My Nana was born in the 1890's and I remember when I was a kid she had some interesting tales of how hard life was when she was growing up.

I love homemade chicken soup!
Save me a cookie.