Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for March 22nd, 2018

Modern Living Has Its Advantages

with 3 comments

With all the doom and gloom of the last few weeks, I thought it was time to write a blog about something I truly enjoy: Living in modern times.

You see, as children of the Twentieth (and now, Twenty-First) centuries, we have grown up with many creature comforts that our ancestors never had. And I’m not just talking about smartphones, the internet, or computing.

Think about it. We can get fresh produce in the off-season because of modern-day shipping practices. In the Midwest in winter, we often see produce from Chile, Mexico, Indonesia, and even Africa. These are luxuries that we almost never think about; they’re just there, in the grocery store, waiting to be bought.

(That some of it is more expensive than others, well…comes with the territory, I suppose. But I digress.)

In addition, the array of spices we have available for purchase is astonishing, too. If you go back several centuries, and you study history at all, you’ll realize that wars were fought over the spice trade. They were hard to get, and extremely difficult to keep in stock once traders had acquired them, because of their respective rarity.

And that’s not all.

Think about your modern carry-out dinner. In America, that’s probably pizza and wings; in the UK, it might be fish and chips. Either way, that food you just bought is better for you than what kings used to eat, and is far more quickly prepared, too. (The old-fashioned brick ovens, while pretty to look at and quite useful even now, do take far more time to use. And cauldrons over fires could only cook as fast as what a modern-day slow cooker could do, on average.)

And then, there’s the wide variety of alcoholic spirits. In the US, we can get tequila from Mexico, vodka from Russia, whiskey (from Scotland or Ireland), or any number of other types of alcohol. We are not limited to whatever brewmaster might be available at an alehouse. And while we still do have brewpubs and small-batch beer and the like, that’s now considered to be an optional luxury. Nice to have once in a while, but more pricey than other options.

Of course, to my mind, antibiotics are among the biggest perks of living in these contemporary times. While they aren’t a cure-all, and while there are issues with “superbugs” that are chemically resistant to them, antibiotics have been a lifesaver and a game-changer for many. (Including me.)

So, the next time you think about how frustrating your life is because you don’t have whatever the starlet of the month is hawking on Instagram or Twitter, remember all the things you do. If you live in the Western world in particular, even if you are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, you probably live far, far better than most of the kings and queens of yore.

And are far better-educated, too. (But that’s a separate post.)

What modern-day creature comforts can you not live without? Tell me about it in the comments!


Written by Barb Caffrey

March 22, 2018 at 1:40 am