November 18: Indoor Plumbing
I have always enjoyed reading, and books like Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, and Pride and Prejudice allow me to escape into another world – a world romanticized by carefree days and happy endings.
This idyllic image began to wane, however, when I read a true-life account of Pa Wilder, who woke up one morning to find a rat had made a nest in his beard! This was my first lesson in learning what the author chooses to omit can be as important as what the author chooses to include.
It can be easy to look back nostalgically on the past and wish for those by-gone days. We complain about our hectic lives, our insatiable need for instant gratification, and our dependence on technology. But I must admit that I am grateful to live in the 21st century. I am not sure that I could endure a Kansas summer without central air conditioning, and given my severe avoidance to outhouses (I once refused to go to the bathroom for an entire weekend while at Girl Scout camp), my kidneys would have ceased functioning long before adolescence.
So today I give thanks for all modern conveniences… the washing machine and dryer, the dishwasher, central heating and cooling, gas fireplaces, four-wheel drive cars with seat warmers, and yes… an outdated bathroom complete with indoor plumbing.