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Old 05-23-2014, 04:33 AM
 
645 posts, read 1,164,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Right.
  • Have you ever plowed a field behind an ox or mule with a single blade plow?
  • Ever cut hay with just a scythe, and then stacked it by hand with a three pronged hay fork, and then loaded it by hand into a wagon to carry it to the barn where it was unloaded by hand?
  • Ever muck out a cow or horse barn or chicken coop?
  • Ever spread manure by hand from a wagon?
  • Ever cut down a 12 inch diameter tree with an axe?
  • Saw firewood with a two person handsaw?
  • Made your own furniture with only hand tools?
  • Split shingles with only an axe to roof your house, barn, outbuildings?
  • Split rails from trees you cut down so that you could build fences?
  • Hauled rocks out of your fields and used them to build stone wall fences?
  • Drawn water from a well with a bucket from a hand-dug well and carried numerous buckets into the house and then into the barn for livestock?
  • Built a privy?
  • Used a privy, especially on a cold, rainy/snowy night?
  • Made soap from lye and candles from lard?
  • Washed clothes in a tub of boiling water over a fire, wringing them by hand to get out much of the moisture, and then hanging them to dry, whether the temperature's 90 or 20?
  • Butchered your own livestock?
  • Cooked/baked your food in a fireplace?
  • Harvested your wheat or oats with a cradle, threshed it by beating it or winnowing it, and then ground it the wheat in mortal and pestle because there's no gristmill nearby?
  • Carded wool, spun it into thread, woven it into cloth, and then sewn it into garments without the aid of a sewing machine?
I could go on ...
Have you? What's so hard about it? I've done much of what you've brought up, and one uses a shake to make shingles from locust and other wood not an axe. That's one reason why families were so big and several generations lived together. More hands to do chores on your own land, which you had virtual allodial title to because the government hadn't yet made us 'teh' "richest freest nation on earth." Even the infirmed elderly were useful. They can still sew, do dishes, wash, tend children, and impart their wisdom/knowledge upon younger generations.

12 inch diameter trees come down rather quickly with an axe. Since most people can't even sharpen a knife, keeping a keen edge on an axe, and using it properly is beyond the scope of "technologically advanced" people. A one man 36" bucking saw cuts them fairly fast. It doesn't take months to harvest enough wood to last a year. On larger trees, a felling saw's not only safer, but it's also exponentially easier to use than an axe. Whether using a shovel, axe, or saw, all these tools can be employed for hours on end once a person learns to not "swing for the fence." Moreover, horse powered saws are rather old and simple tech. Just search "Drag saw" video.

Hand pumps have been around for centuries and livestock in my parts are kept where they can go to a water source on their own. Most people living off the grid just use a wind mill to pump water in my parts.

Several of your points are a once and done event that will last generations and only require minimal maintenance. Since you claim to be in upstate New York, I would think that evidence abounds all around you in the form of 200+ year old stone homes, barns, fences, and bridges. Splitting locust up for fences isn't something that's done often due to the fact that they almost always last at least 100 years on average.

What's the big deal about cooking in a fireplace? I'm sure that by the 1800s, wood stoves and ovens were rather ubiquitous 'cause we had a few that fell into disuse once gas and coal took over the chore. We cleaned out our family run coal yard in the 1970s. Their Victorian mansion on the same property was the largest in the immediate area and several generations lived on it. They built it in the early 1800s. They also owned properties linked to the Union Canal in Pennsylvania because they sold coal, and it came down from Schuylkill County. Hence, we've a lot of old tools that fell into disuse until I started using them again over the past ten years. Those old hatchets, froes, axes, saws, and the like are of higher quality, fit, and finish than anything being passed off as a "tool" in the box stores and faux home building supply chain stores of today.

I see the Amish work their farms daily using animal husbandry and centuries old mechanical technology powered by horse/mule that removes most of the hands on labor.

Ironically, your reference to using the head on a cold rainy/snow night and then the last one speaking about wool, you just answered your own supposition. If one is dressed properly with wool, one is largely unaffected by cold, rainy/snowy weather. I should know, I wear wool year round, and I frequently work on the land outside sun up to sun down in weather that's below 20° Fahrenheit and sometimes below 0°F.

I use most of old heirloom hand tools to perform the jobs you're speaking of because Americans can't read a label, so my factory closed due to foreign imports like so many have in this "country," so I no longer have that high wage factory income that was significantly higher than most other people's, but I've a lot of "free time," so rather than using a tool that's fired on fossil fuels, I broke out all the old tools my family kept that my relatives in the 1800s used.

All the "work" you've outlined is far easier than the ten years I spent standing at a 1200 ton Boyd press picking out several thousand 55 lb hot tar refractory bricks per shift while they came out of the press at 400° F as the air blower cleared the brick's path, the little hot pebbles ricocheted off the side bars, went up my sleeve, and just as I picked the brick up to my chest, the tar smock pressed the pebbles onto my skin and left numerous burns as I slapped them on a 15 lb rack car pallet, lifting them well above my 6'3" frame, and slapping them onto the rack car without damaging them 'cause they're delicate before they're sent to the oven to be cured, on a hot 95° humid July day with temps inside the plant reaching 110° because we've two 3,200° 300' long x 20' x 20' tunnel kilns warming the entire plant, a dozen bell kilns, innumerable driers, 90 horse electric motors, hydraulic pumps, and propane fired Towmotors warming things up while wearing a respirator, safety glasses, and a tar smock that feels like one's wearing a burlap bag for 12 - 16 hour shifts six days a week. Of course, if one has only sat in classrooms, lectured, offices, and clicked a mouse, anything "physical" sounds difficult.

When it comes to physical labor, I'll take farm work any day over the 1 year I spent at Weaber Sawmill working next to a 60" circular saw with a 24" head saw on top of it cutting 24" - 36" logs into cants for the band mill. and the decade I spend at North American Refractories (NARCO) Wommelsdorf, Pa. plant. While at the sawmill, I saw one man crushed to death with a fork lift, severl men's tendons busted out of the fleshy part of forearms due to their limbs being caught in V-belts, and enough hands and fingers chopped off to keep Frankenstein busy for months, so I beg your pardon, but I don't see what's so flippin' hard about the implied tough points you've outlined.

One will never know what real work is like living/working/attending classes on a college campus pushing/lapping up a state run/wealthy elite disinformation agenda and doing other such pointless bureaucratic "work" and or "education."

I too "could go on."

Cheers,
bolillo

Last edited by bolillo_loco; 05-23-2014 at 06:01 AM.. Reason: You'll not find a Rhodes scholar here!
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:50 AM
 
47 posts, read 43,082 times
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Dear Bolillo,

I am happy that people like yourself still exist, without the guiding cast of religious catechism still thinking about the simpler life. In times past, I have come across industrialized people who have done it, both online or in person, including in Asia. For example this man grew up in childhood partly in a ramshackle shack stuck on a mountain side (Puerto Rico):

7 Reasons Why You Will Never Do Anything Amazing With Your Life*|*Raymmar Tirado

One option is to get some cheap tax auction land in a dying near ghost town in Western Kansas or some such place, as towns normally have plenty of emergency water (irrigation in dry periods). Another is to homestead. AFAIK, the only current U.S. place that encourages anything resembling homesteading for the average Joe is Alaska (Hawaii and many Indian reservations also do, for natives only). You live on the property for some odd years, and it is yours. State owned property, they like to see the few who keep up with it and who does not, almost as a game, and less than 10,000 do in Alaska, only some recent homesteaders. The cold, obviously keeps people away, along with the isolation, since the tracts are very isolated, with the nearest road days away on foot perhaps.


I have met a homesteader in Alaska, coming 1961 probably, in what is now not a very isolated area around Soldotna. Speaking of that, another guy did arrive about 1950, and it became that town of some thousands. Two years later two people tried to out bid each other for his land, as he filed the papers. He kept it and subdivided. Those days are over, of course, and not your intention anyway!


Another option is a temporary camp out in the National Forest. Even by packing in food, it is difficult. There are some in Pennsylvania, too, but only state lands near the Dutch country, mostly ridge lands. The Appalachian trail is nearby, though, and no one minds if you park a car for a long time at a distant trail head. One finds out quickly a lot of what is gained and lost without modern conveniences. People do it all the time in Colorado, along the front range, for a week. One book among many worth reading is Walk Across America, by Peter Jennings. Another one is Home Is the Sailor by Robin Lee Graham (the 16 year old that sailed around the world), of log cabin building in Montana in the 1970's (his experience was that it is not really suited for most modern people, including his family).

If you want, I can post or PM you forums that are serious of homesteading, returning to the land, etc.

Maybe it is what you really want. You will not know until tried. Instead of discussing it with people here, 99% of whom are wedded to technology, the best thing to do is try it out on a limited scale by the above methods, or even share cropping for a summer in your area in some isolated Appalachian town (though people are usually pretty clannish in those towns, set in their ways over two centuries of local culture and religion, usually Scotch-Irish Ulster backgrounds). Some forums online should be good for the planning, and I wish you well.

Alaska Land Offerings
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:45 PM
 
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Funny thing, everyone always thinks of the work when talking about times past. What would I do without iPhone/microwave/heated seats in my car? When people actually lived in those times, they didn't think about it, they just did what needed to be done. I'm sure Ma Ingalls didn't say, "My God, when is the automatic washing machine going to be invented?" She just said, "It's wash day, better put the kettle on to heat some water."
Probably in 20 years, some invention will come along and I'll think my iPhone was primitive. I rememeber when I was cleaning off some shelves, I found a flip phone, probably about 15 years old, I can't believe that was all I had for a phone!

I think alot about the mindset people had in times past. The itch for adventure is part of American psyche. Mountain men, trappers, Lewis and Clark, Jack London and his Klondike stories, or a character like Huckleberry Finn floating down the Mississippi River in search for an adventure. Fun to romanticize over, but yes, the work came with it. A lot of greenhorns who went to search for gold in the Gold Rush never even made it over Chilkoot Pass. (Probably some who never made it out of Seattle.)

Modern medical advances. Yes, nice to have, but has our modern lifestyle made us dependant on them in some twisted way? 100 years ago, the biggest threats were bacteria and viruses. Then antibacterials came to wipe them out, now bugs are getting resistant to the things that were invented to wipe them out. People who worked hard and had probably single digit body fat didn't have much worries about diabetes. Life expectancy of 40? Well, if you lived a good life, and it's your time to go, what's the big deal?

Simplicity. We talk about it, but our modern lives become so over-saturated and so over-stimulated, can we really have it? Flipping through 500 channels with a remote control, but there's nothing good on TV. How about breaking out a harmonica and playing some tunes? It used to be a treat going to the movies, now we go to the cineplex with 16 giant-sized theater screens. Nothing sounds good. Just so many choices of stimulation nowdays, you forget was simple pleasures were. Going to the fishing hole and frying some fish up for dinner that night. Relaxing, and a healthy dinner to look forward to.

Thanks for bearing with me, I'm having a "Walden" moment, lol.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,726 posts, read 17,157,331 times
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The single thing an average 21st American would have the hardest time with living a late 19th century lifestyle is getting used to the quiet. The second hardest thing is learning how to entertain one's self. The third thing that is hard is disconnecting from all the easy diversions.

When I came back to the ranch after 4 years in the Navy, I spent my first 2 months alone up there. Except for brief visits from a family member and trips back down to the valley for needed supplies and stuff, I was all by myself for the first time in 4 years. I just about went nuts for 2 weeks, but, because for me it was only a readjustment to a life I already knew, it didn't take very long to slip back into the same rhythms of nature I had known so well earlier.
For someone who has never been exposed to the life, I'm sure it would take much longer and would be much harder a transition.

Americans, especially urban Americans, are constantly surrounded by noise. Some of it is chosen, and most of it is simply city/suburb noise. Living off the grid means there is going to be a lot of time spent in silence, very often all alone, and often with no cell phones or iPads or other diversions. They all require electricity in the end, and if someone has no electricity, the noise level drops to completely natural levels. That means a bird chirp can be heard from a mile away on a windless day.

Becoming content with the complete lack of staying in constant cell phone touch with everyone might become as difficult for some folks as a junkie kicking cold turkey. With no TV or radio, there's no 24 hour news. Life becomes immediately very local and what's happening in the Balkans or what's going on with the Kardashians becomes totally irrelevant.

So do summer fashions, makeup, hair products, hit movies, and all the irrelevancies that completely absorb us all far to much and too often.

With no easy external diversions, much of the simple life becomes concerned with filling up all a person's free time. This was one of the reasons I began to play the banjo. There is a lot of book reading, singing, crafts, artwork and other self generated stuff that happens once the mass media stuff all disappears. Repetitive things like knitting or carving a pattern into a wood frame become very engrossing and pleasant. No one else cares how sophisticated or primitive the results are. A person naturally become handy doing many things that others do for us in a city.

If a day's work is done when it is needed to be done, life off the grid is so full of free time a person is challenged in filling all of it up when things are gong smoothly. The fact is a life spent in nature, growing things, takes up much less total time than working in a cubicle 8 hours a day. When the work must be done, the work days are very long, but after the work is finished, there is always plenty of time afterward to refresh and recover.

Most of us work very hard for less fulfilling personal reward and satisfaction than our ancestors living in the country did.

Last edited by banjomike; 05-23-2014 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
I deleted the stuff I haven't done from your list. I'm not exceptional; most of the folks who were raised on western ranches did all of this, to some degree. Not all the grain grown was ever used for only human consumption. Oats, rapeseed, and some pea varieties are all grown for animal fodder.

I'm a native Idahoan, was raised on a ranch, and a lot of your list is very citified. No one but enthusiasts have hand carded wool or hand spun thread for a very long time. machines replaced all that long, long ago, just as shearing sheep is no longer done with knives. mechanical shearing clippers and shears were widely in use well before the civil war.

My family did what we did because that's what we had to do in the growing season. In the winter, we all moved into regular homes down in the valley that had all the modern conveniences. As soon as the mountains got some electric wire strung up, we were all happy to sign right up and get us some juice. We used chain saw just as much as axes, and we used pressurized Coleman lanterns because they gave more light. We piped in a small line from the spring to keep the icebox cool, and the water drained out to a garden that, in a good year, gave us some fresh vegetables. If the deer or a stay cow or sheep didn't get them first.
It ain't nearly as romantic as you think when it has to be done daily. We used anything we could to make the life a little less strenuous, and my ancestors did the same.

There are lots of folks, increasingly more every year, who choose to live off the grid. Relatively few choose to live without electricity and indoor plumbing, and most choose high efficiency appliances. But it's all a matter of choice.
Cast iron stoves replaced open fireplaces long ago, and there are very efficient wood burning stoves, and heaters that allow greater convenience and less labor. Those who live far off the grid use solar panels, passive heating and cooling, and don't live primitively- they are just un-connected to all the big stuff. If anyone wants to live the pioneer life as it was over a century ago or more, it is becoming increasingly hard to find the tools to do it well.

Intensive chore labor is often neither joyful or pleasant in the teeth of a blizzard, but it has to be done every day in all weathers. The less a person has to care for, the less the need for hard daily chores. If modernity eases life of the humans and the critters, it's never a bad thing.

Farming by choice not necessity is always more fun, but that's not to say necessity is always a drudge. It's all in the chore and how a person sees it. For anyone, the novelty wears off very quickly.

Most of that stuff isn't at all hard to learn, and much could be done in a typical suburb that permitted chickens and small pet pigs, goats, or other boutique farm animals. The smaller they are, the quicker to butcher. Of course, suburban living doesn't accommodate much now, but that's not to say it couldn't.
But at the same time, those who live off the grid take full advantage of all the modern advancements in intensively growing small crops. They will build a modern greenhouse, or hot beds, and will use drip irrigation instead of watering cans. 20 acres is still enough, if it's good land in a good place, to keep a family happy and can allow some profit to boot.

They are all around you. You just don't know yet what to look for.
IheartWA wasn't talking about living off-grid. He/she specifically mentioned wanting to live back 1810, and 1810 was pretty primitive. Most of the country west of the Appalachians was frontier at that time, which meant that there were virtually no roads, just trails that were impassable much of the year. A big town back then might have had 500 souls within a half-mile of the post office/tavern/hotel. The Erie Canal, which brought "civilization" and prosperity to Buffalo and other Great Lakes towns, was 7 years from first shovel and 15 years from completion. The only "highways" were rivers which you could float downstream but not back upstream because the steamboat was newly invented (1807). Manufactured goods from factories in NE or Britain were rare on the frontier because it was so expensive to transport them, so people made their own. Most of the labor saving agricultural and household tools were still 20 years or more in future for widespread use, and only prosperous market farmers would have been able to afford them. Fireplaces used for cooking were commonplace on the frontier and in many areas where there subsistence rather than market agriculture into the 1850s, and even later.

Agricultural life has always been hard work. It was more so around 1810.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolillo_loco View Post
Have you? What's so hard about it? I've done much of what you've brought up, and one uses a shake to make shingles from locust and other wood not an axe. That's one reason why families were so big and several generations lived together. More hands to do chores on your own land, which you had virtual allodial title to because the government hadn't yet made us 'teh' "richest freest nation on earth." Even the infirmed elderly were useful. They can still sew, do dishes, wash, tend children, and impart their wisdom/knowledge upon younger generations.

12 inch diameter trees come down rather quickly with an axe. Since most people can't even sharpen a knife, keeping a keen edge on an axe, and using it properly is beyond the scope of "technologically advanced" people. A one man 36" bucking saw cuts them fairly fast. It doesn't take months to harvest enough wood to last a year. On larger trees, a felling saw's not only safer, but it's also exponentially easier to use than an axe. Whether using a shovel, axe, or saw, all these tools can be employed for hours on end once a person learns to not "swing for the fence." Moreover, horse powered saws are rather old and simple tech. Just search "Drag saw" video.

Hand pumps have been around for centuries and livestock in my parts are kept where they can go to a water source on their own. Most people living off the grid just use a wind mill to pump water in my parts.

Several of your points are a once and done event that will last generations and only require minimal maintenance. Since you claim to be in upstate New York, I would think that evidence abounds all around you in the form of 200+ year old stone homes, barns, fences, and bridges. Splitting locust up for fences isn't something that's done often due to the fact that they almost always last at least 100 years on average.

What's the big deal about cooking in a fireplace? I'm sure that by the 1800s, wood stoves and ovens were rather ubiquitous 'cause we had a few that fell into disuse once gas and coal took over the chore. We cleaned out our family run coal yard in the 1970s. Their Victorian mansion on the same property was the largest in the immediate area and several generations lived on it. They built it in the early 1800s. They also owned properties linked to the Union Canal in Pennsylvania because they sold coal, and it came down from Schuylkill County. Hence, we've a lot of old tools that fell into disuse until I started using them again over the past ten years. Those old hatchets, froes, axes, saws, and the like are of higher quality, fit, and finish than anything being passed off as a "tool" in the box stores and faux home building supply chain stores of today.

I see the Amish work their farms daily using animal husbandry and centuries old mechanical technology powered by horse/mule that removes most of the hands on labor.

Ironically, your reference to using the head on a cold rainy/snow night and then the last one speaking about wool, you just answered your own supposition. If one is dressed properly with wool, one is largely unaffected by cold, rainy/snowy weather. I should know, I wear wool year round, and I frequently work on the land outside sun up to sun down in weather that's below 20° Fahrenheit and sometimes below 0°F.

I use most of old heirloom hand tools to perform the jobs you're speaking of because Americans can't read a label, so my factory closed due to foreign imports like so many have in this "country," so I no longer have that high wage factory income that was significantly higher than most other people's, but I've a lot of "free time," so rather than using a tool that's fired on fossil fuels, I broke out all the old tools my family kept that my relatives in the 1800s used.

All the "work" you've outlined is far easier than the ten years I spent standing at a 1200 ton Boyd press picking out several thousand 55 lb hot tar refractory bricks per shift while they came out of the press at 400° F as the air blower cleared the brick's path, the little hot pebbles ricocheted off the side bars, went up my sleeve, and just as I picked the brick up to my chest, the tar smock pressed the pebbles onto my skin and left numerous burns as I slapped them on a 15 lb rack car pallet, lifting them well above my 6'3" frame, and slapping them onto the rack car without damaging them 'cause they're delicate before they're sent to the oven to be cured, on a hot 95° humid July day with temps inside the plant reaching 110° because we've two 3,200° 300' long x 20' x 20' tunnel kilns warming the entire plant, a dozen bell kilns, innumerable driers, 90 horse electric motors, hydraulic pumps, and propane fired Towmotors warming things up while wearing a respirator, safety glasses, and a tar smock that feels like one's wearing a burlap bag for 12 - 16 hour shifts six days a week. Of course, if one has only sat in classrooms, lectured, offices, and clicked a mouse, anything "physical" sounds difficult.

When it comes to physical labor, I'll take farm work any day over the 1 year I spent at Weaber Sawmill working next to a 60" circular saw with a 24" head saw on top of it cutting 24" - 36" logs into cants for the band mill. and the decade I spend at North American Refractories (NARCO) Wommelsdorf, Pa. plant. While at the sawmill, I saw one man crushed to death with a fork lift, severl men's tendons busted out of the fleshy part of forearms due to their limbs being caught in V-belts, and enough hands and fingers chopped off to keep Frankenstein busy for months, so I beg your pardon, but I don't see what's so flippin' hard about the implied tough points you've outlined.

One will never know what real work is like living/working/attending classes on a college campus pushing/lapping up a state run/wealthy elite disinformation agenda and doing other such pointless bureaucratic "work" and or "education."

I too "could go on."

Cheers,
bolillo
See my respone to banjomike. You, like he, missed the point. IheartWA wanted to go back to a specific time in history without really understanding what that time was like.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:13 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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I have to apologize to linda. She was being sarcastic and I missed it.

Iheart admits that she's nostalgic, but her nostalgia has no basis in the reality of the times. A child born in 1810 watched his parents begin using some of the things I mention by the time he was 10. He was using some of the things I mentioned that weren't available to his parents at age 30. If he led a typical life, by age 45 he was dead or aging severely.

Without getting dramatic, there is nothing in that life Iheart mentioned that was considered nostalgic by the grandchildren of those who lived it. There was so much drudge work to simply staying alive people wore out fast and died young.

Life was full of common everyday lethal dangers. In 1810 Illinois, the most common recorded child death was lost in the woods. Cholera and typhus came around every few years and took them away, young and old, as did a scratch from a rusty nail, a broken leg, or a runaway wagon.

The life I lived as a young child is something I neither look back at fondly or with regret. It simply was what it was, one that was limited to what would work best at that time and with the resources available to us. It was not any simpler than life is now, it was simply different.

I could do it all again if I had to, but I have no desire to re-live it. I still love our ranch in the hills, but I love it all the more for the lights that don't run out of fuel and are lit by a switch, the ceramic tub that can be filled with hot water, no bucket needed, and a toilet that flushes and doesn't need a dose of quicklime to avoid reeking. My grandparents would have loved all that too.

There are 2 old things I still do love. I leave my telephone back in my valley home, and there is no TV up there. I am comfortable with the silence, and I am very happy to get away from the distractions of constant empty entertainment. The place now has a scruffy library of 2 generations worth of paperback literature at it's worst, and the escapism is tremendous. hard to beat an old mystery from 1960 for passing an evening.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
I have to apologize to linda. She was being sarcastic and I missed it.

Iheart admits that she's nostalgic, but her nostalgia has no basis in the reality of the times. A child born in 1810 watched his parents begin using some of the things I mention by the time he was 10. He was using some of the things I mentioned that weren't available to his parents at age 30. If he led a typical life, by age 45 he was dead or aging severely.

Without getting dramatic, there is nothing in that life Iheart mentioned that was considered nostalgic by the grandchildren of those who lived it. There was so much drudge work to simply staying alive people wore out fast and died young.

Life was full of common everyday lethal dangers. In 1810 Illinois, the most common recorded child death was lost in the woods. Cholera and typhus came around every few years and took them away, young and old, as did a scratch from a rusty nail, a broken leg, or a runaway wagon.

The life I lived as a young child is something I neither look back at fondly or with regret. It simply was what it was, one that was limited to what would work best at that time and with the resources available to us. It was not any simpler than life is now, it was simply different.

I could do it all again if I had to, but I have no desire to re-live it. I still love our ranch in the hills, but I love it all the more for the lights that don't run out of fuel and are lit by a switch, the ceramic tub that can be filled with hot water, no bucket needed, and a toilet that flushes and doesn't need a dose of quicklime to avoid reeking. My grandparents would have loved all that too.

There are 2 old things I still do love. I leave my telephone back in my valley home, and there is no TV up there. I am comfortable with the silence, and I am very happy to get away from the distractions of constant empty entertainment. The place now has a scruffy library of 2 generations worth of paperback literature at it's worst, and the escapism is tremendous. hard to beat an old mystery from 1960 for passing an evening.
Apology accepted -- and I know exactly how you feel. I grew up on farms in the 1950s-1960s, and I sometimes get nostalgic for some of it, which is why I garden. I would move out to the country if I found the right situation, but I only visit the old family farm (although I still own part of it) because the area lacks not only a lot of the amenities we take for granted today but also things that are more important to people of various ages (medical facilities for old folks and jobs for young ones, etc).
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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If they do exist you won't find them on the internet.
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
My wife and I love history. We love old houses, old cars, old furniture, old music, old movies, etc. Furthermore, we're old enough to see how our society is crumbling... and we think... "how cool would it be to live like it was long ago?".

Thus far, we haven't figured out what our "target year" would be... as in, "we're going to live like it's [year], and the only things we will use that are newer than [year] will be medical technology on an as-needed basis, and things that have become basic necessities of survival in today's America (whatever they might be)".

I watched a video about a family that did this - their target year was 1986. I think they were only intending to do it for one year, and the only new thing they used was a newer car.

The Amish do a good job of it, as I understand... but they tend to clump together such that there is a support group inherent in the area. (Amish areas have stores that sell antique-style farming implements and the like!)

Assuming we're not going to turn Amish, do any of y'all know of anyone who is doing this? If yes, where can I find it? My Google searches turned up very little.
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I, for one, agree with most of what you've said. No, you aren't a sad person who needs to go to the psychology forum, you are simply stating what you and perhaps many others feel. Maybe they are not online or they are just not on this forum.
Either way, there are lots of folks I've had this conversation with, and we're not a stuck-in-the-past, sad group at all! On the contrary, we appreciate many of the things that make relationships meaningful- like less texting, no need for Facebook, etc., because nothing beats conversation, a phone call or, dare I say, a written thank you note! We also make an effort to invite friends & family over for a home cooked meal, a game of Scrabble, etc. (these types of get togethers can't be beat, and the younger ones will have great memories). While there's nothing inherently wrong with technology as it exists, you can have a very fulfilling life without excessive dependence on electronics and the media.
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