We take for granted the things we have today.  The running water, the electricity that runs through our homes.  The constant waves of technology that we communicate through.  But when I was a child, I had none of these things.  I grew up in the early 70’s and reached my teens in the 80’s.  In my day, the water we used for cooking or bathing was fetched by hand.  Often it was done in a few trips, sometimes more.  The walk was fifteen minutes.  So if three trips were made, close to two hours of work lie ahead of the men who carried the water.  Our heat for our home was wood stove.  There was no little gadget to flick on for heat.  Again, the work involved often took a few hours of cutting, chopping and hauling the wood inside the home.  Because we had no power, our nights were lit up by candle light or by gas lamps.  Again, some of our foods were stored in the earth where it was cool.  After being wrapped up a few times, we’d store it in a deep hole.  You might wonder how we got through each week?  It wasn’t easy, it was hard.  But the work ethics that I learned from my mother and my father as I watched them work was very valuable to me.  They each worked equally hard to keep me fed and safe.  I am honored to have had such beautiful people care about me.  I think of them today as I go about my business.  My life is so different than what their lives were.  Today, I have a vehicle that gets me around, a large five bedroom home with running water, automatic heat and electricity.  When you walk into my home, you’d never guess that about me and the life that I lived as a child.  But you spend time with me and you’d see how that part of my life shaped me.  I am not ashamed of my past, but instead, I am honored to have been a part of that.  The past is always with me in the present day, it keeps me humble.  But it also pushes me forward into tomorrow and what that could be.  I’ve learned a lot from just being me and it’s been an experience of a life time.