As northerners reach the late winter months, we tend to get a little stir crazy. In the past people, would occupy their time by making things. For some of us, nothing has changed.
Throughout time, northern people have been in an ongoing challenge with winter boredom. Technology has made it possible to entertain ourselves, while some still embrace the tradition of winter crafts. Imagine what it would be like to have no electricity and none of our modern entertainment sources. You would find yourself so bored that something would have to give. In times before electricity and modern electronics, people would think of tools and projects that could be created inside and be used in the spring. The struggles of life were lessened by the creativity and skills of the back woods craftsmen.
Being a craftsmen and inventor of sorts, I can relate to the time-honored tradition of making your own tools. I can't relate to the struggle it was to survive as they did, though. I do occupy my time with winter projects, but have the added help of heat, lights, and electricity. While I work on projects for fun, our ancestors did it out of necessity. The lack of modernization caused people to be much better with their hands back then. Most modern people can't comprehend the time it takes to make the smallest of items by hand. The expedience of modern life has tainted us to the point that most would barely be able to sharpen a stick properly.
I enjoy walking in the path of our ancestors. I like working on projects that take weeks to complete. Call me weird or odd, but I enjoy embracing hard work and admiring a finished project. I'm not scared of blood, sweat, and tears, and like the feeling of sore hands at the end of a hard day’s work. I also understand that this is a choice I make, while our ancestors had no escape. You either made quilts, clothes, or knitted and cooked as a women in those days. These were the most common time killers for women from the past. Men would make knives, ax handles, yolks and harnesses for horses and oxen along with cooking utensils. This is after all the chores were completed of course. After the chores were done, there was much more time left to tinker.
I like to make knives, bows and arrows and spatulas. These items were commonly made by our ancestors in the dead of winter. I use modern machinery and the projects still seem to take forever...