Today I am thankful for indoor plumbing and appliances. As mundane as that sounds I remember all too well the stories my mom used to tell of having to walk to the well, or the creek to get water to cook with or bathe with. Imagine having to heat water on the stove then trying to fill up the bathtub enough to take a bath before it all got cold.
I heard a lot of stories how my parents would have to go to the creek in the winter to get water to cook with and have to break the ice first before filling their buckets. Many days the meals consisted of cornbread and milk. They had oatmeal, but not always sugar. Their meat they got from hunting or fishing.
In the mornings my mom and my aunt would have to go collect the eggs from the chickens. My mom hated to do that because sometimes snakes would crawl in the nest and swallow the eggs underneath the terrified hen.
They learned to survive in the harsh winters up in the mountains of Arkansas, to share and to take care of each other. Coats, clothes, shoes were all precious and taken care of so they would last for a long while. My mother learned to sew and made many of the clothes for the family.
Amazing the amount of progress we’ve made in just a few generations, going from a wood stove and an actual “ice” box where you put a large cube of ice in it to keep a few things cool to microwaves, toasters, mixers, refrigerators, washing machines, a myriad of coffee machines, and ovens you can turn on with a dial and not much thought.
I am thankful for all the stories they told of how hard life was and the obstacles they had to face just in day to day life. Even the stories of being afraid of go to the outhouse after dark for fear of animals and snakes, not to mention a practical joker for a brother.
Today I am thankful for all the creations that we have become so used to having that we take them for granted every day. Let us not forget where we came from and how far we’ve come. By keeping our roots in mind we can better see where we are today and the bright hope for the future. What’s next? The answer is whatever amazing thing we can dream up.
Cherry Coley ©