A letter about pioneer life

Essay by bofei February 2008

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Dear Sophie:I can’t tell how long we haven’t seen each other. My life has been changed month by month. In the first few years, my families lived under difficult circumstances during a time where there were few roads, no schools and churches, no radio and television, and no supermarkets. Survival was dependant upon ingenuity, hard work, self dependences, and a lot of good luck!Most pioneer jobs are farming. My father settled on our farm in the summer, he cut all the trees and clear the land on property in a hurry so my family could plant enough crops to make it through the winter. The land was laboriously cleared by hand, stumped and plowed, sown with the precious seed. The huge primeval trees were hand hewn for sills and beams for house and barn. Imagine the long hours of hard labor, sweat, and aching backs. As we know, to a farmer the weather is always important.

My father keeps using nature's sign language since there are no weather reports.

I never saw a cook stove until I was twelve, and never saw any candy, raisins, gingerbread, or any such goodies until I was about fifteen; but we have something I think is far better. It is maple sugar. Having the sugar can be the "stirring off" time for me.

I eat some of the same food we eat in Britain. In the morning we have oatmeal and baked apples and apple pie. People liked to eat bear meat. People tried to find a big turkey for special occasions like Christmas. We also eat wild rice and pecans to eat, too. They seem to be plentiful and Mama would bring in a big pan full. We had pecans on the creek and we would pick up enough for our winter use...