When driving up to Laurel Valley I noticed the bright green grass with water glistening on the blades from the most recent rainfall, a cat roaming, and a sign that said “Laurel Valley Store.” The sign appears to looked washed down from a bright white to a off white tan looking color, as it had been there for a while. Laurel Valley looked very welcoming and it also appeared that it had been established many, many years ago.
As I got out of my car, I could hear crickets chirping, a cat meowing and more of God’s creatures making noises, and cars traveling down the road. It was a place right out of the movies, with the beautiful scenery and sounds. I continued to look around and noticed two houses. The first house was turned into a general store and the next house was left the way it was set up back in the past. Upon scanning the environment I saw several small worker houses, where the hired workers would live, I also noticed the ample sugar cane fields surrounding the houses, which must have been used for trade, and many places to house animals that help with the food supplies needed. I decided to go into the first house, the Laurel Valley General Store. As I walked around the store, I noticed the many Louisiana artifacts, tools for harvesting sugar cane and homemade crafts. I continued to take in all I could see as I walked.
The store reminded me of a place I had been in before, maybe just in my mind. After walking through the store, I then decided to go to the house next door. This house was lit by very dim lights with an occasional ray of sunlight peeking through the clouds and then through the windows. Most of the items were covered in a thin layer of dust and I could see particles of the dust floating around in the very little light there was. This is where I noticed the major difference in what was in the house compared to what you might see in a house today.
I looked around and spotted washing boards and flat irons, for ironing clothes. These items caught my eye because I don’t see them often in today’s society. This made me think of the major differences between the world we live in today compared to the world of the past. I pictured workers during the time this house might have been occupied and could determine that they had enough daily work to keep them busy for a lifetime.
Some of the many jobs I could determine they had were; animals to take care of, fields of sugar cane to cut when the season was right, and household chores like cooking food, ironing, and washing clothes. The workers had to do everything by hand. The women did most of the household chores like cooking and cleaning, and the men did more of the outside work like tending to the animals and the giant task of harvesting the sugar cane, when the time was right. This is such a drastic difference compared to today’s world where I see the roles of men and women being more equal.
During this time period in history, everything was done by hand as there were very little machines to help with jobs.Life is really different today because of one main obvious reason, technology. From the simple task of doing laundry to the more complex task of getting food it is all different. In the past, to wash clothes they used a washboard. Each piece of clothing was washed individually, then hung up to dry and removed before the rain came. Today, I simply gather my clothes and drop them in the washing machine, push a button and walk away. I can’t imagine the time it would have taken to wash my clothes piece by piece and then hang them to dry. There was also the chance that Mother Nature could ruin all of your hard work. A piece of clothing could fly away by the winds or you might have to rewash due to a storm.
Certainly, I could mess up my clothes by putting them in the wrong temperature of water or with the wrong colors, but those are mistakes that I could make. Another difference that caught my eye, was the iron I saw. In the past, ironing a piece of cloth was a big and time consuming chore. The iron had to be heated over hot coals, which is risky for getting burned, then removed fast enough so you can get the wrinkles out of the clothes, before it cooled. The irons not only could severely burn you, they could also damage the cloth by burning a hole in it. Today, I can just plug in my handy dandy iron into the wall, turn it to the correct temperature, wait a few minutes, iron my clothes, unplug then go on my merry way.
After visiting Laurel Valley, I realize how lucky I am to live in a world where modern technology and machines help me accomplish my daily chores, in a more timely manner, so that I am able to do other things. I still do the same type of things in today’s world but I am able to do them much easier and much more effective. Technology has been the most effective part of society because makes work easier and quicker. People of the past had to work very hard to accomplish daily chores and they were often unable to spend any time doing anything other than their work. I have machines to help me do the work, which then leaves me with more time to learn different skills and extra activities.
It is hard to comprehend how different and difficulty life must of have been in the past. Our world today is at such a quick pace, thanks to the technology and machines being developed to help us. In order to continue to have these conveniences in our lives, we must find ways to earn the money to keep up with the modern technological advances.After listing how technology has changed since the past and viewing all of the museum artifacts, thoughts were running wildly through my head.
I realized that I felt out of place while being there because I could not compare my life to thiers because I have not had to work without technology. I feel that I am more fortunate because I have time for school and softball. I don’t have to spend all my time and focus on tasks that could take up a whole day. I am also able to receive an education today due to the fact that technology opened opportunities for me by helping me have the time to work on my studies. On the other hand, people of the past are also fortunate but in a different way.
They got hands on experiences with cleaning, take care of animals, and cooking. I feel kind of behind in those areas of my life because some form of technology has always helped me complete those types of tasks. I also feel like I am behind in my cooking skills especially because now when I cook, everything comes in boxes with dummy instructions and because there are so many restaurants to grab a meal quickly. I don’t have to take the time to get all of the right ingredients, measurements, and spend all the time cooking. Today I take all the advantages I can because I am so very fortunate to live in our world with the technology that makes life easier and more time effective, so I can get the education and do activities I want.