Today’s word prompt is SETTLE.
Settle immediately brought to mind the American pioneers of the 1840s and later, forever moving west in search of richer land and a better life.
The American pioneers have fascinated me since first reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books as a child.
Thanks to Laura, I feel confident I could build a log cabin from scratch. Well, so long as I had a strong man with an axe to help! Pa and Ma were pretty amazing as they worked together to build the log walls for their house – this with three girls under the age of about six on the open prairie. How awful when a log fell and injured Ma’s foot. There was no doctor anywhere near, no A&E. Just water heated over a camp fire and rags to bind it up.
Then there was the long winter when their tiny town was cut off on the frozen prairie for seven long months. Blizzard followed blizzard with an occasional short break when hay and wood could be hauled in for animal feed and warmth.
Laura’s family, indeed the whole town, was in imminent danger of starvation when two young men bravely offered to find a settler several miles from town who was rumoured to have seed wheat. With no roads or map, they set off on their desperate adventure across the silent frozen prairie, praying they could beat the blizzards.
Laura’s stories of her childhood and early years as young wife have always inspired me. Especially when life has been difficult.
Adi was made redundant a few years ago and work (and consequently money) was scarce. In the midst of all the worry of ‘will we lose the house?’ and ‘how are we going to pay this bill?’ I took heart from the fact that no matter how bad it was for Laura and her family, they always won through.
So settle is in memory of those early pioneers of the American West. And also in honour of the Native Americans who lost their homes and way of life in the process.