"The Book Of Wonders"

I have quite a few old books I've collected over the years. One is a 1914 "The Book Of Wonders". If I remember correctly (and there's no guarantee of that!) I might have received this book from my old lady friend and relative, Mildred Edwards, who lived a couple miles away in a cute little house by the woods. As a young boy, I used to ride my bike to her house to hear stories, sometimes have a meal, and occasionally come home with a small momento of some sort. She was also proud of our Welsh heritage and family.

This book is filled with 600 pages of "the latest "in "modern" technology and explanations of "how things work". Very interesting then and even now, to look at it in light of the technology of today. Written just a few short years after the Wright Brothers first flight, the section on the "flying machines" or "aeroplane" now read as pretty primitive to us. Several pages tell the story of how sugar is made from the sugar beet. Automobiles; well that speaks for itself, 20 to 30 miles an hour to us is painful. Why is the sky blue? 11 pages on how rope is made. The Wonderful Electric Telegraph System.

How far we have come since the advancements of this time! Our capacity for invention, improvement, technology seems almost insatiable. We are used to the 18 month cycle of "twice as good for the same or less price" in our electronics, we look forward to the "next great thing".

I'm reminded of the way we have become totally reliant on our technology every time we lose electric during a winter storm. How inconvenient! How are we going to SURVIVE? I don't let it bother me too much, just throw on a warm coat, light a candle or two and settle in to read a good book. But how can I check my email??? It'll be there, don't worry. I "fondly" remember week long stretches when we were snowed in and had to wait for the one and only snow blower in the county to dig us out. I would go out in the summer and ride my bike all over the area, I'm not sure my parents even knew I was so far away from home.

I guess the whole point of this post is to remember to take ourselves less seriously once in a while, get back to basics, take a ride on a bike and just breathe.