As I tossed some blankets (yes, blankets) into the washer this morning I thought about what an easy life I have compared to the lives of my mother and grandmothers. I may be busy and my life often seems complicated and stressful, but physically- the life of a princess compared to my mother's. I don't have to haul water from the well or burn trash in a barrel or run every item of clothing through the wringer and hang it on the line. I don't have to grow most of my food or can it myself. I don't even have to actually cook if I don't want to- just zap something in the microwave. Easy stuff.
I remember the first person I knew who owned a microwave oven. It was our pastor's wife. When she told me about it she was very excited about heating up leftovers. I thought to myself, "How silly! Who ever has leftovers?" With three children, we sure didn't! And if that was what the machine was for, I was sure I'd never have one. LOL How could I predict that today I would give up my stove before I would give up my microwave!
Ever drink coffee made in a metal pot on the stove? Awful stuff. My mother drank instant coffee for a while because she couldn't afford a percolator. When she finally did buy one I was fascinated by the little glass knob on the top. I loved to sit and watch the coffee bubble through it. My grandmother was ahead of her time- she bought the first "Mr. Coffee" pot I ever saw. It was amazing! But I was also a little afraid of it. I just knew that glass pot was going to explode. Gran kept that coffee going from daylight to dark. She loved her coffee! Of course I have three coffee makers, just in case I ever get up at 5am and one of them fails.
I was probably in my pre-teens before we had the luxury of a regular washing machine. I hated our wringer washer because I mashed my fingers in it and I was terrified that I would someday catch my long hair in it. It was also a slow and tedious process to make sure each item went in without snagging at the edges or tearing off a button. Getting a modern washing machine was one of the greatest time savers of my mother's life. And a dryer! Wow! When we got a dryer it was heaven. No more cold wet hands. No more fighting with the wind. And much less ironing.
One of the last things my mother gave up was canning her own food. She loved to see those pretty jars of fruits and vegetables and jellies and know that she had plenty of food stored for the winter. In later years she started freezing a lot of the garden harvest- faster and easier. But like most of us, she finally succumbed to "store-bought", even though my dad complained a little. She was working in an office and too busy to slave over a hot stove for hours.
So you won't hear me complain much about how hard I work at home. Most days I realize that I don't. Not even close!