Sunday, August 19, 2012
I recently read about pioneer life in our community from 150 years ago. How joyfully small and intimate life was in those days -- not a particularly easy life, but one filled with gratitude and celebration nonetheless. These particular writings focused on celebrations and festivities, most of which involved food and dancing. At a time well before radio, TV, telephone or the rather isolating experience of sitting behind a computer, these pioneers made their own entertainment and enjoyed much of it in a communal style. Donation, Surprise and Pound Parties and Festivals were their version of today's fundraising events. Christmas was reserved for a family dinner, while gifts were given on New Year's Day. Spelling bees, debates and community sing-alongs were popular. Everyone attended funerals, whether you knew the person who had passed away or not. And everyone equally attended butcherings, which ended as you might guess, with a big dinner or supper and a dance (if someone had a fiddle and someone usually did). It was fun to read about simpler times when neighbors knew neighbors and everyone would dance (if someone had a fiddle and someone usually did).