Monday, September 18, 2017

Why I Like History

I'm sure if you've been around here for any length of time, you know that I'm rather a history nerd. Rather a major history nerd. So how did I get here?

My sister and me at Plum Creek
  • My parents read me the entire Little House series when I was really little and I absolutely fell in love with everything pioneer.
  • When I was five we took a road trip--tent camping--to visit all the Little House historic sites. I only remember the now-collapsed dugout, but I have a huge smile on my face in all the pictures.
  • We took numerous trips to Conner Prairie, the most amazing living history museum ever. It really feels like stepping back in time!
"Doing laundry" at Conner Prairie
  • Oregon Trail. Yes, the computer game. My sisters and I were obsessed. Wasn't everybody?
  • My honorary uncle told me and my family stories of American history all the time, in such a way that I was immersed in history and couldn't help but love it. He's a fabulous storyteller, and so is his daughter. You can read some of his stories in his book.
  • American Girl. I especially loved Samantha and Felicity. It's sad to me how the popularity of American Girl has shrunk...I blame the de-emphasis on history. That's what made it cool! History Mysteries and Dear America fit here too.
  • Yearly pictures in
    pioneer dresses
  • About a million amazing historical fiction/classic books I read and my mom read to me. Patricia Beatty, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Elsie Dinsmore, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, Five Little Peppers, All-of-a-Kind Family, Betsy-Tacy, Elizabeth George Speare, Johnny Tremain, William O. Steele, The Tree of Freedom, Nelly in the Wilderness, Calico Bush, Henry Ryder Haggard, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, etc. So many amazing books about or from bygone eras.
  • My family has visited many historical sites over the course of my life, local and along the east coast. We've been to tons of battlefields, and even went to Williamsburg and Jamestown. Going to Mount Vernon was the best. I can totally understand why George Washington was always wanting to go home. It's beautiful. And we learned some fun things that really made him human. Like when his dogs stole Martha's ham. George was amused. Martha wasn't. And I really want to go to Plymouth.
  • Plus, history is just plain cool.

And what effect has history had on me?

My Civil War era ball gown
  • I like wearing dresses--always have--because pioneers wore dresses.
  • I wore sunbonnets with modern dresses a lot as a kid.
  • Reading the Declaration of Independence is fun. I did it once instead of school. I love that thing.
  • I want to churn butter.
  • My sisters and I once played Oregon Trail with our Barbies.
  • We never just played "house," we were always pioneers or living during the Revolution or something.
The lady at the Indiana State Fair
invited me over the ropes to try
her spinning wheel
  • I have a life-long obsession with spinning and weaving.
  • I want chickens. (because Caroline Quiner aka Ma Ingalls took care of their chickens)
  • I want to try doing laundry in a washtub. But just once. For the pioneer experience.
  • I have made numerous historical costumes for myself and for others.
  • I helped to teach a class on America's founding documents.
  • If I ever found a time machine, I would have a long list of historical events to visit before I ever tried to go to the future.
  • I like throwing bits of history into my books.
My Barbies' covered wagon...Bekah
was the one who had actual horses
  •  I really want to write a historical fiction book. I'm just scared of getting it wrong and of the mountain of research I'd have to do to make sure I got every last little historical detail exactly right. From the timeline of historical events to the way people talked to the atmosphere and layout of the town to the people around to the details of fashion...
  • My dream house is a log cabin in the long as it has electricity, running water, and wifi.
  • I'm reading a book of original documents from the Constitutional Convention as a part of self-inflicted school. And it's amazing. I must read more source documents.
  • My family would love to open a living history museum.
  • I tried really hard to convince my dad to build me a floor loom. I did research and everything. It didn't work.

How do you feel about history?

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