Those of us growing up in the 1930-1950 era will appreciate Jewel Beck Lansing's experiences as related in My Montana: A History and Memoir, 1930-1950. You needn't have grown up in rural Montana to appreciate them either - many western and mid-west farms and ranches shared the same lifestyle.
No running water, no electricity except by generator; hand-cranked wall telephones and party lines; water wells that needed priming before pumping, country dances. And those WWII years of food/gasoline/rubber/shoe rationing; the theoretical 35 mph national speed limit; collecting magazines, papers, tinfoil, metal for the war effort; candy bar shortages; young men leaving for the armed forces, some never to return.
Difficult days? Yes, but the challenges were met with ingenuity, cooperation, camaraderie and humor.