Sunday, September 18, 2016


Perhaps you have visited a small town or country museum at some point in your travels.  They are full of relics from the past, lovingly curated, labelled and displayed.   Old milking cans and school slates, tin washboards and rusting disc plows suitable for the sticky soil of the area share the space with yellowing theatre programs, ornate ladies' hats and sturdy travelling trunks.   All recaptured from someone's attic, scrapbook or shed to show us how people of this area used to live and work.

Rust aside, they would still all work today, should the need somehow arise, but they do require manual labour to perform.   We may congratulate ourselves or feel grateful that those labour-intensive, backbreaking days of our ancestors never applied to us.   Some can still be purchased today;   the washboard above is available through Amazon.

But the list of items that are fading into obscurity and will one day grace museum shelves and walls is not static, rather it is growing.   That we have used some of the items might make us feel like relics ourselves.  True,  all are still in use, more or less, sometimes, when all else fails, but transitions happened gradually in the past, too.  The moral is, if you own one of these items, especially if it is in pristine condition, wrap it up carefully and put it in your attic.   One day a  museum might come calling.

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