I got an email the other day, well, I have had many of them over the years, on “the good old days.” I did not remember a few of the things, occasionally it predated me – imagine that! Anyway, this email had pictures of the cars from the 50s – remember the years of the FINS? And the old dial phones – I have one still in working condition… Often the emails talk about how much better things were in those days back before all this technology took over the world and our kids. How much simpler things were does not always mean better… Because, if it were not for today's technology, you would not be reading this, would you?
I guess it always seemed better back when - I remember Grammy saying how much better things were... But, OH MY how she enjoyed a washing machine she did not have to fill and empty and did not have a wringer! And a dryer on rainy days.
I still have only a few channels on TV - who needs to pay all that $$ to watch filth, lies, and violence? With my antenna I can get 4 PBS channels, CBS and usually NBC and ABC, sometimes a few of the “extra channels”. What more do I need? We get 110 channels on the TV at my house in PA, and more often than not, we turn it off because there is nothing we want to watch.
I do love my lawn tractor. I do remember seeing the old push mower in the barn, but my Grandfather was the first in the neighborhood to get a power mower. You did walk behind it, the sit down version came many years later, so I don’t remember the lawn being cut with the quieter push mower.
My Toyota looks like any other year and like any other van, but I don't care. No style, but today one needs a van to carry all the stuff and as many people as we used to get in an ordinary sedan. I can still name the car and even the year for cars in the 50s and 60s. After that, they all kind of look alike, smaller and smaller, more alike than different.
The emails mention old timey food and ways of cooking. I still cook like Grandma - fresh food - organic... almost never any packaged crap. I am sorry I never learned how to can stuff. I remember bushels of peaches, tomatoes, string beans. All I ever got to do was shell peas and baby limas, or cut the tips off the wax and string beans. But I don’t have all those electric gadgets, electric knives, coffee bean grinders, espresso machines… nope, not in my kitchen.
I do have an electric can opener. I use it to sharpen knives. I open cans with the can opener on the wall. You’d be surprised how many cans I opened for my neighbor when the power went out last year. I still do not own a microwave. I do not want anything in my house with radiation warnings or that would make a hamster explode. Trust me.
My dishwasher is located at the end of my wrists…
Telephones... geez. Having spent time in a wheel chair, I have PHONES... in this little house I have 9 working phones (landlines) and a cell phone usually left in the van. One of the phones is "hardwired" to an old jack and you have to DIAL it. Wow, huh? It was in the house when I moved in. But, it still works better and the sound is clearer than all these new things I can stick in my pocket and carry outside or put on speaker while I peel potatoes so I can talk and keep working at the same time. Didja ever have a conversation with someone and you can hear the computer keys clicking away in the background? That is not just multi-tasking, that is just plain rude.
The email mentioned how kids today cannot count. How true! In high school I worked as a waitress on week-ends and cashier during the week... I can count frontwards and backwards. I can add bills up in my head and the change in my hand without even looking at it. Grammie used to make me add up a column in the Wall Street Journal – in my head… and usually my answer was the same as hers. She always beat me. Kids today do not know how to make change if the bill is $4.12 and you give them a 5 dollar bill, a dime, and 2 pennies and they already rang up that your change will be 88 cents while you were fishing out those 2 pennies. They are completely baffled. They may be able to text message 54 people in a half an hour to tell them they just saw the dumbest old woman come into the store, but that $5.12 will blow their feeble education out the window. No wonder we are now ranked 25th in the World in Math.
I really don’t remember all the rest of the stuff in the email… but, having lived in parts of the world where so many things we take for granted in this country, no matter how poor we might be, I really do appreciate what we consider the basics, running water, hot water, central heat, a roof that does not leak. I still think my washer and dryer are luxury items, but I still prefer to hang my clothes out on the line. However, I recognize the joy of not fighting with king sized sheets on a clothesline.
And then there is this contraption, as G-ma would say, in front of me. I can hear from my friend in Japan in a second, and “talk” to my friends and family all over the world all at one time. And even though my house looks like a branch of the library, I am glad I can do research sitting here in my slippers and jammies if I want to. Technology. Its not such a bad thing.