|Artisan ice cubes, I call them|
You see, there is no automatic ice maker for us, no binful of perfectly shaped cubes waiting to chill our drinks when we open our freezer door. Instead, once or even twice daily, we have to fill the 5 plastic trays with water, stack them in the freezer, WAIT several hours, and then empty the resulting ice cubes into our ice cube bin.
To hear the kids tell it, this job has them channeling 19th-century Almanzo Wilder, going out on the frozen lake with his dad and the hired men to cut large blocks of ice to store in the icehouse. Not a day goes by that one of my beloved progeny doesn't complain about the fact we are the only family (in his world, anyway) continuing to make ice cubes the old-fashioned way. Tell me, is this the price I pay for raising them in an upscale, semi-urban community? Are they doomed to grow up thinking that the luxury appliances they see in all their friends' houses are the global norm?
Sometimes I think I should ditch everything and move us out to a farm in the mountains for a year, where the kids can learn to, I don't know, do whatever it is people do on farms. Churn butter? Muck out stalls? Hang wet laundry on the clothesline? Maybe, after enough time doing those things, they would be happy to come back to a place where their toughest task is to wrestle a few cubes of frozen water out of plastic trays. Maybe they would even begin to appreciate the air conditioning, the automatic clothes dryer, the ever-present supply of hot water as the luxuries they really are.
Better yet, I shouldn't move away from city life at all. I mean, why should I suffer? I already appreciate the advantages of modern living. Instead, I can just send the kids. Any farming bloggers out there who want to do a kid swap? Think about it - you can teach my kids what REAL WORK is, while your kids would experience what to them will feel like a well-deserved vacation. It's a win-win, right?
[Ice cubes image: Photos Public Domain]