A few weeks ago, Kevin and I loaded up the kids in the car and headed 30 km outside of Edmonton and about a century back in time to The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. The village is intended to represent how life looked for Ukrainian immigrants who moved to the Alberta prairies from 1892 to about 1930, but it's always struck me as feeling much, much older. (In fact, I can't help humming to myself the opening theme from Fiddler on the Roof every time we go.)
We sat in on a lesson at the village school, where, back in the day, kids would walk as far as 10 km—each way—to get an education. I cannot imagine Colin ever walking that far, for anything. In fact, after about the first 10 minutes, he declared himself "tired" and made us carry him around the park the rest of the day.
Then, Colin and Kevin got to slop the pigs. Actually, this was not part of the regular visit, but in chatting with one of the "farmer's wives," I noticed that her waste bucket was full, so I offered to have Colin "take out the trash" for her. Colin declared this "yucky and stinky" and made Kevin do the actual work. Then he was horrified by the pigs' table manners for climbing on top of each other and right into their trough in order to get some soggy cabbage. I tried explaining that they are pigs, after all, but he didn't think that should excuse them. City kids!
I find the houses of the period to be rather romantic, even if small and barebones.
Some are more barebones that others.
But they are colourfully decorated on the inside.
I forgot how muddy the past could be.
In the end, we had to go home after only a couple of hours because the boys were so "tired." (Let me remind you who was doing all the walking and carrying on this trip.) But the experience suggests that I should incorporate a little more of the past and of the farm experience into our daily lives, because, boy, did those kids sleep well on the way home!