Learn from Living History


I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am getting older.  As I reflect back over the years, I think of how we used to do things before the easy availability of power tools.  When I was a child skill saws and power drills were not common.  I watch a carpenter today and I see nail guns, skill saws, electric screw guns and drills.  The same thing applies to gardening and farms.  Do I want to go back to doing things the old way, no.  When it’s time to plant a garden, I love my rototiller.

My father as a child

But what happens when the power fails and someday it will.  Young people today have no concept of what it was like.  I have been asking a lot of them question about simple things like yard tools and they look at you like you are talking a foreign language.

I am only in my late 60s and I have seen tremendous changes.  My father who is still alive was raised on a remote farm in Northern Michigan.  Talking to him about his youth and how they did things is amazing.  I have learned a lot from him.  I strongly suggest that you take the time to look around your neighborhood and find someone who went thought the great depression and spend time with them.  They have a lot of knowledge to share. Take advantage of the living history while it is still available.

•    Here is a list of ideas to talk about.
•    How did you preserve your food?  Especially good if they lived on a farm.
•    Did you butcher your own meat and how did you preserve it?
•    How did you plant your gardens without power equipment?
•    What tools did you use?
•    If they didn’t have electricity.  How did you light and heat your home?
•    What hand tools were the most important?
•    Get a list of tools they used.
•    If it is a woman, ask about recipes and cooking tips.

If you get some good ideas don’t forget to share them with the rest of us.  I am always open to guest posts.

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