March 1, 2018 – Washers and Dryers
I remember when my mother, step-father, little sisters and brother took off and moved to Mexico for awhile. My sis wrote me a letter describing how they lived down there. My mother had gotten a good paying job at the University of America as a statistical typist. They were able to rent a good hacienda with a maid. She told me about how the maid would take their clothes down to a stream, wash them in the stream and lay them out on the rocks to dry. She talked about how mom loved to go to the open air markets and bicker with the sellers on the prices of food.
When our family first moved to Cleveland, we didn’t have a washer and dryer. We also could not afford to go to a laundromat, so my big sis and I had to take turns washing everyone’s clothes in the bathtub using Fels Naptha bars and an old scrub board. We then hung the clothes up around the house to dry, and actually set up an old fashioned ironing board and ironed some of them dry. Eventually we were able to get an old wringer washer, and by the time I graduated we lived in an apartment complex with laundry facilities.
As a young adult, a single mom I often struggled to make enough money to pay the rent and buy food. I had to wash my sons and my clothes out in the bathtub or the kitchen sink. Often we might have to wear the same cloths a couple days in a row because I had no soap. I would take a wet rag and spot clean them the best I could.
As time went on, I found work that allowed me enough money to go to the a laundromat every other week, often having to drag bags or baskets down the sidewalk for a few blocks and then drag them back again. Some of the apartments I lived in had laundry facilities on site but I wasn’t always able to afford to use them.
Today I own a good washer and dryer. Given my medical and physical problems, there is no way I could wash clothes in the bathtub like I did before. Today I am thankful for my washer and dryer.
March 2, 2018 – Furniture
In biblical days, most of the people who were no longer nomadic, but lived in small villages and towns had to build their own houses. For the most part, they were built out of mud and straw bricks. Inside these homes you would not find much furniture. There might be a small stool to sit on outside the door, and a small table for preparing the food.
Outside might have been a clay oven in which they baked their bread and a small fire area for the times they might actually have meat to eat. There might be a loom for making material and there might be alcoves in the wall to store eating utensils. They slept on mats on a hardened dirt floor and sat on them around a small table or the fire outside to eat their meals.
Today we have soft mattresses on our beds, fluffy pillows for out heads, lamps for light and reading and a variety of covers to keep us warm. We have a variety of tables in our homes from kitchen tables to dining room tables, from lamp stands to TV stands to end tables and coffee tables. We have stoves and refrigerators and plush couches and chairs. We live in the lap of luxury, even the poor, compared to our ancestors way of living. Today I am thankful for furniture.
March 3, 2018 – Doctors
In biblical times, if you became ill, you had to show yourself to the priests for them to determine if you should be put out of town, quarantined so to speak, until you were well or passed away. In fact, if you passed away, those who touched your body had to purify themselves and stay in isolation for a certain amount of days to be sure they didn’t contract some disease from the deceased. There weren’t any doctors, only the priests. They were the medical association, they were the government, they were everything.
As time went on, man became curious and started investigated illnesses and causes of death. They studied different methods of treating people. Using herbs and concoctions that had proved successful in treating some maladies. Eventually they studied the human body, but for a long time people were sent out of the villages and towns if they were sick or had rashes or sores on their skin.
In the early and middle ages, schools were created and more studies into illnesses and disease were studied. Old remedies were refined, ingredients added and the study of medicine continued. Through scientific research they soon developed a variety of medicines to treat the common illnesses but as medicine advanced, so did disease.
Today research continues and diseases mutate while new ones pop up from time to time. There are doctors now that specialize in different areas of the human body and the diseases that affect the different areas. You have immunologists to treat diseases that compromise your immune system. You have doctors that treat different forms of cancer and arthritis. You have doctors that specialize in the female reproductive system and a variety of others that treat mental conditions, the list goes on and on.
I believe that these advances in medicine and medical care only came about because God allowed them to. He loved us so much, that even when we turned from him and started depending on our own knowledge or thirst for knowledge that he allowed all of this to happen to help with our health issues. Today I am thankful for doctors.
March 4, 2018 – Emergency Rooms
Many many centuries ago, if you had an a medical emergency, they would call for the castle leach. Years later they would call for the local medical doctor. Advances in medicine had not gone very far so depending on the emergency, you may end up dying or being disabled for the rest of your life.
They didn’t have hospitals with emergency rooms. If the local doctor didn’t get there on time, then you could count on making funeral arrangements. If you were having a baby they could call in a mid-wife, but if there were complications, it was almost certain that either the mother or child would die and in some instances both.
Jump far ahead to today. Every hospital has an emergency room with specially trained nurses and doctors that can take care of almost any emergency situation. While our hospital is small in comparison we network with larger hospitals for emergency care. If a case comes in beyond our scope of help, we also have Life Flight helicopters that will transfer a patient to a better care facility.
I haven’t had to visit an emergency room very often in my life, but there were a few times where I might have died if I couldn’t have been able to get there. When my son was shot in the back and face it was emergency personnel that saved his life. I could write a long list of people I know that would not be alive if it weren’t for the emergency rooms at hospitals in their cities. There are situations where you can’t wait for an appointment with a doctor, and emergency rooms fill that gap. Today I am thankful for emergency rooms.