Life as a Pioneer Woman

 Have you ever been just sitting there, minding your own business…reading a biography about Daniel Boone let’s say… and then all of the sudden you find yourself living the lifestyle you’ve been reading about?  Well, I have. It happened last Thursday.It would have been a perfectly normal Thursday had our boiler not completely broken the night before. It’s January. It’s finally acting like January at that. And it had been raining heavily for about four days. So, there I was cuddled up under many blankets snuggling with my dog, reading the Daniel Boone biography I got for Christmas when I got a phone call from my landlord that he was having a truckload of wood sent over for us to use in our fireplace to get some heat going in our house.  Elated, I went to clear some room for them to dump it in our garage shed.Well, along came a pick up truck filled with wood. Out stepped a good ole boy.  He was very pleasant and friendly.  He spoke in a drawl more backwoods than my Western North Carolina good ole boys as he greeted me and told me that the wood was wet because it had been sitting out in the rain for four days in that pick up truck.  (They do know about tarps, right?)  I responded by telling him the whole reason we needed the wood was because we had zero heat due to our busted boiler. He responded by telling me that there was no way that wood was going to burn and maybe he could convince his boss to let me have a load of dry wood.  I suggested that they dump half of the wet wood and come back with half a load of dry wood to save on cost for them. But he insisted on leaving it because I might want some more fires even after the boiler was fixed. Gratefully, I explained that we were going to put the wood in the garage. He said that sounded like a great place to put it.  I thought we were jiving. They were backed up all the way to the garage…I thought. They lifted the bed of the truck to dump it and boom boom boom… it fell…right…in front of the garage. Not IN the garage as I thought we both understood, but IN FRONT of the garage.I stood there completely stunned.  I could not believe what just happened. It was supposed to start raining again soon and then snow the next day. My husband was at work.   My good ole boy friend said, “Well, you go on ahead and stack all that wood and we’ll be back in a little bit with some dry wood. If you’re not done by then, maybe we’ll help you.” I squeaked out an OK. Before he pulled out, he said, “Hey, Emily, here are some gloves you can use.” They pulled off and I stood there on the verge of tears with a huge task ahead of me that I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get accomplished in such a small amount of time BY MYSELF…after having just recovered from the flu, bronchitis, and not even totally healed from surgery on my arm to remove a pre-melanoma. I felt so weak and totally overwhelmed by the job ahead of me.  But, I started picking up the logs and piling them up.  I was so mad. I mean really mad.  I took out my aggression on those logs as I stacked away.  Then a few minutes into the job, I started laughing out loud. Here I was living the life that Daniel Boone and his family experienced, which I had only read about.  I felt like a cross between his wife, Rebecca Boone, and Laura Ingles Wilder.  The whole situation was suddenly very humorous to me.In the meantime, the heating company representative had come and was inside the house checking each radiator box to work up an estimate for our Landlord. Then my good ole boys came back. The guys backed the pickup truck into the driveway again. My pal that gave me the gloves got out with a smile on his face. As tactfully as I could, I asked, “Do you guys think that maybe this time we could try to dump the logs INSIDE of the garage? Would that be possible?”  “Yeah, I don’t see no problem with that,” he responded. (Why did it click this time but not before?)  So, they dumped it right in there and all was well. UNTIL. The guy driving the truck solemnly said to me, “Someone just went in your house.” I had left the main front door open with the glass door shut when I let the heating company guy in. I was horrified. I could hear our dog barking. Remembering that was what the heating guy was wearing, I asked the driver if he had on khaki pants.  With eyes wide, he said, “No, he had on blue pants like me.” I begged them to stay until I got back. I rushed in the house with my heart pounding and the dog still barking. I found the heating man and asked if someone came in. To my relief, he said it was just the postman sticking the mail inside the door.  Whew. What the Boones and the Ingles must have experienced in the way of fear of intruders…I got a glimpse of just then.  I had to protect my homestead while my husband was off “hunting in the woods” if you will. Thankfully, we were alright.

After they all left, I started grabbing armloads of wood, carrying them inside until I got two nice large stacks on either side of the fireplace and for the first time in my life, I lit an indoor wood burning fire.  I sat down and giggled to myself over what a day I had encountered.  Life in the back mountain woods of North Carolina, on the prairies, and even in the city of Lynchburg, VA can bring some interesting life and survival experiences to say the least.

You know, sometimes, I’ll be reading passages of scripture, minding my own business, when God spontaneously gives me an opportunity to live those passages out just as impromptu as I had the occasion to live out part of the Boone family’s life of which I was reading. I think that sometimes God, in His sovereignty, lines up what we are learning in Scripture and with moments He presents to not just be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word.

Even though I think I’ve learned my lesson about putting my faith into action and putting His Word into action this week, He still has me living as a Pioneer Woman.  I lug in loads of wood by myself every day and build fires. I’m considering what vegetables I’m going to plant in my garden this spring. And yesterday, my dog brought me over to a squirrel that had frozen to death in our yard because yes, it is THAT cold outside.  I guess I’m going to have to pick up a few more traits from the Boones if I’m going to figure out how to skin that thing and turn it into a stew. (JUST kidding. Although, my mom did have road kill squirrel that the morning of her wedding that my Great Grandma cooked up for her. Mountain folk. That’s in my blood. Not gonna be in my belly, though.)

Let’s live this verse out, friends…

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says.”

James 1:22

Off to see what pioneer adventures I’m in for today…



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