I wrote recently about all of the interesting titles of books written by or about women pioneers, those brave souls who journeyed into the unknown west from the all-knowing east. They led ordinary lives filled with extraordinary challenges — starvation, lack of permanent shelter, lack of water, lack of money, wars with native tribes, wild animals, etc. Most of the titles of these books reflect this peril in some way, and most of them end with the narrator’s triumph and arrival at her western destination. After settling in the west, many of these pioneer women wrote books of poetry — Poetry of the Pacific, Souvenir of California, and The California Pioneer, to name a few — extolling the beauty and the virtues of their newfound home.
What I’ve never seen — and I wonder if it even exists — is a book by or about a pioneer woman titled something like this:
Should Have Stayed Home
While I’ve found numerous books describing hardship, I’ve never seen one where the author wishes she had never left home in the first place. Have you? Why is that, do you think? I know if I were a pioneer woman, I’d certainly have been wishing to be back in Boston or wherever I came from at the first sign of a busted wagon wheel, drifting snow, or a day without food. I can’t find any woman from the time who felt that way. Perhaps those like me actually did stay home. Perhaps those of us living with modern conveniences are not as tough as those hardy souls who hunted and grew their own food, made their own clothes, and birthed and often buried their own children. What do you think?