Life, Liberty and the Relentless Pursuit of… Pleasure

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By Nicoletta MacKenzie

When my siblings and I were young, we had no TV; my folks did not take us to the movies, and we loved spending time at home and with our young cousins. Were we rich or poor? We did not know nor did we ever think about it: The words meant absolutely nothing to us. We never went hungry or homeless. Our best times were spent on vacation, in grandpa’s cabin in the Alps, where walking through the woods every day to the spring, to get drinking and cooking water was a adventure, and taking a bath on the terrace, in a tub of water that had been warmed by the sun was fun. We shared the “laundry facility” (two huge, connecting outdoor tubs, fed by another spring), with the village’s milk cows, taking care that the tub with the suds was clean and filled with fresh water by dusk, when the cows returned from their pasture to drink, before heading to their stables to be milked. Grandpa told us old stories, mom and dad loved us. When the pantry was low, before payday, mom improvised. Ever had “hot homemade chocolate pudding” for dinner? Yum! No radio, no refrigerator, one naked light-bulb hanging from the middle of every ceiling, and a fireplace to keep us warm in the evenings. Now, that’s happiness!

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