ready2go wrote:I don't think I would survive the so-called "good old days" for very long.
When I recall how our parents put up with more hardship than we did, I regularly offer prayers of thanksgiving for the hot water pouring from the faucet for a bath. I appreciate the gift of electricity, especially when a storm knocks out the power. We are so blessed!
With an outhouse and an outdoor pump our only plumbing, we little ones had a homemade potty indoors to use (which had to be emptied, of course, by our parents), and a pail of water with a dipper in the kitchen. I think we only had a propane gas stove in the parsonage kitchen, and probably a wood or coal burning furnace in the basement. Imagine wintertime pumping and hauling in several pails of ice cold water from the pump to heat in a big copper boiler on the stove for bathing!
But, our great-grandparents didn't have even that much when they first arrived as immigrants. When I think of all the previous generations and what they endured, I wonder how they survived!
Betsy arrived from Sweden with her immigrant family at the end of the Civil War. She and her mother had to step aside to let the Minnesota soldiers exit the ferry boat at St. Anthony Falls. The troops were singing "Shoo fly, don't bother me!" a song Betsy sang for the rest of her life.
Earlier settlers helped the newcomers. An abandoned soddy would become a first home in the New World. In order to have enough to feed the children, parents often had to farm-out one or more of the older ones. And so, eight-year-old Betsy's turn arrived to go work for a neighboring farmer.
When her mother heard that Betsy's shoes had worn out, and she was out getting the cows with bare feet in November, that job came to an end. Betsy's mother went to pick up her little girl. She stuffed her shoes with straw for Betsy to wear, and wrapped her own feet with rags for the walk home....
[more at: http://www.faithwriters.com/article-det ... ?id=110481 ]
Betsy was my mother's grandmother, the same age in this story as our little granddaughter that sang the Hebrew language solo at the Saturday night concert. Rather heartbreaking to ponder how austere their lives must have been.