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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birthdays and Home

September 4, 1940, Miller, MO, was pretty special for our family.  Gene was born to Carl and Edna Adcock.  Actually delivered by Edith Adcock, Carl's mom.  Now let's stop and think about this.  Seventy two years ago my husband was born at home without a doctor attending the event.  Ouch is my first thought.

Another Mantooth relative in early 1950's with no running water and no electric lights.
Both my older sisters were born at home.  Dr. Mantooth, a cousin, delivered Suzie, my sis that was born in 1940, also.  Not sure if Dr. Mantooth was present when Momma delivered Margaret at home in 1936.   No pain killers either.  There are many women now that prefer the natural method.  I am pleased for them to have that option and pleased I took a different approach.

While reading a blog recently it was stated that at the turn of the 20th century, 1800's to 1900's, over 43% of a persons income was spent to purchase food.  The blogger then went on to say that did not leave much money for utilities and gas for the car . . . . .  This statement concerned me as to the lack of historical reality.

Most homes had no utility bills as we know them now.  The nights were lit by kerosene, gas or oils lamps or candles.  Firewood and coal were still the mainstays with some heating oil for cooking and heating homes and businesses.  Yes, these items cost money but unless you lived in a city or town there was not much in the way of a "utility" company.

My family drew water from an underground cistern that held rain water that came off our roof.  The same roof cats sat on and licked themselves.  That birds splattered as they do our freshly washed cars.  In the dry summer months that cistern would be dry till we called the water truck for a fill up.  There was no bottled water to quench our thirst.  It was 1961 before I lived in a house with indoor plumbing.  Wind power was used by some folks to pump water up from underground springs and aquifers.  Or hand pumps were used if there were pipes into the houses.

Waxahachie, TX, gin, with mules outnumbering autos! 
And how had the blogger gotten the idea that every one had a car.... that needed gas.  Mules and horses pulling wagons or buggies were still pretty plentiful into the 1930's.  Distance travel was accomplished by  trains by land and ships for oversea travel well into the mid century.

Alabama cotton gin, 1937.  No autos in sight!

Have we as parents and grandparents failed our children and grandchildren in this matter?  Have we failed by not teaching them how recently our nation had developed little more than a second or third world nation at the end of the 19th century?  That modern conveniences at one time were steam machines, not remote controls?  Do we have "teaching to the test" to thank for this missing history lessons?  I will accept my part in this misconception.

But for today, for this 72 birthday for Gene we will not be having all the neighbors in for the jump house we are not going to rent.  We will not fly all the family to the Bahamas for a few days.  We, just Gene and I, will cherish just having a comfortable home, having another birthday and praising God for all birthdays, home and of course Gene's Jeep.

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