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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Modern Pioneering

'Modern Pioneering.'  Catchy, huh?  It has an air of urban homesteading about it, don't you think?  Like it would be nothing at all to go outside in your homespun Capris, pluck some organic eggs from under your free range hens and then whip them up into Eggs Benedict, or a frittata, or even a soufflé!

I made up the term. . .at least I think I did.  I don't remember reading it anywhere, though it's certainly possible.  I read a lot.  But, for the purpose of this blog, I definitely made it up.  No question about it.  And that means I get to define it!

Modern Pioneering is a sleek hybrid, melding all the best bits of yesterday and today in one glossy, uber cool package.  You want to be a Modern Pioneer.  It oozes charm and sophistication.

It's embracing self-reliance, pushing boundaries, and the do-it-yourselfness of crafting your own world: through food, schooling, frugality, adventurousness, and carving your own life out of your surroundings.

There isn't a right or wrong way to be a Modern Pioneer.  If you live in Manhattan, wear designer clothes, attend all the 'it' parties, but come back to your apartment to indulge in a light mint tea from herbs you've grown in your window, you are one of us!!

Or, if you homeschool your 5.2 children from curriculum you've written as you sit on hand made wooden benches eating strips of jerky and jars of canned huckleberries in the middle of your very own yurt. . .you're one of us, too!

Most of us will lie somewhere in the middle. . .picking bits and pieces of the prairie mindset to incorporate into your modern life.  That's okay.  Truly.

I'm like that.  I can fruits and pickles and jams and love to smoke foods (garlic, salt, meats, fish, etc.). I make my own laundry soap and love to cook from scratch on my woodstove.  I'm homeschooling one of my four kids and enjoy felling trees on our little parcel of mountainous acres.  I love to camp and I prefer mucking about with my family to 'getting away from it all' in exotic locations.

But I also like using Facebook, drinking iced green tea from Starbucks, and sleeping on my memory foam mattress.  I drive a Suburban, have a love affair going with my iPhone, and get snooty when it comes to deciding which parts of an animal are edible.

Some people might call my lifestyle positively primitive, while others would consider me a homesteading sell out.  I'm okay with that.   A Modern Pioneer, like our historical predecessors, knows that we've got to make our own way in this world.  We need to figure out what is negotiable and what is not.  We need to find a way to blend progress and technology into our lives without sacrificing what we really believe is valuable:  Family, God, Friendship, Country.

If I can do that, I'm satisfied.

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