That Pioneering Spirit

"Oh goody. It's raining."

 If you enjoy wearing a pioneer woman costume and sleeping in a damp tent that you set up in the pouring rain while wearing your soggy pioneer bonnet and a soaked pioneer skirt that gets tangled around your legs as you try to pound a tent spike into solid rock while 3 third graders (also in pioneer garb) complain about the inclement weather under your feet…then you’d LOVE the field study I just returned from (see Wagon’s Ho blog entry) with my kid’s Living History charter school.

 We had a fabulous time.

Learned a lot.

Stood at the bottom of the famous Laurel Hill (shoulda been named Laurel Jagged Cliff) on the famous Oregon Trail (shoulda been named Let’s Commit Suicide by Wagon Train) and I thought, “Wow, I wonder if I ‘d have let my husband talk me into hurling our wagon/worldly supplies/children/oxen over the edge like the pioneers did back in the olden days?”  and “What the hell were they thinking?”  and “I wonder how far I am from Starbucks, right now.”

Apparently, one pioneer woman (her name escapes me at the moment), pregnant with her eighth child gave birth three days AFTER getting her family down the hill.  I’m such a loser weenie.  I rode to the historic site in a heated touring bus, ate the 6 thousand calorie meal we’d packed that morning for lunch, and felt sorry for myself because I was probably gaining back all the weight I’d recently lost (see the Gym post).

This trip shattered every illusion I had about being a pioneer in any sense of the word.  I am a wimp-o-neer.  A pio-weenie.

Luckily, the next field study (leaving this Monday with daughter number 2) is being held at the coast.  In a Yurt.  Gonna feel like the Hilton, compared to the tent. 



Filed under Anxiety, Children, Fitness, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Writing

4 responses to “That Pioneering Spirit

  1. C ~ I’m with you!! My idea of roughing it means there’s no room service and no Starbucks within walking distance. Give me all the modern conveniences, every day!! Don’t like camping for that same reason. I’m a very modern Darla, LOL!


  2. Dear Pio-weenie,

    I bet you looked adorable. I wonder how they took all their beauty supplies down that jagged cliff hill thingy? Seriously, if a pregnant woman survived a trip like that with 8 kids in tow, I ought to be able to get through menopause without BOTOX. (Although a little Lorazepam might be nice.)

    You’re my hero!


  3. Shirley Karr

    You know it was the men who said “Let’s move west!” because no sane woman would want to put herself and kids through that. Aside from the suicide cliffs, you gotta wonder about the pioneers who stopped in blazing-hot Texas and other crazy places to live sans A/C and said “This looks like a good place to set up housekeeping.”

    Try to think of something we deal with that no pioneer woman could handle, and that will make you feel less wimpy. I’d suggest something, but nothing comes to mind. 😉

  4. Yeah, and what woman in her right mind would suggest going through mountains shrouded in miles of snow in the dead of winter? That was a guy. What was he thinking?

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