Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wandering: Old Farmsteads in Bavaria

Right on the southwest border of Germany, in Bavaria, there's an open-air museum or Freilichtmuseum that exhibits several old Bavarian farmsteads, some dating back as far as the 16th century.  At the time I was visiting I had already spent two rain-drenched days with my friends touring around Salzburg and other sites nearby: we were cold, miserable, and water-logged.  An "open air" museum was about the last thing I wanted to see in the misty drizzle.  Thank goodness, then, that we were given free rein to explore inside all the quaint farmhouses and workshops.

We all squealed when we saw these feather beds upstairs in one old house.  How sweet!  How simple life was!  How Little-House-on-the-Prairie and Anne-of-Green-Gables!  But then one catches a glimpse of a chamber pot in the bedroom corner.  Oh.  Hmm.

I can't imagine working with this stove.  I just don't have the strength to stoke 
the fire and manage those heavy iron pots, day after day after day.

This seems a bit more manageable.

But the work is never done: these rags must be ripped into strips, sewn together, and wound.

Then they're woven on this enormous loom to become floor mats.

 Wool must be carded and combed, then spun and knit!

Then there are plants to sow, weed, water, and harvest...

Fruit to be canned and pickled, wines to be fermented and stored.

I say I would love to do all these things... but only as hobbies.  I don't think I could bear the physical weariness I would feel if I had to do them, day in, day out.  And without central heating!  No, I suppose I prefer the life I lead, in which I only dabble in these things, then return to my books and writing.  But who know what may happen someday?  Maybe I'll turn farmwife...

2 comments:

fridica said...

I completely agree with you! It's all fine and dandy when you're doing it cause you want to, but having to do it day in day out is a completely different matter...

Marianevans said...

Still, given *some* conveniences (like running water) I wonder if I couldn't get to enjoy such a lifestyle...