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Life was tough but fair in the 'good old days'

Columnist looks at bright side of a simpler life

A friend who often reads what I write especially likes to reflect about times gone by. He wishes things would have stayed pretty much the way they were.

I can't always entirely agree with that. I can remember how it was before we had an electric clothes dryer, for instance.

Getting ready for school, my sister and I could often be found trying to dry a pair of anklets, or a blouse with a wet spot from a last-minute stain removal, over the flat grill of the floor furnace.

We felt lucky, of course, to have that new furnace, because it replaced the old wood-burning one in the basement. We no longer had to throw the load of wood through the basement window, stack the wood against the wall and chop kindling to start the fires.

The gas furnace, while a blessing, could wreak havoc on an unwatched article of drying clothing. An anklet, left too long on the metal grill, would bear criss-crossed scorch marks, and the blouse would have a halo defining the recently removed spot.

True, we girls could have planned ahead a little better and not had to go off to school looking like rag-tag kids, but we were young, and our dad was doing his best to raise us by himself.

Also, back in those days, it was expected that those same socks would be darned by us if they got a hole in the heel or toe. It wasn't easy to tuck that hole under my heel inside my saddle shoe and wear it to school that way, but I'd do most anything to avoid getting out that darning "egg" and the seldom-matching yarn to try to make a decent looking patch.

These days, that is un-heard-of. People just toss out socks with holes and buy new ones. Many other things are better now.

Just one example: I have learned to text on my cell phone and now have more communication with my grandchildren than before. What do you suppose they would text back if I asked them if they knew what a darning egg was?

I'd have to go a long, long way back to find some instances of things really being better than they are now - all the way back to Adam and Eve, perhaps. Just think! They never had to worry about:

a. What to wear;

b. What the neighbors would think; or

c. Where to go on vacation

Lynn S. Turner is a Tigard resident with an adventurous spirit who likes to look at the world in unusual ways.