Frontier Winter

Well, we just survived the first (perhaps of several) major winter storm. To boot, we’re dealing with some pretty low temperatures. I imagine everyone has comments about the experience, maybe even a few gripes. But, we got through it.

We huddled in our insulated homes with gas furnaces that spread warmth throughout. Many went to work to similarly equipped buildings. Likely, our snow removal tools were gas-fed machines or, maybe, an electric shovel. We traveled between banks of snow our community DPW pushed aside, and probably complained a bit when the heater took too long to heat.

Today, someone I spoke to, wondered out loud what this storm might have been like for Western New York people who lived in the early 1800’s. Not so much city dwellers, as those whose homes were located in the tree-filled hills and valleys of the frontier.

In House with a Heart, Michael and Sarah raised their family in a simple plank structure with no insulation. A hearth, the same that Sarah used to prepare family meals, was their only source of heat. The piercing winter wind met up with escaping heat rays in a war of wills where planks were not quite tight enough. Michael hitched his team to travel to town and plowed through drifts in an open wagon with only a blanket for warmth. After a cougar slaughtered one of his heifers, he strapped on snowshoes to track it down before it came back for dinner.

Now would be a good time to pick up your copy of House with a Heart and make believe it was you who moved to the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains and built a successful farm in 1850. Let your imagination take you back to what that life was like . . . way back when.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own adventures we forget that learning about those who went before us can be enlightening and fun. The stories of long ago – HISTORY – are more than kingdoms and conquerors and governments.

Did you know the book is available in Rochester (Mood Makers Books), Webster (Yesterday’s Muse), Brockport (Lift Bridge Books), Springville (The Mercantile), Ellicottville (AmeriCan) AND Sheridan, Wyoming (Sheridan Stationary)? Of course, it can also be ordered from

Be sure to tell your friends; MAYBE share it on Facebook or Linkedin . It would be fun for them, too

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