Martha's World

Martha's World
Alberta is the setting for Martha's Vine

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How did the pioneers do it?

Today's forecast for Edmonton is very moderate...almost tropical at -1C. (That's about 30F for my American friends). But the coldest temperatures recorded for this day was -43C back in the 1800s (that's 45 below in Fahrenheit.) Yikes. How did the pioneers survive? No modern conveniences. No quick warm-ups at the nearest coffee shop. No idling and running the heater on the horse and carriage. No electric buffalo blankets. Gross. How did they do it?

Makes me stop and wonder at the prospect of Martha's world truly existing. What if the power grid disappeared? How does one cope with wickedly cold winter temperatures? The pioneers did it, but how? How would the modern day descendants of those brave souls survive such cruel temperatures? Is there something inside us, something intrinsic, we could or would tap into? Scary thought.

Just getting through a day, and managing to get a night's rest would be a major accomplishment. How dramatically priorities would change. Food, water, shelter, warmth, and protection from those who would like to take what you have struggled to find would far outrank American Idol, hockey scores, and the latest camera gadget. Not a nice prospect at all. 

Back to writing on the Vine2 today. Things are not looking good for Martha and her people. And it's only October for them.


Here is a view of what -40C looks like in northern Alberta.

1 comment:

  1. That is a very good question Sheree. I often watch historical movies and I wonder how did they survive without clean water, heat, air conditioning if you live in my part of the world. I do know that during the Great Depression in the U.S. the average life span was 49 years...something to consider. There were older people but with an average life span that is so low, this is probably what would happen during a failure of the power grid. With no modern medicine or facilities, it would be those that live on the minimum of modern comforts that will survive...just a thought.


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