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Looking Back

Author: Lorie Carter

winter

There is a New Year looming in front of us. In just a few days we will celebrate the beginning of 2013. It is the normal habit among many of us, the human race, to make New Year’s Resolutions that, for the most part, are impossible to keep. Why is that? Because life is just so busy and fast today that it is hard to keep focused on what you want to change.

 

Let’s take a look back

Today there are probably very few households that don’t have a phone, a computer, a television or the internet. Most families have at least one vehicle, if not two or more and there are busses, planes, trains and boats for traveling long distances, but what did people do before all of these inventions saw fruition? Even before the Pony Express, the U.S Postal service, even before the telegraph, news was sent via snail mail. Documents would be sent from one city to another via messenger. It may take six months to a year because the messengers either traveled by foot, on mules or animal driven carts and they would have to wait to send it until a caravan or person was heading toward that town. But, no one complained. If a man got a message from a family member in Corsica and he lived in Syria, he was glad to know they were alive and well.

For the most part, families stayed close. Newly married couples might erect their tent a mile or two away from the parents, usually on land that was given to them or they chose and would start supporting themselves by raising cattle, goats, sheep or crops. They wove their own clothes, milked their own cows, planted their own crops, and were happy to be able to work the land and live. When the parents got too old to fend for themselves, they were taken in and taken care of. The same would go for widows and orphans.

The women worked in the garden, washed their clothes in the stream, hauled water to the camp when needed, cooked over an open fire, and went back to the stream to bring more water for dishes. Bathing was usually done in a stream unless you were rich and had a large home or camp with slaves or servants.

They were rich in family traditions, loyalty and love. They taught their children in Godly ways. They followed the rules of their beliefs to the letter, never varying for they knew the circumstances they could suffer, but they didn’t complain.

This was life to them. This was the way it was. They lived long and had many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their stories were passed down from one generation to another and became the history of that time.

Children were raised to farm, hunt and fend for themselves. They were trained in weaving, cooking, shearing, milking, churning, tent making, and herding along with all the traditions of their beliefs. They traveled to other cities usually only for trading or religious events. They learned how to live, how to survive and how to protect themselves and each other.

Today we are a spoiled race of people. Everything is made easy for us. We can drive to where we want to go, or have someone take us. If we want to travel a long distance, we just have to log onto the internet and book passage on a boat, plane or train with our debit or credit card. We can call a sheriff or policemen if someone threatens our safe and secure existence.

We can buy online, pay bills online, and communicate in the same way. Half us don’t even send out cards for special events like Christmas, Easter, anniversaries or birthdays. We can simply log onto one of the many sites that specialize in this service and send an e-card. If we want immediate results, we can instant message the person we want and chat back and forth on the internet or a multitude of social media sites.

We don’t have to grow our own food since there is a grocery store right around the corner. We can buy canned goods, produce, fresh meat and gourmet items. If we want to drive the half a block to the department store next door, we can get our shampoo, conditioner, soap, cook ware, clothes, dishes, computers and whatever we want without having to worry about any labor involved to do so.

We are a weak and spoiled race, well most of us. We wait breathlessly for the newest computer software, the next big screen high definition TV set or the newest, most advanced cell phone to make our life easier. A lot of us don’t even open a book. Why do that when we can read on the computer, kindle or our updated, new phone?

The sad part of all this is that a large majority of people take all of these blessings, advantages and advancements for granted. They have become such a big part of everyday life that we would be utterly lost without them. The day may come, and sooner than we think, when we will have to go back to the past. Maybe we should be preparing now.

It is not an overnight process. First you have to take a logical look at what you have, what you know and what you can do. Take advantage of your technology and start learning new “old” things, like how to plant a garden, how to can your food, how to sew, knit or crochet, how to read a book, how to light and warm your house without the advantages of electricity or natural gas, and how to build the things you might need.

Lately, over the last few years, I have felt the need to start learning some of these things. I have been trying to grow my own vegetables. I have researched different ways of producing energy, and have taken a very keen interest in making things from scratch myself. I have looked into the recycling of different items from furniture down to milk cartons.

I thank God for the life I have, for he takes very good care of me. He has surely given us more than we deserve. I also thank him for many things he has not allowed us to have, for it taught us just how easy it is to get along without all the inventions that take up our time and draw our attention from the world he really intended us to live in. I thank God for all that I do have, but I also thank him for all that I do not have, for I know his plan was to give me the tools to survive, no matter what life threw at me.

Thank God for all the easy things in your life, but even more thank him for the new “old” techniques you will learn.

Here’s praying that you will have a Happy, productive and knowledge filled New Year.

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