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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Let us save time

Vieraskieliset / In-english
22.11.2022 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

7.10. 10:49
2022100710491420221122070000

Text: Jou­ni Le­so­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Ef­forts to save time have a long his­to­ry. I per­so­nal­ly re­mem­ber some ways to save time in the 1960s.

When we were bin­ding she­a­ves at har­vest time in Au­gust, my pa­rents told us how time-con­su­ming har­ves­ting was in the old ti­mes when pe­op­le still used hand sick­les. "Now that we have scyt­hes, cut­ting the rye is so much quic­ker – we save time."

A coup­le of weeks la­ter the dry she­a­ves were pas­sed through a thres­her. The en­gi­ne made a nice how­ling noi­se, the dry grains smel­led good, and the sacks of grain tur­ned nice and plump. A few ye­ars la­ter the how­ling of thres­hers was no lon­ger he­ard. Har­ves­ting was done by me­ans of com­bi­ning. To a lit­t­le boy, the com­bi­ne har­ves­ters see­med mons­ters, but it was in­te­res­ting to watch them crawl along the field. They de­vou­red the grain-be­a­ring stalks quick­ly. Time was sa­ved again.

We had a small barn and a few cows that were mil­ked by hand eve­ry mor­ning and eve­ning. La­ter on barns be­ca­me big­ger and there were more cows. Mil­king mac­hi­nes ar­ri­ved first, mil­king ro­bots then. In the time that was nee­ded to milk a few cows by hand, tens of he­ads of cat­t­le can be mil­ked now. More time is sa­ved again.

We li­ved on a farm, but we he­ard that town ho­mes had elect­ri­ci­ty, run­ning wa­ter and even in­door toi­lets. That su­re­ly made us won­der. I al­so he­ard that some ho­mes had mac­hi­nes that was­hed dir­ty clot­hes all by them­sel­ves. When the pro­cess was done, the mac­hi­ne stop­ped and a light on it in­di­ca­ted that the clot­hes had been was­hed. I un­ders­tood right away that this was a lie – how could a mac­hi­ne know when the clot­hes were clean? We had it much bet­ter. Our mot­her boi­led wa­ter in a wood-bur­ning cauld­ron, rub­bed the clot­hes on a wash­bo­ard, and went down to the ri­ver to rin­se them. In the win­ter we had to make a hole in the ice to rin­se the laund­ry. Af­ter that, the clot­hes were cer­tain­ly clean.

The 1960s lum­ber­jack were not bot­he­red by noi­sy chain saws. They fell the trees with hand saws and used an axe to cut off the branc­hes. Many trees were fel­led, cut and de-branc­hed in a day. The tim­ber was hau­led off from the fo­rest on hor­se-drawn sleighs, each of which took a load of se­ve­ral big logs. The first chain saws ap­pe­a­red du­ring that same de­ca­de. The work could then be done more quick­ly. Again, time was sa­ved. No­wa­da­ys, one man in a mac­hi­ne does more in a day than se­ve­ral men did ear­lier. Many men have their time sa­ved for ot­her pur­po­ses.

We al­so had fes­ti­ve oc­ca­si­ons in the old ti­mes. Pre­pa­ra­ti­ons were hard work and took a lot of time. I re­mem­ber how my mot­her whis­ked cake bat­ter with a home-made woo­den whisk. The whisks were made in the spring, when it was ea­sy to de­bark wood. She so­me­ti­mes let me try whis­king the bat­ter. I got ti­red soon, and my wrist be­gan to ac­he. Mot­her did it so ea­si­ly. I won­der how she had le­arnt to do it? The bat­ter en­ded up soft and fluf­fy. The cake was ba­ked in a wood-bur­ning brick oven. It tas­ted good. How did mot­her know when the oven was sui­tab­ly hot for the cake and did not burn it? And what would have been the sui­tab­le ba­king time? Ye­ars la­ter we be­gan to use elect­ric mi­xers. I have used one of those. My wrist did not ac­he any more. And what is more: that de­vi­ce sa­ves time.

When I was a child, we al­wa­ys spring-cle­a­ned our home. We used hand­held root brus­hes to rub the floors clean. Af­ter the big cle­a­ning, the floors were of­ten pain­ted. There was no elect­ri­ci­ty and no va­cuum cle­a­ner. Eve­ryt­hing was done by hand. It was hard work that took a long time. When we la­ter mo­ved to town, we got a va­cuum cle­a­ner. Cle­a­ning was much ea­sier, and time was sa­ved.

Now that I drive along nice pa­ved ro­ads, I so­me­ti­mes re­mem­ber the old ti­mes. I have seen that not all pe­op­le have the same amount of time avai­lab­le. For some, even a mi­nu­te ma­kes a dif­fe­ren­ce. I do not have long to drive to town, but some dri­vers over­ta­ke me even on that short stretch of road. They drive so fast that I soon see their rear light far away ahe­ad. But when we ar­ri­ve in town, I of­ten find the fast dri­ver’s car stan­ding in front of me at traf­fic lights or wai­ting at the next traf­fic lights. So they re­al­ly sa­ved no time, or on­ly sa­ved a mi­nu­te or so.

Many pro­ducts are ad­ver­ti­sed for their ca­pa­ci­ty to save time. I have my­self bought many such pro­ducts. But I must ad­mit I am not good at sa­ving time. I seem to lose im­me­di­a­te­ly all the time that I thought I had sa­ved. I do not have a ”time bank” where I could de­po­sit the time that was sa­ved. Sa­ving time is pret­ty much the same as pas­sing bet­ween the shel­ves in a store: I walk past many things, fee­ling that I save mo­ney by not bu­ying them, but then I find so­met­hing that seems good and use­ful, give in to the temp­ta­ti­on, and put it in my cart. By the time I re­ach the chec­kout line, I have was­ted all the mo­ney that I thought I had sa­ved. The sa­ved time and the sa­ved mo­ney both went down the rat­ho­le.

But on the whole, I gu­ess we have sa­ved a huge amount of time, pro­bab­ly many ye­ars. And all those mag­ni­fi­cent in­ven­ti­ons have been use­ful. Even though we do not have any more time avai­lab­le now, mac­hi­nes have made all work cle­a­ner and ea­sier.

I star­ted by re­mi­nis­cing about time use in the 1960s. But pe­op­le have been awa­re of the pas­sa­ge of time for mil­len­nia. Time has al­wa­ys been great mys­te­ry: ”I have seen so­met­hing el­se un­der the sun: The race is not to the swift or the bat­t­le to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or we­alth to the bril­li­ant or fa­vor to the le­ar­ned; but time and chan­ce hap­pen to them all.” (Ec­cl. 9:11).

1.12.2022

Herra, sinä olet laupias, muista minua, osoita ikiaikaista hyvyyttäsi. Älä muista nuoruuteni syntejä, älä pahoja tekojani! Sinä, joka olet uskollinen ja hyvä, älä unohda minua! Ps. 25:6–7

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