Sometimes I think about the woman who lived in my house when it was built in 1897. One hundred and thirteen years ago, my house sported state-of-the-art dead air space insulation and single-paned windows. The first winter we lived here, when we were just starting our renovations, the temperature dipped into the 40ís in our bedrooms at night. And that was with a gas forced-air furnace! How cold would it have gotten with only wood and coal for heat?
Not only that, but she had no hot running water. No microwave. No dishwasher. No washer and dryer. No electric lights at the flick of a switch. The woman who lived in my house in 1897 would have used an outhouse, and it wasnít stocked with 3-ply Charmin.
If this woman wanted chicken for dinner, she didnít hop in her car and tootle over to the grocery store for a bag of individually frozen chicken breasts like I do. No, she took an axe to the chicken house and killed her own. Then she had to pluck it before she could cook it. She didnít buy her milk in gallon containers and she couldnít eat fresh strawberries in December.
You can say what you want about the state of the world we live in today, but Iím thinking maybe we donít have it so bad here in 2010. I resolve to think more often of the woman whose life was so different from mine even though we both†spent years within the same four walls; to not take my blessings for granted and cut out the complaining. Good grief, I have an electric blanket and donít have to haul water or kill chickens. Life is good!