Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:
If you’ve never been to Waterford Heritage Days, I urge you to give it a try. Maybe I’m just a history nerd, but I think this is one of the coolest things around here nobody talks about.
If you go, expect to see a bunch of dudes dressed up like their ancestors from the 1800’s and even earlier as they perform some re-enactments, show off their camps and exhibits, and present whatever it is people from the 1800’s used to do.
It’s wild to think that almost everyone alive today would find life in the middle 1800’s miserable. No cars, no phones – cellular or otherwise – no air conditioning, no dial you can crank up in the winter to heat your house. Want to know what your neighbor is doing tomorrow night? Ride your horse over there and ask. Just make sure you have enough oil in the lamp to get back home.
Still, all those lives lived in inconvenience brought us where we are today, and I think it’s worth getting in touch with how things used to be. Was it really as bad as it sounds? I don’t think so, with the obvious caveats that being a woman or person of color (not you, Mike Kelly) meant you were less of a citizen. Let’s put that aside for a moment, if we can, and think purely about the lack of conveniences. Were the 1800’s unbearable?
For one thing, you don’t miss the things you never imagined existing in the first place. Not one soul in the 1800’s sat around wishing they could turn a key, push a pedal, and drive along an interstate at 70 mph to watch a football game.
So what did they do? With life at a slower pace, they spent more time with their thoughts instead of being bombarded with – and influenced by – stimulation every hour of the day. As a result, most of their actions were intentional. Today, it’s so much easier to float along with wherever the social tide pulls us.
All of this gives me an appreciation for today. We can have the best of both worlds if we commit to it. Be less of a slave to your phone or the mall, and realize that when the air conditioning in your car goes out, you’ll survive.
Waterford Heritage Days is a part of our town that connects us to our past, which helps improve our present. If that isn’t something good, I can’t think of what is.