I am awoken by the sound of our animals at 5:00 in the morning, a little later than when they usually wake me up. I quickly light a candle in our small home and start to get ready to leave for work. I try to be as quiet as possible, avoiding the argument it would cause with my husband, Henry, if I woke him up. Fortunately, I got everything done before I started to hear him move in the bed and quickly left the house.
It was still dark outside when I shut the door to our small house. The walk to the factory wasn't too bad, about a mile there and back, so I left 30 minutes in advance to when I was supposed to start. I brought little with me, just some water and food, both small amounts, as we did not have much left with Henry out of work. He turned to drinking after he was fired, which affected not only him, but me as well, having to deal with the varying emotions he has developed from drinking, some of which I had never seen before. I put these thoughts behind me as I wasn't going to see him until tonight, and put work as my main focus.
While I was walking to work, I realized that the Industrial Revolution is like dirt. It is messy About 25 minutes later, earlier than I expected to get there, I arrived at work. I worked in the coal mines, mining and collecting coal for almost 14 hours. This coal was primarily used to power steam engines, heat buildings, and generate electricity. We all meet outside the factory to go to the coal mine and get to work.
Arriving at Home
It was the same thing everyday. We started to go even deeper underground as of a few weeks ago, as the demand for coal became higher and higher. It was hot, dark, and cramped. Some of the worst conditions to have to work in. We always start with our axes, collecting the coal, and putting it in carts to keep track of it all.
Around noon, our boss lets us know it is time for our 30 minute break, the only break we got throughout the entire work day. I took out my water and the little bit of food I brought, some bread, and ate by all of the other workers. Many of us recognized each other, as we all lived very close due to the lack of space in this town now. After our break, it was straight back to work. Lots of pain comes with the job, especially since we are working none stop. At this point in the day with only a few hours left, I'm over it. I feel sick, feeling as though I am literally breathing in the coal.
After my work day is over, I leave the coal mine and start my mile walk home. It is harder on the way back, my lungs and muscles aching. I wanted it all to be over. I wanted to live a normal life without work getting in the way of everything. I realized I no longer have time for fun or doing the hobbies I used to love. I sighed as I turned the last corner on the way to my house. I see Henry outside with a bottle of alcohol, as I usually see him every night, and try my best not to make eye contact. I didn't want to deal with him tonight after my hard day at work. I walked inside, changed out of my work clothes, and got ready to get in bed. I realized that my life was going to be this hard almost the rest of my life, and I couldn't do anything about it, so I just needed to accept it. I needed to get rest before tomorrow, ready to relive the same day over again.