Around here, a person doesn't have to look far to find a reminder of the hard work involved in homesteading this country and the progress that has been made since then.
In my case, I simply have to walk out my front door and go down a slight slope that veers off to the right.
A root cellar was an essential component of a homestead. When we first moved here 12 years ago, we found this one stocked with canned vegetables and a couple dozen snakes.
Through the years, my husband has painstakingly cleaned out most of its contents, including the snakes.
He tells me that this cellar once had three doors, which provided excellent protection from heat and cold fluctuations. Now it only has two doors, but it is still quite functional.
I'm not quite as ambitious as the previous generations of women who lived here. We eat or freeze most of the garden produce, and the shelves of the root cellar now hold empty jars.
Since this area has experienced several tornadoes in the past few years and we don't have a basement, the root cellar provides a viable escape option for us.
It's much more appealing now that the snakes have vacated the premesis, and it is now equipped with a radio and lantern for the comfort of the occupants.
This is why we don't have a basement; digging through rocks like this would have been quite a task.
Every time I look at the combination of rock and logs that comprise this structure, I am in awe of the hard work it took to create it.
It sure makes me feel silly about complaining when I have to clean out the refrigerator.