Our lives just seem to become more convenient every day, so it seems a horrible shock when, incredibly, something doesn’t work the way it should. If the TV should lose its signal, we hardly know what to do beyond griping and snorting—especially if we miss a play during the World Series. It is difficult to imagine the days when folks had to listen to sporting events on the radio.
My grandmother thought her life had become almost heavenly when she finally got a ringer washer out on the farm. Our fourth or fifth washer went out the other day, and we went to our local lumber yard the very next day and brought home another one because we consider that appliance essential. It is strange how some things have taken their own positions on our list of priorities. A telephone is one item on that list. Our cell phone isn’t all that technical. I can actually use it to make and receive calls and even have some numbers installed in its memory—which is extra nice now that my memory seems to balk on occasion. Most of the children in our extended family have texting on their cell phones down to a speed system, however. And eventually they will consider their ‘old’ phones too obsolete for use.
We seem somehow to have lost that sense of adventure that came naturally with living in the country. We never knew when we would find a snake in the hen house or an armadillo in the garden, but recently it seemed like a very strange inconvenience to have our dog make the acquaintance of a skunk. When HarleyB returned to the back door reeking of essence of skunk, I was able to access the formula for removal of skunk oil immediately by using the Internet. Using peroxide, baking soda, and soap to clean the dog, we were able to allow him to finish spending the night in the house. It occurred to me that I would not have known what to use to clean him if it had not been for the convenience of instant information from the Internet.
The contrast between what our lives were like 50 or 60 years ago and our lives today may seem silly in a few short years for one reason or another. When contrasted with much of the world, we are so blessed. Our forefathers wrestled with this land during years of drought, floods, storms, and other natural disasters. But the blessings came despite the circumstances. Opportunistic scoundrels or gifted individuals, they gave back to the world what they were given, full measure, shaken down. Giving back became the American way, but it was always with a generous willingness. That may change; and if it does change, the world will be a poorer place both literally and figuratively. I challenge anyone to look at the Copenhagen Climate Treaty.
When our President signs this legally binding treaty, our world as we know it will change drastically. You will never even remember your mother’s washtub and its wonderful convenience.