Thursday, June 28, 2012

Land of the Pampered, Home of the Entitled

I love America. I'm proud to be an American.  I am proud of how my ancestors helped shape this country and made it into the great nation it is.  I love hearing the family histories of how my ancestors came here as French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution, or how some came over as indentured servants.  My great great grandma Ida and her husband Wray were some of the first settlers in Kearney County, Nebraska.  Their first house was a sod house (aka soddy) and Grandma Ida was the post mistress and ran it out of said soddy.

Example of a sod house

I imagine how hard life must have been for my ancestors, settling this new land. Most everything had to be made by hand. There was no Wal-Mart to run to. In fact, to get anywhere, you had to go by wagon, hitching up the horses in preparation; there was no hopping into your car to run to Wal-Mart.  Meals were made from scratch; there were no such things as pre-sliced bread or a microwave oven.  Fields had to be turned with an ox or horse hooked up to a plow.

Think about it, no TV, no radio, no internet, no cell phones.  Want to communicate with someone across the country quickly? In the days before telephone and telegraph, there was Pony Express.  It only took 10 days.  It only cost $0.25 for a 1/2 ounce.  A quarter might not seem like much today, but keep in mind the average laborers' wage without board was $0.90 per day and one could buy an acre of land for between three and five dollars.

Pony Express poster. Wonder why they preferred orphans...
When I think about all the hardships my ancestors went through settling this country, I have to wonder what they would think if they could see how we live today.  I think they would marvel at the speed at which we can travel and communicate.  I think everyday appliances such as a refrigerator, microwave, and washing machine would seem like wonderous inventions.

What would they think about our society?  Would they see us an advanced Utopian society?  Or would they see us as lazy, whiny cry babies?  Would they shake their heads in disbelief at how "hard" we work?  Would they be shocked at what we expect our government to do for us? Would they still see us as the land of the free and the home of the brave, or would they see us as the land of the pampered and the home of the entitled?

Just a few random thoughts to ponder...
Until Tomorrow

1 comment:

  1. First off, love the picture. I always like seeing a cow standing on the roof.

    It's always hard to think about any other time, we have this nasty habit of making tv shows and books where life is exactly as we know, only everyone dresses funny. I doubt that any of them would choose to live 35 years, drink beer because it's safer than water, and have a good percentage of their loved ones die from things we wouldn't even recognize as dangerous. Life in the Good Old Days sucked.

    We also tend to assume that they could read and reason as we do, which was not always the case. Try to recall that your brave settler kinfolk stole the land they toiled so hard on from other people who were here a couple of thousand years before they showed up.

    As to no TV, radio, etc, as you say, they all had to work or die as a result of not having enough food, wood, etc.

    They would be shocked to see a mulatto in the White House, women in positions of authority, likely gag on the air that we breath, and wonder where all these damned people came from.

    Of course, the past two hundred years have been really busy ones. Life on earth was mostly the same old same old until the Industrial Revolution. Here I am sitting in front of an A/C tapping away on a computer keyboard and thinking about going out for pizza. It is a wonderful life-even if there are all these damned liberals and conservatives running around.