Looking back through my treasure trove of old pictures from the early 1900s and beyond, I was reminded again and again just how difficult life must have been for the people who lived in that time period.
Most activities were done with manual labor. Anything from digging ditches to washing clothes required hard physical effort on folks' part.
I cannot imagine sawing all the lumber for a house with a hand saw or digging the basements or foundations with a pick and shovel since I was raised in the generation where there was an automatic tool for just about every task.
The other day, my niece posted a picture on Facebook of a snot sniffer and all the women just raved about how well that works. This is a gadget to use on babies with runny noses. You place one end in their snotty nose and suck on the other end and out it comes.
Before you lose your dinner over that visual, there is some kind of check valve in there that doesn't let the snot go to your mouth. Well, when it works properly that is.
Examining it closely, I could see the one fault in the design: it doesn’t have a motor on it. You put a motor on that thing and your kid’s nose would soon be as clean as a rain gutter after a thunder shower. You know that the man in your life would be sure be chasing down not only his own kid but the neighbors’ kids and to eliminate totally the next pandemic outbreak. Men just love motorized equipment.
Now, this is where men and women differ.
Trixie and I are in Texas to fish and to see the family over the winter. Her dad, Shot, volunteered to help remodel the fellowship hall at their home church.
The Sunday it was announced that workdays have been scheduled, offers of help flooded the sanctuary, the Heavens parted, a light shown down and the hallelujah chorus was heard with angelic voices. Though, something slipped between the cup and the lip between Sunday morning and Monday morning and no one showed up.
That left Shot and Trixie working like dogs for the next three weeks on the remodel. Alas, Ol' Dutch couldn’t even be called into help because he was more than 100 miles away baby-sitting.
One afternoon, though, I was able to get away to help. My son's company had donated new carpet for the project and I volunteered to make the delivery up to the work site.
When I came through the door, there was Trixie, my beloved high-tech executive by day, sweeping away at the old dirty floor with a small broom. Out of the corner of my eye, Ol' Dutch spotted a shop vac which I just knew would be the answer to her hard work and so offered it to her.
Quickly I was told that a shop vac cannot get the dirt out of corners like a broom can and it only took me about two tries to convince her when I saw her eyes flash and knew it was time for me to exit the premises. Ol' Dutch is learning “discretion is the better part of valor” which means “know when to run.”
It’s obvious that this woman God gave me has no idea about motorized equipment and its use. She and the other women of the world seem to think that getting a job done correctly is the desired outcome. Nothing can be further from the truth.
With men, getting to use a motorized contrivance of some kind is the key to happiness regardless of how well it works or if something simpler would work better.
A handsaw is sufficient for anyone with limbs and small sapling work around a house but no man in his virile right mind would be without a chain saw if he has to cut a 2” branch.
So all you women out there take note and instead of trying the usual forms of “encouragement” such as constant banter, withholding “treats” or the rolling pin, simply buy a tool to do the job and leave it around the house.
Soon you will hear your guy tearing, shooting, grinding or sucking, pulling or mixing and realize that even if the job doesn’t get done right, it’s never messed up so bad that someone can’t fix it. At the very least your kids will have clean noses.