We take a little field trip. The weather is fine and we take ourselves to the little outdoor historical village in the park out behind city hall where the children’s museum is. There is an old train car, next to the old train station and inside it has a little model train track that shows all the landmarks and places where it once visited. They follow it around, and around, and around, tripping, sometimes falling, they bounce back up, never letting the train out of site.

We visit the little house, it may be two stories with a porch, but the square footage is only slightly larger than our two bedroom apartment. Maybe not even, the three bedrooms are smaller than ours. We peer into the kitchen, with the little wood stove in the corner, where all the cooking was done. Rather than consider the hardship of living without electricity or running water we are amazed at the ingenuity. Small metal gadgets and gears, hand cranked whipped cream and sausage grinders and apple peelers. All of it run by hand power. Even the organ required constant pumping, a workout all by itself. There is the windmill operated pump to draw water into the kitchen from the well. We are fascinated.

The Girl only wants to look at pictures of horses. The Boy only wants pictures of trains. We stop to visit the blacksmith. He demonstrates a branding iron on a piece of wood. They get to carry branded pieces of wood home.

We look at everything, and then go to the library, and the Farmer’s market. I tell them I can’t buy them treats this time. I have no cash. The Boy is fine with that, so is the Girl after I tell her why more than 50 times. We will pretend that we lived 200 years ago. We will go home and make our own kettle corn in a pot over a hot stove. We will be grateful that only sometimes do we have to wash the laundry by hand and hang it to dry. We will enjoy the time it gives us together. We will bake our own bread when we run out, and make our own muffins and treats. And we will be glad when Daddy gets paid and we only need to do things like we lived 200 years ago sometimes, when we can’t afford to do otherwise. And we are thankful that it is still possible to live comfortably with a little bit of ingenuity, and a whole lot of counting our blessings.

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