Saturday, October 31, 2009


I have two neighbor friends that will be moving in the next couple of weeks. I am overwhelmed for both of them as they gather their families and belongings and venture into new neighborhoods. Both friends have children and dogs. One is moving to a new house while the other is moving temporarily to a condo until they can locate a house to move into. Both are using moving trucks for some items, one is using a Pod to help store some things until they find their house. Boxes and planning what gets put in the Pod, what gets put in the basement storage, what gets moved first, who will be there to help move the heavy items, how to juggle getting the closings and paper work settled, the kids to/from school. Keeping little ones occupied while cleaning, organizing, setting up the homestead takes place. The list goes on!

Then I recall the Ingalls' first move. The covered wagon, exchange of horses, and careful planning and packing, setting off and just deciding when it was time to stop and set up camp. The journey was difficult; no road!, no warmth!, no rest stops to use the bathroom!, no place to stop for a quick bite!, no entertainment for the kids in the back seat!, heck, no back seat!

Can you imagine moving to a new place with no other people, no furniture, no house even!? Leaving what you know for something you know nothing of. Planning for meals for - who knows how long- before you got back "to town" to get necessary provisions. How do you know how much corn meal to bring? Flour? Beans? What tools and utensils? Personal items? And to complicate matters, traveling in a covered wagon included more difficulties than lack of comfort. Each item packed had to be in it's own special, secure space. The wagon itself could only hold so much weight as well. Too heavy and the horses wouldn't be able to pull as well for as long. Or make the journey, say, across rivers, all the more dangerous. Too little provisions would result in running out of essentials and no where to restock, risking health, safety and the ability to build shelter once a suitable plot of land was found.

What would you bring with you if you could only bring 2000 pounds worth of items? Read here: for an idea of how one pioneer woman packed and planned her covered wagon, the preparation that went into journey. Read here: to plan your own journey in a covered wagon. How different would it be preparing for a move in modern times? I must say, being a knitter and spinner, I'm pleased to see that a spinning wheel may have been included in the packing! And the spinning of the wagon cover! What a task!

I'm not sure which type of preparation sounds better when I compare moving out on the prairie and moving in modern times. It seems there may be benefits to both. But I do know that the adventure never ends, and a woman's work is never done. I'll miss my friends as they move, not too far, but not across the street either, and I hope to find the grace of Caroline and the adventurous spirit of Charles when I approach change in my own life.

by bethanyg

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