Sometimes, while having conversations with my kids about how easy they have it, thanks—mostly—to technology, I worry that they just don’t get it. It doesn’t always sink in that we can get places quickly because of our car, we can eat things quickly because of our microwave and we can find out information immediately because of our computer. I have tried to have them watch Little House on the Prairie or Road to Avonlea, but even then, the way people used to live is somewhat lost on them.
And then I had an epiphany of sorts. If I can’t explain how it used to be, maybe I could show them. I looked into different options and stumbled upon Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto (a quick Google search tells me that there are many places like these all over Canada). People dressed as pioneers showed my children exactly how Canadians used to live. The doctor’s office, the school, the post office. They got to see how everything was handmade—clothing, food, shoes and even lanterns.
My kids soon realized that pioneer life was very, very different. They got to—literally—have a taste of what it was like to have to work hard for your dinner (you know, butter made by hand really does taste sweeter). And I think, if only just for a moment, they learned to appreciate how easy it is to be able to just open the fridge and grab the stick of butter instead of having to churn it themselves. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, if you ask me.
—Ali, senior associate editor of CF.ca