I would like to think that I’m a strong, survival-type person. In my dreams, I could have traveled the prairie, seeking a new home for my family. In those visions, I’m cheery as I sit beside my rugged husband, bumping over the rocky trail, just two ruts in the tall grass. I would be ready to jump from that wagon after a long day, gathering my children for the chores ahead. Building a fire and preparing our evening meal would be the perfect way to end another fruitful day of travel as we neared our destination. Sleeping under the stars, the wind whispering over my little world would lull me to sleep.
In my dreams!
The reality is that I’m a bit spoiled. Yes, I am a hard-worker, and I could probably survive a lot. But there would be much complaining about the situation. As I sit here and type in my 80+ degree room, the hum of the fan behind me with sweat trickling down by back, I can’t even imagine what those pioneer women went through! I feel as though I’ve been traumatized by the fact that our central air needs to be replaced!
I need to be extremely thankful for all the years that central air plugged away for us. When we moved into this house almost eleven years ago, we knew the heating and air-conditioning unit was used and reconditioned. Each change of season, I’ve prayed that it would work, and it has with the exception of two times. Both times the air-conditioner needed charging, the second time last June. And it didn’t look good then. But, several thousand to replace everything is rather overwhelming. You kind of hope it will just all go away and a storm will go through, cooling everything down.
Well, that won’t happen here in Kansas. Not this time of year. We are looking at another three months or more of 90+ degree heat, every day until mid-September. And that’s when I begin to whine. A lot!
So, I’ve been trying to focus on what I do have, versus those pioneer women. I have an actual home, not a soddy, or covered wagon. My home has windows that I can open and close. Each night I can take a cool shower in my very nice, remodeled bathroom. I don’t have to bathe in my mixing bowl, or walk to the creek watching for critters. When I’m clean and refreshed, I have clean clothes waiting for me that I’ve washed in my lovely front-loader, and dried in the machine right next to the washing machine. When we are hungry, we can go to our fridge and open the coolness within, and stand there breathing in that cold environment. I don’t have to cook over a cast-iron stove, or campfire unless I really want to, just for the fun of it. And if I’m really miserable and hot, I have a very nice car to ride in that has wonderful cold air.
When I think of it like that, I don’t have much to complain about. I have conveniences that women didn’t have one hundred years ago. I would like to think I could have survived those pioneer days. But I don’t know if I would have. Life was hard, and there wasn’t much time for whining. You just had to survive.
And tonight when I go to bed, I’ll try to remember that I have a bed to sleep on, not blankets piled upon the rocky ground. The mattress may be harder than I like, it may be stifling in the bedroom. But, I have a bed, and clean sheets to sweat on. Life is good!