Modern Family

Modern Family

Laura & Mary help with the dishes in
“Little House on the Prairie.”
Illustration by Garth Williams.

I love how family was the main thing in the life of a pioneer. Often, the children were each other’s only playmates, and they were big helpers … on the family farm or on the road living in a covered wagon. They offered lots of assistance to their parents … probably one of the reasons families tended to be large back then!!

My son loves doing “pioneer-style” chores … feeding the chickens (soon he’ll be gathering eggs), picking the tomatoes, helping with planting, and acting as sous chef for many meals! We love family cooking!

Extended Family

In the past, people often depended on extended family members to help with major homesteading projects, to watch the children, to gather together for celebrations. My ancestors often had several generations of family members included in their local clan. Nowadays, this isn’t always the case. People have children at older ages and journey away from their hometowns to make a life of their own (much like early pioneers!)

If you’re fortunate to have lots of family members or several generations of family in your life now … embrace it and count your blessings! Many of us live hundreds and thousands of miles away from that kind of support.

4 generations of the Watts family –
me with my dad, grandfather and great-grandmother

Family Celebrations

I remember large family gatherings growing up … we’d have close to 100 people at our house for a southern “family reunion”! I miss those celebrations and re-create them in my world now by inviting my friends to my home and cooking for them as often as I can. (I call these my “Family Dinners” with my extended “family of choice” … stay tuned for a post on this!)

How do you celebrate family?

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