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My Ancestors' Life
I often contemplate the lives of my ancestors. There are oftentimes in the middle of something during my day, I think of my ancestors and the lives they must have led. Here are some of those times that make me in awe of the things they lived through.
When I go to the store I wonder how they did without the local Kroger. I recall how as a child I disliked working in the garden. But, would I have had a different outlook if it meant a meal on the table?
The clean cool water from my kitchen sink is something I truly take for granted. How hard it must have been on those hot scorching nights or the cold frigid days to tote water from the stream. I can only hope they lived close to a water source.
I love to shop at the Old Navy nearby. My mother use to sew me a dress for Easter or a dance, but would I have wanted ALL my clothes to have been hand made? Would my ancestor’s had much color choice of the cloth used to sew with. There were no patterns or sewing machines like we have today.
I recently traveled about two hundred miles from Tennessee to Alabama. As I looked at the beautiful hilly landscape, I had wondered how our ancestor’s traveled over this land with no paved roads. I am in awe how they walked their daily travels without the great support shoes we have today.
I can understand why families may have been closer. There were no video games, televisions, movies, etc. to occupy their time. Families spend more time together by reading, singing, dancing, playing games and, of course, working together.
Getting an education had to be hard for some of our ancestors. The boys were needed in the fields, while the girls were needed to help their mothers with the younger children and working around the house and gardens. The schools they did have were not the typical neighborhood schools near their homes. They had to walk or use horse and buggies to get to school. Pen, paper, colors were something to be appreciated. Books were precious to many of our ancestors.
I think I most appreciate the times I live in when I do the laundry for my family. There are five of us and I do at least two loads of laundry a day. Most of our ancestors had large families. To have to do all that laundry by bringing the water to the house, or taking the laundry to the nearby creek, had to be so hard. How did they do the laundry in the winter and hot months?
Taking a bath had to be a luxury. I have often heard that the water was brought to the house with heated water from the fire. The baths usually were a weekly occurrence. Fathers went first, followed by the children. The mothers’ usually went last. Can you imagine taking a bath using bath water previously used by others? It really makes you appreciate deodorant, soap, shampoo and toothpaste!
Were your ancestor's immigrants, slaves, indians, etc. How hard was life for them? Are we making them proud of us by the way we live today? Did we inherit their strenths?
I often wonder what our ancestors’ would think of our lives today. Do they envy us with our computers, toasters, stoves, washing machines, televisions, cars, etc. Or, do they think these luxuries are taken for granted by us? I am very appreciative of my ancestors and their lives. The things they did made them who there were, which ultimately made me the person I am today.
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