Is our society too convenient?

I’m farm-sitting for my sister this week. She just moved her homestead farm here to New Brunswick after more than a decade in Ontario. I’m the only one here, with the animals. I won’t say it’s been easy, but it hasn’t been terribly difficult either. Probably because I don’t have a list of stuff I want to get done - just the daily farm feeding chores.

However, I did come to a realization out here: today’s society has gotten too used to convenience. We very much are a group of people who automatically turn to “I’ll just go buy a new one” when something breaks or doesn’t work the way we need it to. That doesn’t happen around here - for one, buying a new anything means a 20 minute drive into “town”. For another, it’s just not the way things are done here. If you need a solution for something, you figure it out as you go.

Case in point - I spent yesterday afternoon sanitizing a big donation of cloth diapers for Cloth for a Cause. There’s no washing machine here, so I had to do it by hand which is quite the feat. I was so impressed. Then, I fixed the clothesline that had fallen down, and started to put my newly whitened inserts and boosters on the line. I got half on, when I heard a sudden “snap” and my line went slack. A rust spot got past me, and the clothes line broke, sending my newly washed load plummeting into the mud pile underneath. Not exactly what I had in mind, and yes - I might have been cursing a bit.

My handiwork!  You can see the mudpie of doom underneath, but you’d never know that whole line had previously been drug through it.

My handiwork! You can see the mudpie of doom underneath, but you’d never know that whole line had previously been drug through it.

But, since there is no washing machine, there is also no dryer. And I wasn’t going to drive a muddy wet pile of diapers 20 minutes to the laundromat. So - I went on a treasure hunt. Today, my clothesline is back up and holding all those diapers strongly. Same wire, but now it’s held together at the break with copper wire and zip ties.

It seems like common sense to me, but as I was doing it I realized that if I was home I probably wouldn’t have thought of that. I would have gotten in the Jeep and driven to the store and bought a new clothesline. That made me wonder how many people under 30 would have even had the thought or wisdom to be able to repair that clothesline. I’m not sure it’s as many as I’d think.

I just got back from bringing in the first load from the line and they are beautifully dry and white. Task accomplished, and I feel that much more proud because I did it ALL myself without any machinery.