Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks in Order

Air to breathe.

Water to drink.






Meaningful work.


Indoor plumbing.

As you can see, I've given this some thought. In the manner of a true obsessive-compulsive I consider these things daily and I am deeply aware of the importance of each.

It's only a start. The bare minimum. There are other things worth mentioning: freedom, good teeth, laptops, ability to move about, coffee, etc. etc.

Many years ago in the early 1970's at a Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother's house, we were cleaning up afterwards. My grandfather had built the most marvelous kitchen. For example, they had a smooth-surface stovetop, and this was over thirty years ago, which my grand-dad had built into a brick-and-slate surround.

They had a huge old black cast-iron woodstove, an antique, which my grandmother used to slow-cook and bake and also just to warm their house on cold Catskill Mountain winter days. And did it ever.

Of course they also had all the usual modern appliances of the time: a regular gas oven, a nice big deep double sink, a microwave (those were a new thing back then,) the fridge and a storage freezer out in their garage-workshop. They had also kept an old ice-box which was probably new when F. Scott Fitzgerald was a little boy.

Funny, that. They used to have things that looked like very sharp horse-drawn plows which they employed to cut blocks of ice out of the frozen surface of the Hudson River. It was stored in a huge warehouse and packed in hay. This way the ice would keep all year round. An ice-man would deliver it to your home and put it in the bottom of your ice-box. Refridgeration without electricity.

My grandfather had a couple of these old ice-cutters out in his yard as ornaments. He had great collection of old tools.

Through sliding-glass doors the kitchen looked out and down the hill at a fabulous view of the Shokan valley and reservoir. Stunning, really. It was so interesting. I've never seen anything else like it; that kitchen, with its hundred years' worth of food technology all in one place, and so beautiful too.

So we were doing dishes and clearing the table while others retired. I asked my grandmother, who was born in the first decade of the last century, which of these kitchen goodies she liked the best.

She paused, then said "Running water," and pointed to the sink faucet.


may said...


blogging. another thing to be thankful of the little things that is free but with numerous benifits.

hope your thanksgiving was great :)

Ruth said...

On the porch in Covington, TN, we had one of those refrigerators, and deliveries of blocks of ice. And in the shed there was a cylinder with holes, inside another cylinder, lain on their sides, that agitated to do the wash.

I think I would tell my granddaughter the thing I like best is good air to breathe. But running water and indoor plumbing is very nice.

GingerJar said...

I lived with my grandparents near Idabel, OK when I was a little girl. We had no running water, and an out-house that faced the pasture...that had no door. I only used it when it was very necessary because I was afraid of the bull. We drew water to wash from the cistren and hauled drinking water from town in milk cans. We did have my grandfather was very handy with those things. He had paid for county water...but the line was never extended the last three miles to his place. When I was a senior in high school they drilled a well...and two months later the county decided to extend the line. My grandmother was so proud of her white commode and washing machine.