Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Palmer-Epard Cabin

One of the most memorable buildings I have ever visited is the Palmer-Epard cabin on the back of the property at Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. The link takes you to photos of the small cabin while this one takes you to information on the cabin, built in 1867.  George Palmer and his wife lived in that single-room 14' by 16' cabin and raised 10 children in it.  Later, the Epards lived in it for 40 years.

I was born in 1939 so 1867 was not so many years earlier.  When I look at the interior of the small building, I can see in my mind's eye modern houses.  Plumbing, electricity, central heating and air conditioning, not to mention laundry facilities, attics and basements, paved driveways, garages that contain horseless vehicles that daily attain speeds unheard of back then - just some of the aspects that would probably have been unbelievable to the Palmers, the Epards and their neighbors.

It was not only back then.  In every country, there are people living without any of the features I have listed.  That might be by choice, as people try to get off the grid and back to nature.  But I suppose in most cases world-wide, it was not a choice at all.

Before we get too weepy, it is wise to get updated. The Swedish physician, statistician, and professor of international health at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, Hans Rosling, is well-known for his YouTube and TED talks on the state of the world, shows that the general trend across the world for all countries is toward both longer life expectancy and greater wealth. He advises us all to drop the terminology "developed" and "developing" countries, since they are all moving toward smaller families and longer lives.

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