Monday, December 17, 2007

What Would Laura Ingalls Think?

My massage therapist and I were talking about the need in modern society for exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. She quipped that she wondered what Laura Ingalls (of Little House on the Prairie fame) would think if she saw me sweating away on the elliptical machine. How odd it would seem to someone from the 19th century that we modern people have such an abundance of food, and that most of us do little physical labor, that we have to work off calories and build muscles at a gym. I quipped in response that people back then died at much younger ages from malnutrition and from wearing out their bodies due to hard physical labor. I tend to agree with the ancient Roman dude, Andria Terence, with his most excellent quote, "moderation in all things."

Tonight, I wanted to take a long, hot bath with my fancy ginger fizz bath beads. The hot water heater was feeling cantankerous and refused to cooperate, supplying only about eight gallons of hot water before taking a long winter's nap. Hot water heater, your days are numbered. I'm replacing you with a tankless hot water on demand heater mounted outside of our house, just as soon as I can talk Chad into it. City of Austin codes dictate that if your hot water source is inside your house, it must have one devoted closet. So I'm moving the hot water source outside and gaining a coat closet (just as soon as I can talk Chad into it).

Back to my wish for a long, hot bath -- I asked Chad to please boil some large pots of water. I perched on the edge of the tub as he poured those steamy bowls of hot water into the lukewarm water of the bathtub. I tentatively checked the water temperature with my big toe, and as Goldilocks would say, this one was just right. As I soaked in my nice, hot bath, I caught myself thinking that Laura Ingalls would think about this scene of boiling hot water on our gas stove with its visible flames at each burner and lugging large pans of water through the house for a hot bath. She'd probably wonder why technology had not advanced further over the years.