This is my past.

These are pictures were taken on on the farm belonging to one of my great-grandfathers.

The names written on the back of the one above includes "the dog Jim", but doesn't name the two (assumed to be) hired men standing to the left of the picture. I'm glad to see my ancestors had their priorities straight!

A couple cousins and I are doing some research into the family history. It interests me, and I think it should be done before yet another generation leaves us, taking their knowledge, their memories, their family history with them. To date, we have a basic, bare-bones link back to John, born c. 1690 somewhere near York, Pennsylvania (yes, dirty little secret - my family was once American!! Yikes!!! ;D ), so we have a LOT of work to do.

Learning about the past really does interest me. It also puts things into perspective.

When I complain about the cable conking out once again, I need to remember be thankful that I live in a house with electricity.

When I complain about the the price of gas, I need to remember be thankful that I don't have to use a horse and buggy to get where I want to go.

When I complain about cleaning the toilet, I need to remember be thankful that I don't have to go to the outhouse in the middle of the night, or worse, empty the chamber pots.

When I complain about many modern life inconveniences, I need to remember be thankful that I live in time and in a culture where I am free, I have the right to vote, the right to own property in my name, the right to post my opinions openly, the ability to work, to get world-class medical and dental care, the ability to read and learn, the ability and right to be educated.

There are many people living in this world today who live in conditions that would have been thought primitive to those ancestors in the pictures above. And I thank those ancestors, and the sacrifices they made, and the courage they had, that I live in a time and culture where I can complain about cable TV, the price of gas and cleaning the toilet. I promise to try to think of them before I do so however!

P.S. sorry for the poor picture quality - I couldn't get the scanner to work, but I will try again and replace these if I can with better images.

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