During hard or confusing times, we sometimes wish we could live back in “the good old days” when life was simpler. Well, maybe simpler in some ways but not the way we imagine. Let’s take a look at some of those days our kindred lived in:
- Simple washing boards for the care and cleaning of clothes would be considered an upper body workout at the local gym today. Many living today remember the introduction of the ‘wringer’ washing machine. A true hand and time saver. You would push the clothes through two large rolling pins, turned by a handle, to squeeze out water after washing.
- War was simpler: no drones or poison gas to complicate things. You would probably see the face of your enemy and in some cases lay in bed at night and hear the simple sounds of cannon and rifle fire.
- Hey, food was organic for many years but crop failure meant you would probably suffer malnutrition. With little to no refrigeration, food preparation was a daily task.
- Health care was largely self administered with common sense, herbs, patience, along with questionable drugs and remedies. No vaccines or antibiotics to combat disease and bacteria. Easier for sure.
- Security systems could have been as simple as a gun, club, or scream. No alarms or 911 calls. The rote prayer ‘Now I lay my head to sleep and pray the Lord my soul to keep and if I die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take’ was probably said in ernest by many.
- Traveling may have been simpler but probably still a headache. Horses and buggies with all their maintenance, charm, and discomfort on dusty or muddy roads were probably faster than footpaths while the need for speed and competition was met with horse racing.
- When cars were invented in 1910, people thought all their pollution problems were behind them; no more horse droppings to litter the roads.
- Providing fuel for cooking and warmth, suffering the heat and humidity of the summer were good reminders of the simple beauty of the seasons. Building a fire, chopping wood or taking coal from a bin were part of the daily ritual.
So, when things get complicated and if you’re having trouble sleeping, instead of wishing for the good old days, just think of what Irving Berlin wrote in 1954:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep.