Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cool It, Buddy!

What does one do if they don't have air conditioning - or central heating for that matter?

What does one do if they don't have electricity or plumbing in a house?

I guess you do the best you can. That's what we did in our family - and others close by did as well back in the thirties. No radio. No television (not many people even thought of that back then). Heat with a coal-craving pot-belly stove or two. And food cooked on a big wood-burning black cast iron stove. No running water - There was a hand-operated water pump outside under the porch winter or summer. Toilets? You gotta be kidding - there was a pot under the bed - or you can make a run for the outhouse at the perimeter of the yard.

Want a bath or a shower? Either a big tin tub in the kitchen/family/dining room
with hot water coming off the wood stove in kettles. Or, if the weather was smiling on us, we could go swimming in the back yard. Better yet, we could take showers at the waterfall a little bit down the road. I loved - and still love - that waterfall. Sadly, it doesn't seem as big or high it was when I was in grade school but it remains today looking just as it did 75 or more years ago. Moreover, it was not just for us - we just took our turn with the others who lived the same and came to the same falls as did for the same reasons we did.

There came a day that REA ran electricity up the hill to our house. We built a new kitchen with new appliances. We threw away the chamber pots and burned down the outhouse. And took our showers in the bathroom of the house.

The memory lingers - I've never been in a shower since to compare with the water pressure of the waterfall - nor has there ever been a shower with such cold water. I loved it and it is one of God's special beautiful places even today.

I can't help thinking that there are those who live that way today. Humbles one to think how much we take for granted - there are still the 'haves' and 'have-nots' in the world today. They'll probably be around forever. For instance, the slums of the city or the real backwoods in our own country. Sometimes we need to think of how blessed we are and thank God for our blessings. Agree?

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