“Q-tips and tissues” was the ready answer from Mike Holcomb, patriarch of our most recent “Pioneer Family,” when asked what he missed most during his stay here. Mike, his wife Carrie, and their three children (Audrey, Zach, and Natalie) spent the weekend of June 8-10 on site in the Hetchler House as the latest participants of the Pioneer House Experience. They slept, ate, worked and played together like pioneers in the early nineteenth century Genesee Country. What they were hoping to get out of the event was “a truer sense of where we come from, a deeper gratitude for what we have, [and] a greater appreciation for the little things.” They profess that they were not disappointed, and it was a great experience for them as a family and fulfilled all the expectations they had when they signed up to spend the weekend at the log house on the pioneer farmstead.
The kids, too, rolled up their sleeves and took action just as openly as their parents. In fact, the whole weekend was Audrey’s birthday wish! She had her birthday during the visit, and said that being able to spend it at the Pioneer House Experience would, “the best birthday ever!!” She asked for vinegar pie to be made, and she really liked it! Zach and Natalie didn’t care for it, but sampled it with a true pioneer spirit. Zach also celebrated his birthday while here, and though he didn’t exactly share his sister’s birthday wish, he was very excited to share the experience with his family, and made some new, wooly, feathered, and hooved friends while here. When asked what he would miss the most about staying here, his answer was the sheep. He and Audrey made each other birthday gifts, and shared the chores, helping Mom & Dad make sure everything got done. Not to be left out, little Natalie, made herself right at home, enjoying a doll her mother made her right on the spot.
The family agreed that what they liked best about the experience was the peace and quiet of the evenings, and trying new things. They left still feeling excited about the educational value of the weekend, and in their own words “What better way to learn about history than to live it?”