While we haven't had it too bad this winter in Wisconsin, there are days when it gets really bitterly cold when you just want to hibernate. On days like that, you might want to consider what it must have been like to be a pioneer during the freezing winters here.
The first Muskego pioneers built there homes from logs that they cut down and stacked together. They didn't have bathrooms, heat, electricity or indoor plumbing. Most of those log homes were mighty drafty, so much so, that the snow would push through the cracks between the logs. The only heat that they had was from a fireplace or a stove if they were lucky. Staying snuggled under mother's quilt for warmth was often not an option. There was firewood to chop, animals to be fed and water to be brought in.
The children had to do their chores before school and then trudge through the snow bundled up in layers of woolens to get to the one room schoolhouse that was no warmer than the home they had just left. The schoolhouse was heated by a wood stove and the older boys were often in charge of keeping the fire going. Imagine trying to learn your lessons while trying to keep warm at the same time.
But these were hardy people. They had to be in order to survive the wilderness. They knew how to make do. Mothers knitted mittens, hats and scarves from yarn made from the wool of their own sheep. They hand sewed quilts made from patches of fabric, lovingly pieced together. Fathers made sure there was plenty of wood chopped for the fire and plenty of game to feed their families. The children worked hard on the farms too. No video games, t.v. or internet to occupy there time, they made snow forts, built snowmen and learned to sew, knit and make things with their own hands. They took care of the horses, cows, sheep and chickens, something most kids today know nothing about.
While we remain cozy in our homes and look out at the frozen tundra wishing for spring, it is good to remember how far we've come. Sometimes the modern age doesn't seem so bad.