Letters of a Woman Homesteader

Letters of a Woman HomesteaderThis is one of my favorite books of all time, and I have probably read it at least a dozen times This is the story of a person who followed her heart and worked incredibly hard the end result is that she built a life she loved Set in Wyoming at the start of the 20th century, Stewart a widowed single mother left the drudgery of taking in wash to work on a cattle ranch and prove up her own piece of land for homesteading She writes with wonderful droll humor and remarkable insight to the human condition To her dear friend, she says, When you think of me, you must think of my as one who is truly happy It is true I want a great many things I haven t got, but I don t want them enough to be discontented and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine.Do you wonder I am so happy When I think of it all, I wonder how I can crowd all my joy into one short life How many of us can say the same I have fallen in love with Elinore Pruitt Stuart For one thing, she s witty and kind For another, I love her philosophy of scaring off troubles with a belly laugh She s a keen observer of people and loves and can describe natural beauty She is independent, curious, loyal, likes to eat, is kind to children and animals, is not afraid of hard work, is open minded, and is honest enough to laugh at herself when she is wrong She seems to have made friends easily, which is natural probably for someone who is a cheerful, sympathetic listener, rejoices in the joys of others, and enjoys work At a hotel where she happens to be staying once night with her young daughter, she meets an older male acquaintance who is meeting his fianc e of twenty five years who he hasn t seen in as long On finding out that she is going to be married on arrival but that no preparations have been made, Pruitt invites herself to the wedding meal In the course of decorating a partially built room, arranging a feast, and seeking hot water for the dusty bride s toilette, she ends up helping in the kitchen of the hotel because the landlady doesn t have enough help and a full house She loses track of the time because she s having so much fun The woman is not perfect, nor are these perfect times, by any means, but it s an interesting picture of Wyoming society around 1910 At one point, Pruitt goes to a Mormon community and has a bunch of questions all ready for the bishop , but he is away She and a friend end up staying at his second wife s home and being unable to bring herself to ask the questions because she has such pity for wife s situation The woman does talk about her husband and gives details of her domestic arrangements on the instigation of Pruitt s friend That she s not partial to Mormonism doesn t bother me She s open about her opinions and is frankly interested in the phenomenon It s a difference in belief She is however horribly patronizing to and about negroes When she sees a black man on a train she guess he expects to be called mister and says that she d learned after migrating to Wyoming from the South she could no longer call black people uncle and auntie as she had been used to do It s disappointing how racist some of my homesteading heroines are Laura Ingalls Wilder is also not free of prejudice and ignorance, though hers is directed toward native Americans In the back of my mind while reading this was the thought that the holy homestead act that gave white women like Pruitt such opportunity for independence was destructive of native cultures as well contributing significantly to the environmental disasters of the dust bowl and extermination of the bison So there s that But Elinore is some good company.Side note I had heard that this book was the basis inspiration for the movie 1979 film Heartland I loved that movie, but I remember it being a bit bleaker than I found the book I ll be interested to see it again. Fallen trees were everywhere and we had to avoid the branches, which was powerful hard to do Besides, it was quite dusky among the trees long before night, but it was all so grand and awe inspiring Occasionally there was an opening through which we could see the snowy peaks, seemingly just beyond us, toward which we were headed.But when you get among such grandeur you get to feel how little you are and how foolish is human endeavor, except that which reunites us with the mighty force called god I was plumb uncomfortable, because all my own efforts have always been just to make the best of everything and to take things as they come One of my friends sent me her worn out copy of this book as a loaner, because she believed it was such a great book When it arrived it was so worn out from so many hands reading it I loved it, so I suggested it for our book group and read it again.What makes this story so good First, it is a true story written in the very early 1900s by a woman who had lost her husband and had then taken on a job as a housekeeper for a rancher in Wyoming Along with the job, she had purchased land next to her new boss, intending to homestead it She then began writing eloquent letters to her former boss, letters that were filled with adventure, as well as her life on the ranch.What makes this story so good is the fact that she didn t talk about mundane things, instead she had adventures, but a few things are mundane, like talking about the food they are eating, no so mundane to me I knew that I would have had to develop a taste for venision, for example, but some of the meals were really good.Then there is a story of her taking her young daughter on a camping trip when she knew that it could snow They spent the night 30 miles from home, sleeping under a tree whose branches came to the ground The idea was squeeze between the branches, blocking out access to wild animals like bears or cougars Good luck, especially since she had built a campfire and was cooking their dinner, which could have attracted bears When they woke up the next morning snow had covered the ground This is when I began questioning her common sense, but then people have questioned my own over the years when I was on my own adventures So now they had to find their way home A 30 mile rope connected to her home would have been a good idea Ha Books like this remind me of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder or Thirty Six Hours of Hell by E.N Coones And right now I am thinking of the 100 degree windchill factor in New Hampshire and wondering how people and their livestock are surviving, and then wondering how they would keep their homes warm Other stories in this book were just not fascinating but caring as well Taking food to a starving family, and then on Christmas taking food to the sheepherders in the area, which would make this a good Christmas book So, if you get a chance check this book out as well as the other two that I have mentioned. Of course I rate this book a five because my great grandmother wrote it and I can relate to it because of my grandmother s stories about growing up However, if I was not related, I would still love this book because it is very similar in style to Jack London s prose It has historical and sentimental value. Un libro precioso y sencillo sobre una mujer fuerte, valiente, optimista, y amante de la naturaleza.Es un libro que huele a empoderamiento, pino y a bollitos calientes Una delicia. No tengo palabras para describir lo que he disfrutado leyendo este libro Me ha resultado delicioso.Las cartas escritas por Elinore hace tantos a os, te trasladan a una poca perdida, a una forma de vida en contacto con la naturaleza, de solidaridad entre vecinos y de amistades para toda la vida.Y tambi n transmiten fuerza y vivacidad Fuerza de una mujer que escap de los estereotipos de su poca, y que decidi tomar las riendas de su vida e irse a una nueva tierra para empezar de nuevo con su hija y con su propia hacienda.Vivacidad al leer como no ten a ning n problema en irse a la monta a para acampar bajo las estrellas y disfrutar de la naturaleza, o recorrer millas para ayudar a una familia necesitada.Creo que seguir con el siguiente libro de cartas, para poder disfrutar de sus experiencias en medio de las monta as de Wyoming. Right now the Kindle version if free at. Me ha gustado mucho, hay cartas que se hacen algo pesadas, pero las descripciones, las aventuras que narra y sobre todo el car cter de la autora es una maravilla, est plagada de positivismo y alegr a Da gusto encontrarse personajes as. Peopled With The Kinds Of Characters Most Novelists Only Dream Of Christian Science Monitor , This Classic Account Of American Frontier Living Captures The Rambunctious Spirit Of A Pioneer Who Set Out In To Prove That A Woman Could Ranch Stewart S Captivating Missives From Her Homestead In Wyoming Bring To Full Life The Beauty, Isolation, And Joys Of Working The Prairie

Elinore Pruitt Stewart born Elinore Pruitt June 3, 1876 October 8, 1933 was a homesteader in Wyoming, and a memoirist who between 1909 and 1914 wrote letters describing her life there to a former employer in Denver, Colorado Those letters, which reveal an adventurous, capable, and resourceful woman of lively intelligence, were published in two collections in 1914 and 1915 The first of those

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  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • Letters of a Woman Homesteader
  • Elinore Pruitt Stewart
  • English
  • 26 December 2019
  • 9780395911518

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