I wonder what the Moon family talked about in that tiny little cabin, when they were all trapped inside during an icy cold winter? Did they have to store up words during the spring and summer, like they would potatoes, onions, and squash? Did they file away topics-to-be-discussed during the busy months outside, just for those long February days when they were so tired of seeing each others' faces they could barely stand it?
They must have gotten intensely irritated with one another, living at such close quarters. Hearing each little grunt, moan, heavy-breathing-while-eating moment. Watching one another complete daily routines over and over without distraction must have been maddening at times.
We spend a lot of time inside during the winter here too, here in this tiny little house. We don't have a TV. But we have a computer, and we also work outside of the house a few days a week. We have a comfortably heated car that can transport us places that are comfortably heated, like the library. So, we can escape one another easily, when we feel like we need to see something different for awhile.
Maybe they didn't annoy each other at all. Maybe it didn't occur to them to be annoyed by little things. Or they didn't allow themselves to get annoyed because they were trapped, and needed to make it through a long winter with sanity intact and relationships healthy. I wish I could answer these questions. I wish I could talk to Luella Moon.
I miss my grandma. Being on the Homestead makes me wish I would have spent more time with her, asking her questions about her childhood and so on. She was a farmer, seamstress, water-color painter, wife, mother, cook, and so much more. Thinking of Luella makes me think of my grandmother.
The Moon cabin was the original structure, a "frame house", 12 by 24 feet, built by the Moon family when they first started their homesteading venture in 1889. It was a temporary residence while they built the farmhouse. And, although they probably built the bigger farmhouse soon after, they did likely have to endure at least one winter in that tiny cabin. A five-person family in a 12 by 24 foot room! We are lucky to live in our 770 square foot cabin. I will try to remember that come February, when I'm ready to chew off my own arm.
The Moons and their extended family lived on the Homestead for about 18 years, before selling to the Randolph's in 1907. So much of what we see here on the Homestead today is left from the Randolphs, who resided here from 1907-1996.
I'm starting to get slightly panicky as the weather gets gradually cooler. Winter is closer, and soon I will be worried about freezing pipes, frozen roads, cabin-fevered kids, and irritation levels. But for now, I'm going to go ahead and enjoy the end of summer and beginning of fall.