Thankful Thursday – Modern Conveniences

I consider myself a pretty active person. Last year, I trained for and completed two triathlons.  Apparently, John and I are very good at having babies who are on the top end of the growth chart.  I have been pushing my 2 1/2 year old in the stroller and carrying the baby in a Bjorn the last couple of months.  It is already getting hard because Mia is gaining weight like a champ. So today, I purchased a double jogging stroller to
make my walking/running trips around town much more comfortable.

This purchase triggered a brainstorm on all of the items I appreciate that make life easier that my ancestors did not have.  My 3rd great grandmother had 15 children between 1812 and 1837.  I know that the family traveled from Tennessee to frontier Kansas  about 1835-1836 in a covered wagon.  I am guessing that Polly did not have any sort of stroller with all terrain wheels to help her around the farm.

Here are a couple of other items that make me appreciate living in the 21st century:

Skype: We live in California and my parents live in Virginia.  Skype lets my kids video chat with their grandparents.  This is so awesome because my kids get to see and talk with their grandparents instead of just pictures between visits.  One of my family lines moved from Virginia to Kansas in the 1870’s.  The only way to communicate then was by letter which took a long time to get to where it was going.  I bet those ancestors would have loved Skype.

GPS:  My car has a map in the display.  This function is so convenient when going to places I have not been before.  You can even look up hospitals, restaurants, etc. to choose as a destination.  We go to Tahoe a lot and stay in Truckee, California.  There is a state park in town at Donner Lake that has a museum about the infamous Donner party.  I am sure that the Donner party would have loved to have a GPS on their ill-fated trip to California.  If they did, they would have known that the shortcut they took was really a long cut.  If they had not taken a longer route, the Donner party would have been over the mountains before the massive snows in November 1846.  Beating the snow would have meant that the entire party lived and no one had to resort to cannibalism to survive.

Tractors:  My father-in-law has a tractor.  He loves to find any excuse he can to get on it and “play.”  This usually means starting some new construction project or taking the tractor up to Hopland to his dad’s ranch.  Most of my ancestors were farmers.  I am sure that they would have loved to have a gas powered tractor to help tend their farms in the mid-west!
I have thought of one thing that we have today that I am sure our ancestors are happy to have missed out on – TSA lines at the airport.  Could you imagine our ancestors getting patted down before getting into their wagons to travel West?!

My list could be very long of all the things we have today that have profoundly changed the way we live.  What are some of your favorite things that make life just a little easier?

The next generation – My Descendants

It occurred to me very recently that not only do I have ancestors, I have descendants.  The event that sparked this moment of clarity was the birth of my second child, Mia Caitlin on May 15th.  You would think that this would have occurred to me when my first daughter, Julia, was born in December 2008 but it didn’t.  It was a cool realization that there is now another generation added to my family tree, this time down in the roots.