Elizabeth gets up at the crack of dawn as well. She has my breakfast ready for me before I leave. After that, her day is full. There's the vegetable garden to tend, clothing to wash, bread to bake for tomorrow, cloth to weave, and a house to keep clean. Rebecca and Samuel help her by tending to the animals (we have some pigs, a cow, some chickens, and a couple sheep), and doing other chores. Mathew usually works in the fields with me. He's learning to be a farmer so he can support his own family some day. When Samuel is about 10, he'll come to the fields to work too. Until then, Samuel attends school at the village church to learn some prayers and songs, and how to do a bit of math.
Peasants worked long hours every day, rain or shine, to ensure that their families had enough to eat. Most peasants were farmers, although a few were millers, blacksmiths, and tavern owners. Peasant farmers were the backbone of medieval society. They worked land leased to them by wealthier land holders in the nobility. The farmers produced all of the food, and paid most of the taxes. Their lives weren't all hard work though. They had feasts on holidays, and celebrated births and marriages. They rested each Sabbath day and attended church. [continues]
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