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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glad I Don't Live in the Good Ol' Days

I like a good historic romance novel. . . occasionally. But some people I know read nothing but. I think they think, wouldn't it be great to have lived in such simple times?
Have they ever stopped to think what the good old times didn't have that we now take for granted?
Take refrigeration: How would you like to have to wait for the ice delivery man to bring you your hunk of ice?
And talk about food: how much could you actually fit into those ice boxes?
You couldn't run on down to the supermarket and stock up on 20  one-pound packages of ground round. Where would you store them?
There were no packaged convenience foods in those little general stores. No frozen juice, no processed chickens or turkeys (you had to kill your own!), no pre-packaged turkey stuffing, no plastic wrap, no baking foil, etc.
Your stove required great care and skill to operate. No convection ovens, no microwaves.
How about plumbing: Indoor toilets are a pretty new invention. How would you like to either traipse outside in the dark and cold to an outhouse, or use a small receptacle that you or the maid (if you were lucky enough to have one) would have to empty in the morning? Not!

How about transportation? Some of you horsey people know how much work it is to feed, groom, train, and shelter your mode of transportation. Not to mention mucking out the stall each day, or arranging for the farrier to shoe your horse.
Do you know how much time and effort it takes to attach the horse to the carriage? How would you like to wait an hour for all that to happen, then walk out into twenty-degree weather and sit in an unheated vehicle as the horse plods along at less than ten miles an hour?

Now let's mention medicine and painkillers. Anesthesia was in its infancy in the nineteenth century. Obstetric care was till in the dark ages. If my first child had been born during those times, we'd both be dead and my second and third child never would have happened.
Wash day took all day. All the women folk got in on the exercise. And it was exercise.
Now imagine doing all that housework in uncomfortable shoes, corsets, in scratchy wool clothing?
And no air conditioning or central heating.
Women grew old quickly, and most died before or slightly after menopause.
My grandmother grew up on a farm in Iowa. She used to put heated bricks under her bed covers to warm her bed before she climbed in on a frigid winter night. When she woke up, the water in her wash basin would be frozen.
No TV, no radio, no phones. Entertainment consisted of books (yay!) and the occasional community ball.
Why am I going on and on about the "good ol' days?"
Because I'm good and thankful to God that He placed me in these modern days. He's given me so much I can hardly believe it.
Thank You, thank You, thank You, Lord!

Still, it's fun to read about those plucky women on their farms or small towns in the old days. I recline on my leather sofa and hold my Kindle. Even though it's night-time, I don't have to strain my eyes because my living room is well lit by recessed lighting.  Nearby, my gas fire lends added coziness. I sip my Starbuck's coffee that I brewed in my Cuisinart coffee maker. Music floats from my large-screen Samsung TV. Earlier, as my washing machine did a load of clothes and my dishwasher cleaned my breakfast dishes, I took a walk, which made my knee sore. So I took some ibuprofin. Now my knee feels just fine.

"We are so blessed by the gifts from Your hand, I just can't understand why You've loved us so much.
We are so blessed, we just can't find a way or the words that can say, Thank You Lord for Your touch.
When we're empty You fill us 'til we overflow,
When we're hungry You feed us and cause us to know;
We are so blessed,
Take what we have to bring;
Take it all, everything, Lord, we love You so much."
(W. Gaither, G. Gaither, G. Nelson, River Oaks Co./Gaither Music Co.)

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