This afternoon I went for a drive, and decided to go to Mt Saint Helens. Today ended up being a stormy autumn day, and only got stormier the further up I went. While it was good for thinking, it wasn’t as good to see the scenery. I only went part way up before I turned around to head back, as I wanted to be in cellphone range before sunset.
While I was on that mountain, and having it be chilly and wet, it got me thinking about the pioneers and early white settlers in this part of the country. I was thinking about how cold and miserable it would be to be having to live back then, if they didn’t have some form of permanent housing to repel the rain and a fireplace to make a fire, or dry clothes to change into.
I love the outdoors, and I love living in this part of the country. I love the cold and the rain. I also love being able to come back into a warm dry house and having dry clothes to change into, and means of getting warm again, I love being able to warm up by a fire, with a hot cup of tea. I can’t imagine being a pioneer, with at best a tent this time of year, where it would be cold, wet and dirty 24/7 for months on end.
The thought had gone through my mind, of being a pioneer woman who had left her friends and family behind, following her husband and his dream. Then spending your first winter out here in a homestead cabin, and how hard that would be. In trying to imagine what it would be like, and I wondered how many women deep down really wanted to say “forget it, this place sucks, I just want to go home”, but had to stick it out, as they had no choice.
Yes that is the kind of stuff that goes on in my head when I am on my own. I think about women’s history, American history, and anthropology pretty much all at once.