Monday, July 12

Book Report

photo is from here

What a fantastic idea!!!! I have always wanted to do something like this just to see if I could do it.

Logan and his wife and their about-2 year old spent a full year living in the year 1900. If I was not invented before or during 1900, they went without it. No electric, indoor plumbing, central heat and air. Obviously, no cell phones, tv, internet, car or radio but also without things we take for granted - shampoo, disposable razors, non-wood burning stove for cooking, a washing machine....

It starts out like I would think any project like this would start out - with tons of problems. They record them all, even their arguing about things and fights. The hardships of outhouses, bathing, cooking and cleaning, transportation and food. But there are also things I never thought of. How do you get up in the middle of the night to check something with no lights? You reach around in the dark trying to find a match or you just walk slowly and hope you don't run into anything. You have to get up before the sun anyway to get the stove started, especially in the colder months so you will have a fire good enough to make breakfast. Goats are not always cooperative when you want to milk them, and they pass gas. Hauling water from the well in slopping-over buckets in winter.

When I think about a kind of project like this, I want to envision the peaceful country life - waking with the sun, heading out into a dew laden field to milk the cow and collect eggs for breakfast. I pause to enjoy the sweet smell of the flowers and I have barn kittens at my feet. The yard is nicely landscaped, the fire is magically going and I can sit on the front porch all day enjoying a book. As I already knew, in the back of my mind, this would not be the case. And this book did a great job if giving my visions a jolt of reality.

But they got things down to a science. They cooked, planted, harvested, drove a horse and buggy, milked their goats and lived. By the middle of the book, it was great to read about how they were getting along nicely, writing letters on actual paper with an actual old pen (gasp!), canning and preserving, and entertaining neighbors and friends.

They became part of the community and their neighbors, conscious of their experiment, did their best to accommodate. They brought over period-appropriate tools, baked goods, and brought over newspapers with the coverage of September 11th. That happened during their time in 1900 and they chose not to use their emergency-only phone. They wrote letters and read neighbors newspapers.

"I am not sure whether it is resignation or faith, but something helps me abide. I get by without the cruch of technology, the false sense that minute-by-minute news coverage or phone contact puts us in control. I have never been a very patient person. And yet something in my has changed. Over the past few months, I have been calmed by the lack of twenty-first-century distractions and humbled by teh power of nature. Like the weather, the terrorist attacks were beyond my control. All I can do is cling to the simple assurance of daily chores." Logan Ward

I thoroughly loved this book. It is funny, informative, interesting and inspiring.

A must read for anyone who longs for days gone by and wonders if it is like my vision or if your goat really does pass gas while milking.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the book suggestions...sound fascinating!!!