My washing machine broke. The spinney part barely moves and the effort makes it sound like a barking seal. We have to use the laundry facility in our park until we can get a new one.
I needed a couple things cleaned yesterday and didn’t feel like walking in the rain to do it, so I hand washed them in the bathtub. Turns out that’s no small thing! It was only ten items, but the effort left me a little breathless and sore-armed from wringing.
That got me thinking about this age of convenience we live in, and the resulting clutter it brings to our lives.
Did you know that the average person in the early 1800’s only owned a few items of clothing? Usually one or two everyday outfits and then one for Sundays. Of course cost was a factor in how many clothes people owned, but so was effort. Effort to make them since they had so be hand sewn (can you imagine?) and effort to clean them. By hand.
Imagine living as an American pioneer. Living in a time when furniture, linens, clothing, and in some cases even dishes were hand crafted by the users. When food was raised by the people who ate it. When electricity and all the gadgets run by it were nonexistent. There were no supermarkets, bottled milk or sliced loaves of bread. The majority of the day in most people’s lives was spent surviving.
Imagine if your day was filled with growing vegetables, tending livestock, baking bread, making quilts, and washing dishes, clothes and bodies without running water. Would you have as many possessions as you do now? I know I wouldn’t! I imagine people back then took much more pride in what they owned because it was hard-earned. I imagine they only had what was completely necessary in their lives. Any more than that was a burden.
How many of us live that way today? I don’t. But it sure makes me want to get rid of a few things. How about you?