Sunday, May 06, 2012

Time was

I just came across this photo of the girls (now in their 30's) asleep... kids can sleep anywhere - Its the arm right across Ali's neck which amused me. I remember we came home late from somewhere and I just walked and carried them into bed and let them stay in their day clothes - Never wake a sleeping child! They are still pretty close and as with siblings they are very different in many ways but very much alike in the ways that count.
Its been a quiet week here. Its taking a bit of getting used to the cold. My house is not that well insulated as when I go to the kids' house its a lot warmer and I am a mad window opener - needed when you have cats. I gave in this week and put the heating on and it works fine. I never used heating in my old place except when people came because I don't like heating unless its from a real fire. I have been lucky enough that I have lived in houses where there was a real fireplace (up until 2004) that could be used and nothing compares.
Whenever I smell the woodfire smoke it takes me way back to childhood and I can easily see our old fuel stove where we would make our own toast on the end of a long fork - this before we had a toaster. Like many in my age group who grew up in the country I can remember the kerosene fridge, the ice chest before that and the copper which heated the water for our baths. Water which had to be carried in buckets into the bath tub.

Change seems to be happening exponentially of late and I wonder at the world I grew up in. Was fine for me because I didn't have to wash the family's clothes by hand as Mum did. I didn't have to chop the wood as Dad did . But what I do recall is that along with the hard work which no one misses people seemed to have time to sit on each other's verandahs and chat. Mum always had time to listen and I mean listen. Dad was gentle and very strong something never spoken about but you just knew he would be there...and the shock when he was killed knocked us about terribly.

I wouldn't want to go back because it was hard and the people who were poor were really poor with no way out if you hit old age with nothing after a lifetime of work. But somewhere along the way it feels like something has been lost with all the change. I think we are desensitised to things which once would have rocked us. I was explaining to the kids once that when people first went to the pictures (the silent ones) and saw someone being shot off a horse they were appalled. People walked out. Some people got sick...because it was real to them.

Now I can watch and seldom think anything at all - and its much more graphic - but while I can recognise easily its not real a part of me is disconnected... and not sure that's a good thing. Unless it happens to us or our friends or we actually see or are part of it - a lot of what happens isn't real.

just a bit of a thought train.


Andrew said...

It's a nice photo. Such innocence. One house we bought had a gas fridge. How does a fire make things cold? I remember kero fridges too.

Middle Child said...

Andrew good question? I have never thought of that one. I do remember when the bulb that held the flame of the Kero fridge started to smoke black smoke Dubbo here threw a glass of cold water on it (about 10yrs old) because I thought it was going to explode - not real popular with mum and dad as the glass bulb cracked and the fridge wouldn't keep things cool.
Found this at
"Ironically, refrigerators keep things cold because of the nature of heat. The Second Law of Thermodynamics essentially states that if a cold object is placed next to a hot object, the cold object will become warmer and the hot object will become cooler. A refrigerator does not cool items by lowering their original temperatures; instead, an evaporating gas called a refrigerant draws heat away, leaving the surrounding area much colder. Refrigerators and air conditioners both work on the principle of cooling through evaporation."

FoxyMoron said...

You're not that much older than me but I was a city kid so have no memories of anything but electric.
Freezing here too yesterday, felt like it was coming off the snow.

Andrew said...

The refrigeration principle is good, but instinct says wrong.