Thursday, August 15, 2013

American West Heritage Center

 Our good friends the Summits invited us to volunteer with them this summer. I knew the girls would enjoy it but I wasn't so sure about the boys. Well, we have all loved it....every bit of it. We have made great friends whom we will miss dearly. Heidi and Ross were the employees on the Pioneer site. We spent our time dutch oven cooking over a wood fire pioneer style in our outdoor kitchen. We are sad to see the summer end. The boys helped Ross split wood, saw wood, chop wood, all with vintage tools. The boys have mastered a two man saw and can saw a log in no time. I am very impressed.
Kirk had a day off on one of our volunteer days so we decided to take a family picture.....a serious one, like how they did in the 1800's. I look like I was frowning, I am really not. I look like my mother, just a teeny there. I used to wonder sometimes if she was frowning....she never was. It was actually hard to not smile.
We are standing in front of a pioneer cabin that a pioneer family would have built to meet the guidlines of the homesteading act in the 1850's. It had to have a door and a window opening. Most homesteaders had outdoor kitchens and used the cabin for sleeping only. The pioneers lived a hard life. We carried our water in pails (from the faucet), chopped all our own wood to cook on, and prepared all our own meals with dutch ovens. Heidi was very inventive with what we would concoct in those ovens. Most of it was a learning curve. We cooked rice for the first time in a dutch oven and it actually worked! I think our best meal that we had was white chili and poverty rice. Poverty rice was whatever we had on hand of meat and vegetables. It was actually really good.
Of course we had to take a serious shot.
This became our Thursday Family. It was Heidi and Ross' favorite day of the week when we would all come. There was just something fun about being out there. It was peaceful...and hot, especially in long sleeves and a long dress with several layers of skirt, long socks and shoes.Sometimes Victoria would come up out of the creek soaked to the bone with her dress sticking to her legs. Little rascal. She would daily pan for gold for a fingertip of gold to exchange in the mercantile for a candy stick.  Visitors loved seeing our big family cooking and interacting. The kids showed other kids how to play the games. Daphne wove a rug that is now displayed in the cabin. I will have to find a picture of that. We have had a wonderful summer, met some wonderful people that we will never forget.

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