I think in some ways, I was born in the wrong generation… maybe I’m an “old soul”? My husband would laughingly say that I’m just plain old. My Dad would say I’m turning into a “Fuddy Duddy” just like him. Funny aren’t they?
Is it because I prefer old smudged recipe cards to flashy gourmet magazines? Because I like the early "traditional" church service where songs come from a hymnal instead of a giant screen behind the pulpit? Maybe because I lovingly use the "days of the week" tea towels hand-stitched by Dan's great aunt? Or because I sometimes make my own Christmas gifts or greeting cards, or because someday I'd like to learn to tat lace doilies...
Maybe. Maybe not.
The thing is… I often wish for a simpler time.
A time when folks could leave their doors unlocked and knew the names of all their neighbors. A time when a motorist would happily give a lift to a stranded traveler (and not be hacked to pieces for their trouble). A time when going to church was more common than not, and a time when little kids played outside until their folks made them come in for supper.
Both of my Grandmothers (and yours too maybe) were hard working farm wives who somehow (without hired help or psychotherapy) managed (during the Depression, no less) to keep the house clean, the family fed, the clothes washed (and hung out to dry), the bread baked, the eggs gathered, the clothes mended and the children out of trouble. There was the garden, the mending, the canning and teaching Sunday school. There were unruly children and club meetings. And of course there were the times when their assistance was needed with the butchering or harvesting or calf birthing or any other of a million thankless tasks.
I don’t mean to romanticize it. Hard, back breaking work was the norm.
My life is a piece of cake in comparison (the kind you buy in a fancy bakery, not the kind my Grandma would have made from scratch). I’m very lucky to live when I do… in a world full of microwaves and dish washers, antiperspirant and disposable diapers. But there is a part of me that yearns for a simpler, less ‘plugged-in’ life (even if it would be much harder to actually live it).
Don’t get the wrong idea. I can guarantee we won’t be pulling up stakes and moving to the hills to live off the land. Dan would sooner pull his hair out than be caught without ebay and the Boston Red Sox on TV. And I must admit I'm quite addicted to many modern conveniences myself. I wouldn't last long washing clothes by hand, let me tell you.
I won't ever like glossy cooking magazines when I can reach for the books filled with cherished family recipes. I probably won't ever get used to singing without a hymnal in church. I still want to learn tatting, and I'll use those tea towels till they fall apart. The challenge, I think, is to find a healthy mix of the old and the new. A little bit of sewing.... A little bit of blogging.... Some home-made greeting cards..... And maybe some free e-cards when I'm running short on time... Canning in the summer.... And buying canned goods on sale as well.... a little bit of this old thing... a little bit of that new thing...
Above & beyond the old and the new, I will enjoy those things that make my life easier, those things which help keep us safe, and especially those that allow me more precious time with Dan and Willie.
I'm guessing, that my Grandmother (and yours) would say life back then wasn't all that "simple" after all, and I should be thankful for the wonderful life I have. And you know what... I am. I'm very VERY thankful.