Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Thank you so much for the many sweet birthday wishes you sent to The Hurricane. I told her about the post, so she saw your messages. My babies are so grown up.
Today's subject, however, is simpler times. I wish I had a dollar -- or better yet, a fiver -- for every time I've heard people say that life used to be better in simpler times.
Of course, most of the people who say that weren't alive during those simpler times.
I'm sure that living in the past had its advantages, but I appreciate everything I have today. One advantage was probably the lack of television. I'm sure people spent more time reading and talking to each other. Do you think families were closer then?
But I like my television, computer, internet, washer and dryer, and all my kitchen appliances. When I was a child, it never occurred to me that someday there would be such a thing as a microwave oven or a VCR, and now we've already moved on to DVDs and the DVR.
I'm glad I don't have to do my marketing everyday because I don't have a refrigerator in which to preserve my food. Even when the ice box was in most homes, my mother said that if you didn't remember to empty the pan under the ice box --where the water from the ice dripped -- it overflowed and you had a mess to clean up.
Mother said she gained only eight pounds during that pregnancy. I guess being miserable without air conditioning and doing heavy work would keep one rather thin.
She also never experienced the best part of childbirth: the actual birth of the baby. She said that she endured labor, and then when it was time for us to be born, the doctor would "knock her out" -- I imagine him using a mallet on her head, but I suspect it was some sort of anesthesia -- and when she woke up she had a baby. I can't imagine missing out on the joy of the first sight of my children. And of course, Daddy wasn't in the delivery room to welcome us.
How about illness in simpler times?
Cancer was an almost immediate death sentence. My grandfather died a mere two weeks after being diagnosed with leukemia. Today, so many types of cancer are treatable, and although we sometimes think the cure is worse than the illness, I think I'll take my chances with the cure. A lot of people go through chemotherapy and then live cancer free for many years.
The flu pandemic of 1918 killed millions of people. In U.S. cities, bodies were piled in the streets to be picked up by a wagon. The coffin makers couldn't keep up. There was no way to keep that evil flu from spreading.
I'm not sure we appreciate the efforts of our government to stop the spread of H1N1 a few years ago. Sure, some people came down with that flu, and some people died from it. But it didn't cause a worldwide catastrophe. I was grateful to get my H1N1 shot.
I'm sad about some parts of simpler times that we miss out on. For example, families usually took care of their elders at home instead of shipping them off to a nursing home to be visited on Christmas -- if even then. On the other hand, some folks were sent to the "poor farm."
Today and yesterday: good and bad points about each.
But I'll take today.
Infinities of love,
P.S. I received four comments on Monday's and Tuesday's posts that weren't published, but it wasn't for lack of trying. When I clicked on publish, the comments disappeared. So if you wrote a comment, and didn't see it, it's because it's floating around somewhere, refusing to cooperate with my blog.