July 14, 2016 – Running Water
Nomadic tribes didn’t have a chance to bath daily. If their travels took them past a lake, river or stream, they may have made camp to replenish their water supplies, water their animals and bath. Men and women bathed separately and a women who was having her monthly was separated from the whole population.
Bathing became a trend during the days of Rome. Water was supplied to public baths via aqueducts. Some of the baths were for the rich, some for men only, and others were used by both men and women. The bath was also a way to relax while conducting business or visiting with friends.
Purification baths that the priests were required to take before performing their duties in certain parts of the temple had to be done in living water. Living water was water that was moving from a natural source such as a river, aquaduct or stream. They couldn’t just fill a container and bath in it.
Before bathing became popular in other parts of the world, around the 1700’s, many people though that bathing too often was unhealthy. Those who had servants could depend on them to haul water to the house and heat it. Those that were poor would bath only once or twice a year, and then the same water was used for everyone, with the men and boys bathing first, then the women, girls and finally babies. That is where the saying “don’t throw the baby out with the bath” came from.
Today, our cities have water and sewer systems that are complicated and reliable. We have water treatment plants that insure our water is clean of bacteria and germs. We don’t have to wait until we find a river or lake, we don’t have to haul buckets of water up to the house and heat them and we don’t have to wait for it to rain before we bath. We simply turn on the spigot, step in the shower or let the bath tub fill, and bath.
Today, I am thankful for running water.
July 15, 2016 – Eyes
This “thankful” subject may be a repeat, but that is bound to happen. There are so many things that I am thankful for, and trying to list them one by one for 366 days, I am bound to repeat some here and there.
When I was a teenager, I wondered what it would be like to be blind. I don’t know why that subject seemed to interest me so much, but I would perform experiments around the house to see how much trouble I would have getting around if I couldn’t see. I would close my eyes and walk through the house with my hands out, feeling for the furniture that I knew was there.
Sometimes I would count the steps from the bedroom to the bathroom, from the bathroom to the living room and so on, then I would close my eyes again and try making my way through the house without bumping into something by counting the steps. I actually did pretty well.
Through the years I have practiced that wherever I lived. I wanted to know if there was a black out, that I could make it safely through my house. I also believed that if someone broke in, I would have an advantage over them because I would know exactly where everything was in the dark. Some of my friends and family have told me I have cat eyes, because I can get around in the dark much better than any of them can.
I am not blind, and with the blessings of God I may never be. I don’t have perfect eyesight, but it isn’t all that bad. I know if I became blind, I could adjust, but for now, today I am thankful for my eyes that see.
July 16, 2016 – Ears
When I lived in Cleveland, all I ever heard were the sounds of the city. Traffic going up and down the streets, the occasional siren and more often than I wanted, gun shots. When I moved to Largo, Florida, I was so surprised. Yes, there were the sounds of the city, but there were other sounds also. The mobile home park we lived in was enclosed and private. You didn’t hear as much of the traffic and when you woke up in the morning, all you could hear were the sounds of a thousand birds. That’s literally what it sounded like outside my bedroom window. I never saw any of them pecking around in the grass, but you could here a multitude of them in the tree outside.
It was much the same when I lived in Barre, Vermont. It took me a few months to realize I was actually living in the mountains. Early morning you would wake up to different bird calls, and if you were on the road early enough, it wasn’t unusual to see a moose, some deer, or some smaller woodland creatures.
In our back yard, here in this little rural town in Missouri, we have built a bird feeder. Every morning the doves are cooing in the trees, the cardinals are singing on the porch railing, and you can hear the chirping of a variety of sparrows, all waiting for me to bring their breakfast out to them.
I have always loved the sounds of nature, the rustling of the leaves in the wind, the bubbling of a fast moving stream, the chirping of the birds, the chattering of the squirrels, and even the mooing of the cows. It just seems so beautiful compared to the engines of cars, the honking of horns, the blare of sirens and the distant gunshots you hear in almost any large city.
Today I am thankful for my ears that are blessed by all the beautiful sounds God created.