Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Good Ol' Days
I've been reading a series of books lately, called Betsy-Tacy books. This books are great for a number of reasons! They start with a 5 year old girl named Betsy, and follow her as she grows up, goes to high school, travels Europe in her early 20's, and finally gets married. The great thing about these books (there are 10 of them), is that as the characters age, the reading level of the book ages as well. So a young child would be able to read and love the stories of Betsy and her friend Tacy when they were 5, and a high school girl would enjoy the books when Betsy was in high school.
Another fabulous thing about these books is that the stories are based on the author's life! Which brings me to the point of my blog, really. The author grew up in the late 1800's and early 1900's, and that's of course the period where her stories take place as well. It was so cool to read stories about what life was actually like over 100 years ago, written by someone who lived through it! I actually learned a lot about what life was like back then, and it was pretty neat! There are definitely some things that I'm glad we've progressed from, 100 years later, but there are definitely some aspects of that life that I wish we had now too. For example:
1. These people ate homemade desserts CONSTANTLY and NEVER got fat!!!! What the heck?!?!?!? At least 2, if not 3 times a day, these people were eating cake, fudge, pie, cookies, etc., etc. I just have to daydream about one of these items and I feel like I've instantly gained 5 lbs.
2. The high school boys are all football players AND uber talented in music. They spend their free time singing around a piano. My dream guy would totally be athletic and musical, but it turns out guys don't seem to do that anymore.
3. These people had all the leisure time in the world, even after doing their work, school, homework, chores, etc. They picnicked all the time, they were going to operas and plays, they were always going out to ice cream (see note #1), and don't even get me started on all the parties and dances they had all the time. Our world now gets progressively faster and gains more technology, with the seeming outcome of giving us the ability to get or work done faster so we can have more time to play, but it turns out people just do more work instead. Just a few weeks ago our internet was down for like 5 days, and I was stunned by all of the free time I suddenly acquired. I wish more people valued the blessing of slowing life down.
4. Almost everyone back in the day cherished good values. If only....
I also enjoyed immensely the 9th book in the series, where Betsy is traveling Europe. She spends time in Munich, Venice, Paris and London. The most intriguing thing about this book is at the end, when she is in London and WWI breaks out. It was so cool to learn more about what that time period would have been like for a 22 year old girl living through it, having just made dear friends who are now on all sides of the war. These books were so much fun to read, and I love all that I've learned from what life was life over 100 years ago!