Where did all the time go?

Published 7:29 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

By Rex Alphin

Think of all the time you have saved.

Whereas people once felled trees, split logs, stacked wood and burned it in metal stoves to cook food, you now simply push a button for evenly spaced, instant heat. Estimated time saved per day — three hours.


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Whereas people once bought horses and fed horses in order to ride horses in order to go places of distance, you now simply step inside a rectangular metal box (car), and it can take you 55 miles in one hour. Estimated time saved per day — three hours.

Whereas people once grasped a small cylindrically shaped object encircling lead (pencil), wrote words on sheets of paper, folded them and placed them inside an envelope and then took the envelope to a mailbox or post office and waited a week for a reply, you now can type on a keyboard, click one button and send your message to Bangkok, Thailand, receiving a reply in two seconds. Estimated time saved per day — one hour.

Whereas people once had to actually get out of their chair and turn a knob each time a different television channel was desired, one can now stay in his chair, press a button and accomplish this same task moving only one muscle in his right thumb. Estimated time saved per day — one half hour.

Whereas people once purchased cloth and made their own clothes with needle and thread, they now can procure any possible variety of clothing in any color, size, length or style and have it delivered to their doorstep the following day. Estimated time saved per day — two hours.

Whereas people once hand-washed — after every meal — forks, spoons, knives, plates, pots, pans and glasses, all those things now can be placed in a waterproof box (dishwasher), a button pushed, and 30 minutes later they are all clean and dry. Estimated time saved per day — one hour.

Whereas people once gathered dirty clothes, placed them in a bucket of warm water, scrubbed them against a corrugated board, rinsed them, squeezed out the water, hung the clothes outside on a line to dry, took them off the line and ran a heated iron over them to eliminate wrinkles, they now place wrinkle-free garments in a box (washing machine) that washes and rinses and then into another that dries them. Estimated time saved per day — two hours.

Now, reader, by my estimation, you have an extra 12-½ hours per day over previous generations. Doesn’t it feel great having all that extra time?

Rex Alphin of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.