Little House on the Prarie

Don’t ask me how it relates, but my friend Shane got me thinking after he posted this. It got me thinking a lot about the things we give priority in our day and time. From time to time I think about what it would have been like to live in the old days. I’m talking “Little House on the Prarie” times when all you had time to focus on was raising farm animals, crops, and keeping the log cabin in good shape. And that was living the American dream back then. They were enjoying a life of freedom. I’m so guilty of getting things out of order the way we live in todays society. I think I could have been a better husband and father in the LHOP (Little House on Prarie) days. There are too many distractions and messed up ‘priorities’ now. It isn’t enough to just recognize them any more either because it is a tremendous battle to fight off all the forces (people and their mentalities and loud opinions) who want to make you feel stupid for not living by the standards our society has put in place.

We think we need 500 channels on TV. I personally have refused to pay for it so far. We have the most basic cable you can get but we’re debating whether or not to add on to it so the kids can have Nick and Disney or something. What did the LHOP kids do without TV? They learned to read and write and their dad told them stories and taught them how to do stuff. He probably read the bible to them too. Imagine doing that instead of watching American Idol.

We think we need cell phones. This has changed in just the past 20 years or so. Now I wouldn’t even be employed if I didn’t have that blasted cell phone. But imagine calling up LHOP dad on his mobile phone (or sending him a text message) while he’s in the field. Wouldn’t happen. There was either the good faith and expectation that he would be home at a certain time or they knew where to find him and took their happy ass out there to get him. Emergencies were true emergencies back then. A man could get some work done cause he wasn’t getting distracted all day long. They didn’t eat if he didn’t get his work done.

We think we need nice cars. I can’t say I’ve done too bad in this area either, but I think about LHOP days and they had one carriage. I bet that carriage wasn’t costing much – in payments or maintenance. Maintenance is where I’ve been getting bit with the nice car thing. If the LHOP dad (I don’t remember the characters’ names) had to pay as much to maintain his horse as I have lately to maintain my car, he probably would have shot the horse.

We think we need vacation. Vacation back in the day was probably the equivalent to a carriage ride to town to visit the general store and if you were lucky you could afford to have a beer and stay in the town hotel overnight rather than get back to the farm before dark. Now days we haven’t gone on vacation unless we’re gone at least a week to somewhere more than 200 miles away where we will probably have to spend about a month’s income to ‘enjoy’ it. We slave to make money, neglecting family, so we can afford ‘vacation’.

I think I could go on and on. Share some ideas with me of other things we could compare now to then – way back in the LHOP days. House, entertainment, eating out, internet…. What other ‘necessities’ do we have that the LHOP folks would have been amazed by? And if it annoys you that I can’t remember the characters’ names feel free to remind me.

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