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Don’t Take Flushing For Granted

From our “technological, sophisticated, debt-funded, high-standard of living” perch, we sometimes forget our humble beginnings and how simple things were, not that long ago.
My local paper, the San Juan Record prints a section called “From The Past,” which consists of snippets of articles printed in the paper from days gone by.
February 24, 1896 – “responsibility comes early in our family.  Gathering cows, milking, churning [making butter by hand] with the old dash churn, washing dishes, tending babies, and other chores never ended. Our arms ached from carrying buckets of water from the nearby ditch to fill 50-gallon barrels. The water was settled with ash before we washed our clothes.”
February 24, 1936 – “LaVell Washburn, supervisor of sanitary privy projects [outhouses] in San Juan County, is to be commended. San Juan [county] has the lowest privy construction unit cost in Utah.”
farm 1Life was very different in America just a few decades ago. Farm life was the norm for more than 1/2 of Americans just two generations ago.
I grew up on a farm from the age of 11 to 17. My early life was not that much different than the 1896 quote above.
For example, Americans did not have widespread indoor plumbing until the 1940’s.
In fact, there were still as many as 700,000 homes in America without indoor plumbing in 1990.
Even today, there are 1.6 million Americans without access to what we would call, normal sanitary conditions.
6a00e54ffb96988833015390fe0b7c970b-500wiToday we feel like we are some much more advanced that even our grandparents…but here’s the secret — even without the indoor bathroom, our grandparents and great grandparents actually owned their homes and farms.
If you and I had to live in or on what we actually owned outright, what would our standard of living be?
Even without indoor plumbing the “Great Generation” (our grand parents and great grandparents) lived through the Great Depression and won the most terrible war in history.
Put in their shoes, could we do as well?
Just some food for thought.

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