#WednesdayWisdom: Rose-colored past


I started watching 1900 Island, streaming on Acorn, which is a show in the same vein as Manor House or 1900 House or Colonial House. Essentially it’s a very long cosplay where people of the 20th century live as they would in one of the above.

This is one is gorgeous, taking place on a now-uninhabited island off of Wales, with sweeping, windy views of the sea. But the thing that always gets me is how unprepared the people who sign up to do it always are.

They perpetually seem surprised by the food or the lack thereof, by the close quarters, by the clothes. By the chamber pots and toting water. Here the living comes from the sea; there has never been a time in history that that’s an easy way to exist.

It makes me wonder why they signed up in the first place, what they thought they would be heading toward. People have this idealistic view of the past, but the reality is life was hard in so many ways we don’t even think about now.

Usually the retort is that it was simpler, but was it? What’s simpler than a washing machine versus an entire day wringing laundry? What’s simpler than running water? Indoor plumbing?

A chamberpot-less existence?

I think by “simpler” people tend to mean less diverse. I think by “simpler” people tend to mean more closed. And I think by “simpler” people mean they think people didn’t have to think.

But if you weren’t resourceful, it wasn’t going to go well for you.

The past isn’t some shining place where all was well before modernity ruined it. Modernity serves up solutions for the problems of the past. Not always perfectly, of course, but I will never regret flush toilets.

Be grateful for yours on this Wednesday, and have a fantastic one. Day or flush toilet, that’s up to you.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
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Bit of a Trip Break for a Little Musing


img_5588I’m taking a bit of a travel-blog break, as lovely as it is reliving the magic of my trip, but it’s also extremely time-consuming writing the posts and choosing the photos. Here’s a picture of a frigate bird, though, just because.

Did I mention I took A LOT of photos?

I’m also about to run out of hosting space here, so that’s another issue I need to work through before I move on to the bulk of my photos in the Galapagos. So much sorting to do!

I’ve been home for a week now, the technicolor reality of my vibrant trip subdued, muted by the imposition of reality. It’s almost impossible to believe, sitting on my sofa with the crisp autumn breeze through the window, that those few days ago I stood near the equator and saw a sea lion beg for fish in the fish market.

Don’t worry. I’ve got photos.

It’s funny how the past firmly becomes the past, no matter how you try to stall it. Time and humans; humans and time; one of us has the upper hand.

And it ain’t us.

Is it possible to be nostalgic for something that was so recent? I’m not sure. All I know is I’m looking ahead to our third show this Saturday, and whatever may come beyond.

In or near Chicago in October? Come see “Me Inside Me Presents: Witch, Please,” on October 1, 8, 22 and 29 at Donny’s Skybox Theater at 7 pm. Tickets available at SecondCity.com.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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