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Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Boys on the farm often worked as hard as their father and older brothers. Large families were the norm both because of love of family and also extra hands were needed to plant, harvest and maintain the homestead.

They never questioned the work...it was just a way of life. However, compared to their earlier ancestors...the washing machine in the first picture and the sawmill behind the boy in the last picture was modern technology of the day.

The work ethic was strong in those days...unlike today when a McDonald's manager has to continuously hire due to such a high turnover. Now, I don't want to go back to the difficulties of yesterday...I enjoy the tech toys of today but I do wish we still had the work ethic that was ingrained in young individuals of that time period. My guess is that if we did...so many of today's financial woes from credit card abuse to wall street meltdowns would not take root without fertile ground.

Dan

14 comments:

Jen said...

hard work? but I am an American and I have a birthright to a huge home, three cars (BMW, Aston Martin, and Corvette), a boat, ski-doos, designer clothes, and make up, my dream job, another house on the lake to relax in, healthcare, and fancy meals at expensive restaurants.


Hard work and common sense are spinning in their graves.

I don't want to go back to olden days either, and I couldn't agree more - if their was still such a thing as an honest and hard work effort we'd be nowhere near this economic crisis.
And I, for one, am tired of being of the few hard workers left! I always will be though, I hate debt.

Patty said...

Extreme, my friend. I feel the same way as you do. Kids do not want to work these days. The "Me" generation has turned into the "Give Me" generation. Some grown-ups don't fair much better.

Me? I could go back to the old days as long as I had a dry roof over my head along with a fireplace and a supply of wood.

We used to go to Ego Village, a working village set up by Mother Earth News. We learned how to build a cordwood house. We did not build a house but we came home and built a 400 sq. ft. cordwood room on our house. My husband cut the wood, we let it dry for a year; I debarked it and we mixed concrete by hand and laid that baby up.

Yep. I could go back to the old days of build and barter.

tricia said...

I agree with you about the work ethic, but I can't see us going back-- too bad.

Beautiful photos-- as usual.

Cynthia L. H. said...

Great post, Dan. Seems like those of us to read so far feel the same...my dad taught us to work hard as soon as we were old enough. He would have us out throwing rocks into piles on our acreage to keep us busy. When I was sixteen, I wasn't dating, I was building houses with my dad. (I wish I had those biceps now that I had then!!!)
I'm still not allergic to hard work. It's a good thing...'cause it doesn't look like there's any relief in sight for a while. ;^) ;^0
Patty! WoW!!! The Mother-Earth-News!!! LOVE that mag...used to buy it for my dad years ago. I would love to learn how to build a cordwood room!
;^)

Sunny said...

Wonderful pictures. My grandmother had an old mangle washing machine.
I hate to think that an honest work ethic is a thing of the past but there seems to be less of it today.
Sunny :)

Dan Felstead said...

Jen...I hate debt as well. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Patty...we may be headed for a time of barter again. That may be the "new future currency". Also the idea of you and you husband building a cordwood room is awesome! What a feeling of accomplishment you must have had.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Tricia...as far as going back...I can see that happening in the event of a national or worldwide tragedy or collapse of some sort...not by choice but of of necessity.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...We are finding out more about you each day! A carpenter??? I am impressed!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny...I have old family pictures as well with the old machine...those folks back then would probably been the first to Twitter or Blog...on the cutting edge of their time!

Dan

shabby girl said...

You are so right. And what beautiful pictures. Each of them have a draw of their own.
I am defiently (Heather) guilty of not bringing my kids up with the kind of work ethic that I have. Hindsight, you know!

Dan Felstead said...

Shabbygirl...don't feel like it is your fault...we as parents are competing with a culture ...MTV etc. that fights against what we try to teach!

Dan

septembermom said...

I so agree that work ethic is not as evident in the younger generation. They want instant gratification and reward. I notice that my boys really groan when I ask them to do just a little something extra in a project. I call them "princes". Love the photos, especially the last one.

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Septembermom...I guess I have to admit that when I was between 15 and 18...it was hard to get me to do any work...I just had my mind on women and cars!

Dan