Long ago "they" knew many of the things that we do not know today. We have so much to learn, and as I get older this is one thing I crave, to find out what my generations before me understood. I want to know so much more because now more than ever I wish my mother and grandmother and great grandmother would have left me instructions of how to do the things they did.
The further away from the cities they lived, the more they prepared and preserved and when things got bad those that understood what it took to survive were much better off than those that just lived day by day making frequent purchases as they wanted it.
When Charles and I started our history projects and studies, it did not take long at all before we "Got It". It was so clear to us that we had been way off track and we understood that we had to make a change.
We had been foolish to follow what others were doing because that path was taking us into debt and less possibility to survive serious crises that can occur at any time.
History shows us this, that there are droughts, and floods, epidemics and recessions and sometimes depressions.
When we study history we learn the things people did to survive and it seems to us that the less modern people were the more able they were to take care of themselves because they worked hard and had the right tools.
Just yesterday I canned some bread and butter pickles. When I was growing up, my mother canned bread and butter pickles. I noticed that today people want easier ways of doing things and they take shortcuts. They make refrigerator pickles so they do not have to go through the work of canning. But proper canning will store our food on a shelf, not the refrigerator.
For the last several years I have been working to go back to shelf stable food and not relying on the freezer or refrigerator since storms can knock our power out and and entire freezer of food can spoil.
I stick to my books with the tried and true recipes. I sterilize our jars when called for because this is the proper way to do it. Shortcuts can make you sick or kill you but still people will push the limit to make it easy. Stay away from those kinds of recipes.
It takes doing to know and understand how to do and it takes patience and work. Living in an instant world makes us lose the sensitivity of life. Our world is all messed up with people that no longer seem to be reasonable or stable minded. It seems people have lost their feeling and judgement and could it be because everything went to far from our roots.
We do not need to live fast but deliberate.
They could draw water and not waste, they could raise a family without electricity. They could grow food and preserve that food.
Food does not stay fresh for very long so we need to preserve it so we can eat when it is no longer growing.
We seem to forget there are seasons. Today we live where we can find the same food all year around. But it does not grow all year around. So here, in fall, the citrus come to harvest, not in the spring or summer. This means the food is being imported long distances when in our area we find food that is not in season locally.
It is not fall here and it is not time for our citrus but due to the pandemic I did purchase some oranges, limes and lemons to dehydrate in case there is a poor harvest this fall or there is not enough people to harvest. At least we will have some on the shelf and when it is fall and there is some available I will certainly be dehydrating and preserving more citrus.
We still have some preserved lemons and lemon juice from this past fall but none dehydrated. This taught me to do better planning.
Keeping a household we do things repetitively. I like to find enjoyment in what I do. I love the way the laundry smells and feels when it is dried outside in the sun. Yes, it takes more work than just throwing it in the dryer but the dryer can ruin clothing and linens and odors can develop in the fabric. Sunshine sanitizes. It also can fade our dark and colored items so I hang them inside out in in a bit more shaded ares so I can still get that fresh scent.
I take great care in Charles clothing so it does not fade and his shirts and pants never go into a dryer.
Recently I read on the news how someone was justifying starting back children's sports and activities all the while the pandemic is still very serious. They said children had been deprived from society for over two months.
I was on the phone with my daughter and I asked her, "When you were out of school for the summer did you feel deprived". My daughter has often told me she had a wonderful childhood.
Our children stayed home and enjoyed being home for the summer. We did things as a family at home and occasional outings, just us. They did not grow up enrolled in activities. We had home life activities, chores, games. My daughter loved playing in her room with her dolls. My son loved taking things apart and seemed to never finish putting them back together. He loved music from the time he was very small and had a little guitar that he strummed and made up a song that I still remember today called, "Going down the road on my Tricycle".
The lyrics were, " I am going down the road, beep beep, on my tri..cy..cle.. I bumped into a car, beep beep, with my tri..cy..cle.. I ran over my toe, beep beep, with my tri..cy..cle. He would add on new events as he went along. My son is now 50 years old and I can remember so much of their lives when they were still at home because life was simple.
I do not know if we are meant to have so much going on as we have today, it seems like today we miss so many things. Especially when parents use technology when they should be looking, listening and talking to their children.
Now it seems everyone has to be involved in mass groups. To me they just become merged with so many that they have to compete strongly for any kind of recognition. This is sad because there can be so much fun at home. Now children have to learn how to have fun and why do we have to live with so much competition?
I am very fortunate to have lived in the time that I have lived because I have memories of life before it became complicated and infected with technology.
I do not have a manual left from my generations before me but I try to show what I can on this blog of how life can be if we just live a more sensible life. It is not always relaxing because it is hard work to live like the past. But it is very settling to know that we are making it better to survive tough times. We can all do this if we just roll up our sleeves and embrace our home.
Remember, "They Knew". It is good to study history on the home front.