Sunday, 6 April 2014

Grandparents Are A Treasure Trove Of Amazing Stories.

Even without gadgets life was possible & huge fun!!!

Most of us squeal in horror when the electricity is interrupted or dare I say on hiatus for a day or so. We have been reared on modern luxuries. Yes, luxury. Think about it, we have almost everything done for us by a machine of sorts. Even being entertained is incredible simple: switch on the telly or computer...

A lot of us women tend to forget ( and I mean women because men are not so much associated with this chore ) that our grandmothers had no washing machine. Laundry got done on a washboard and by hand. Huge pots of water had to be boiled and most often there was a separate building - the wash kitchen / laundry. To be fair, men had so many other chores involving hard work, that they wouldn't have had the time to help with the laundry.

Doing the laundry once a week was a huge deal associated with a gargantuan amount of hard work. The whites were rubbed clean until they were a sparkling quality ( even our modern marvels can't get it as white ). Each item in the laundry basket was washed by hand! Can you imagine, what an extra load of laundry a baby brought? Remember, there were no Pampers to toss away. No, the nappies had to be washed, rinsed, boiled and used again. Oh, and lest we forget, most of our grandparents had 7 or 8 children on the trot.

Oh, when you consider that, our lives are so easy and comfortable and having several small kids is a breeze with the help of Pampers and washing machines...?!

The other day, one of the elderly ladies in the village told me about how life was when she was a teenager. I love listening to these stories because they are so fascinating and it was a bonus to see the spark return to her eyes. They shone and sparkled with wonderful memories. Any hard work was forgotten. We forget that only compared to modern times was it hard work. Then it was the norm and just part of life.

We live near a small river and all those years ago, the river had so many uses. She told me that when it was freezing cold, the kids would go to the frozen over river and pick-axe slabs of ice out of it. They would cart it back to their house where it got stored in an underground hole / dug out space. The fridge for the summer. The cellar ( or chamber ) would be cool all summer long and help preserve a few more food items. Ingenious, wasn't it?

Sometimes it is a change of perspective that can give us a new appreciation for our lives and how blessed we actually are...


A cheerful shrub.
Even more stunning in a close up.