10.21.2009

Postcard From a Different Era

wish i were here

This scene really stole my heart last week when we visited Gold Days in Coloma. A woman's tent in a prospector's camp, circa 1849. A quilt. A sunhat. A canvas roof. A knitting bag. Who could ask for anything more? asks the woman from a family home in a suburban neighborhood, circa 2009.

She probably wanted a lot more. A permanent home, preferably with a solid wood floor. A stocked pantry. A garden. A larger bed and a good man to share it. A less cumbersome dress. A decent wage. A say.

I reel in a world of abundance, craving simplicity. This woman knew simplicity well, and likely craved more. Yet give us two women from two different worlds an afternoon together, I imagine we'd hike down to the edge of the river, spread a blanket and sit down to knit, and probably find a world in common.

35 comments:

  1. Love that photo. Such a peaceful scene. It's what we women, circa 2009, would consider 'getting away from it all.' Funny ~ the grass is always greener on the other side yet as you pointed out, women from any era can find a common thread.

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  2. oh, molly. you are so right.
    and so good.

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  3. Loving this. I often say I wish I loved in the "old days" but I also don't want to be without my modern conveniences. So I'll be content with simplifying my life. That seems like a good compromise.

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  4. I like Jenny's comment. I agree. Compromise is good.

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  5. so true.

    beautiful.
    and that quilt? swoon!

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  6. great photo. I wish I could quilt like that!

    I would miss indoor plumbing....and a/c...i guess i am spoiled!
    also, i <3 my toyota!
    ~Karen

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  7. That photo is full of abundance in it's simplicity. I love the tie that binds women together, no matter what our differences may be.

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  8. Love the simpilicity of this. I long to "unplug" sometimes... think that would be so fullfilling.

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  9. What a lovely photograph. I agree with Nancy... the grass is greener... and Jenny's idea of compromise hits the nail on the head! thanks for sharing.

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  10. Beautiful thoughts! There can always be found a common ground.

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  11. Here, here-I completely agree!

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  12. Beautiful photo Molly, and your insight is so right on!
    Hope you guys are well!
    xo

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  13. omg. i LOVE this. Both the photo and the story. Can I share it and link on my blog?

    mia

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  14. beautiful sentiments molly!
    i loved reading the connection in your ending!

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  15. I saw a sign today that said, "Happiness is between too little and too much," which is exactly what you were saying too.

    cheers!

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  16. I would love to have a visit with her too... thank you for that food for thought.

    - annri

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  17. I love your mind and heart and how you weave your words into poetry that doesn't leave me when I turn away from the screen.

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  18. I really couldn't ask for anything more besides good health, family, and friends. I love this scene (and living history!).

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  19. This really speaks to my heart today. Thank you.

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  20. so much in common and probablly so many lessons could be shared between you, poignant and beautiful today, molly.

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  21. Great post! I'm one of those people that believes the lives of woman are connected through time especially woman who continue to practice the art of home keeping, and I think if a group of women from times past met up with a community of blogging women that it would be exactly as you say!

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  22. Dang, that's glorious.

    Let's go sit by the edge of a river and knit together, and pretend our lives are simple. Oh wait, the logistics of that are too complicated.

    Well, chasing kids through a pumpkin patch will have to do. :-)

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  23. I love this post.
    We are avid history buffs and those are always my exact thoughts when I pass through those times.
    We spent part of summer vacation in and around Coloma. Love it!

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  24. Would love to join you, knitting by the water. :)

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  25. So beautifully said.... I often find myself swimming in my abundance, overwhelmed, feeling isolated. Can it be that having too much can be as unsatisfying as having not much at all? Why is it in this land of plenty, electronic connection abound, yet as women we can feel more loenly and hungry for substance than ever before? I think the call of a simple life appeals to so many of us.... Just the thought of sitting quietly and communing with another woman for a few moments of unhurried knitting sounds divine.... How do we take the hurry and scurry from our lives and replace it with the deep connections, quiet moments, and meaningful living? If you get a handle on this, bottle it for the rest of us still yearning....

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  26. This is a great post!

    When you get a chance, I have a question about your potato leek soup recipe but I don't have your email anymore. Our computer crashed and won't even boot. We have another computer that only works in safe mode so here I am leaving a comment. I can get email from the web in safe mode.

    You mentioned cutting out the cream and half and half in your soup recipe. I am thinking of making this for my mom's birthday and was wondering if you have made it the original way and liked it - and just make a more healthy version for everyday.

    I was wondering about making a more decadent version for her birthday or doing it the way you do it. Sorry to leave all this here. Safe Mode stinks but I am thankful for it at this point.

    Thanks - C

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  27. so well put.
    we often find myself wanting to simplify step back, this does look so serene and yes you would find you do have so much in common i am sure and she would be fascinated by your world of now and smile at how far you had come.

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  28. Beautiful photo! My knitting basket looks like it has exploded. Books, needles, unfinished projects. So much for simple... sigh...

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  29. Molly I think it's a beautiful picture but I also think it's not right to idealize a world of repression towards women. It wasnt SO perfect back then.

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  30. thank you lucia - i believe i touched on that quite clearly, though not in great detail, in my post.

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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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