Sunday, November 23, 2008


Primitives have long been a hot decorating style. They are like comfort food for the soul. This world has gotten to be so fast, so technological and in many ways so impersonal. It's tough to imagine but there was a time not so very long ago when there were no TVs, no computers, no cars, no cell phones, no phones, and no electricity to make life easier! What we call primitives today were much needed functional items from that time! Homemade candles along with handmade candle holders for lighting. There were hand carved wooden utensils, what we call treenware and homemade lye soaps for cleanliness. Shelves, boxes and cupboards that were functional and had places for everyday needful items. Clothing was hand sewn with sturdy material. You made your own food and knew where that food came from. Can you smell that fresh baked bread? Can you taste that sweet cream butter that was churned by hand? If something was needed you made it. Christmastime didn't involve a trip to the mall or Wal Mart but a trip to the sewing box or wood shop to make gifts for friends and loved ones. Gifts of love made with your own hands. Entertainment was reading a book, sewing with family and friends, playing musical instruments, singing and just being with family!
Looking back at that time is like looking through a hazy window. We have come so far so fast that we almost forget there were the times before we had all this technology to make our life easier and full of pleasure. But with that it seems there has been a trade off. Our families are scattered. We have so much stuff, or stuff we need to have to care for other stuff. Closets filled with clothes and shoes and purses. We have bill piled upon bill, the car payment, the house payment, the cell phone bill, the home phone bill, the Internet bill, the electric bill which we pay not only to keep our lights on and our home warm or cool but also to keep all of our stuff running. We pay insurance for everything imaginable even for all of the above stuff. We have credit card bills and store accounts. The list goes on and on. If you really think about it, it will make your head spin. We have traded in time. No one seems to have time anymore. Everyone is busy taking care of "stuff", working to pay bills, to keep the car running and filled with gas to get to work and home. We get home and take care of what needs tending. We make dinner, shuffle the kids here and there, do a quick housecleaning, and if you live on a farm there are chores too! If you are lucky, you get a little time to enjoy some of the "stuff" you have worked so hard to get like the TV or the computer or music on the Ipod. Then you go to bed and hope for more than 6 hours of sleep before you have to get up and do it all over again!
I think we know somewhere inside ourselves that all this fast paced, get more stuff, live for the moment, way of life could be temporary. We might even realize that one day we might have to go back to a more primitive way of life or to some facets of it.
Making primitives gives me a deep seated joy and satisfaction. I think I could do it if I had to. I think I could live without electricity and all the other amenities of life we have all come to enjoy. I wouldn't want to but I could. Please don't get me wrong here. I know that life back then was extremely hard. People didn't live as long. I still can't help but to believe, that at the end of the day they went to bed with a satisfaction of work accomplished, a job well done and with a pride of family that worked together, lived together and loved together.

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