Odds and Ends

Or, the occasional thoughts that run through my brain.

It is an odd thing to realize just how old you are. I know my actual age, it is impossible not to as it comes up regularly depending upon the situation, but to realize just how much history (!!!!) I’ve witnessed is occasionally shocking.

Don’t believe me? Wait a bit. <G>

When I was a kid, information was mainly shared via newspapers and magazines. Information as in how to do things. How to cook a meal. How to sew a pattern (many times the pattern itself could be found in a print publication). How to preserve food. How to grow food. You get the idea.

Yes, information was shared between friends and relations, often times via the mail if folks were not close enough to visit or phone.

Speaking of phones, we had one which was situated in the kitchen with a Very Short Cord (less than 6 feet if memory serves) and was used sparingly. Long distance was not cheap and folks did not spend a lot of time on their phones; there was work to be done.

Summers were an interesting combination of growing the garden and preserving what came out of the garden. Canning season. I hated canning season! My job was ring cleaner – the rings that go around the top of the canning jar holding the lid during processing. I was not allowed to prep jars, either. My mother took food preservation Very Seriously because she knew that one jar that wasn’t processed properly could literally kill you. As a result, she washed all her jars herself (no automatic dishwasher in our home) and she filled those same jars herself.

On the plus side, we had enough food to keep us fed for an entire year.

    Summer was Rerun Season. That time of year when, if you were lucky, you might catch an episode or two of the series you might have missed during the regular season. Might.

    It was also the time when us kids might actually get caught up in a good series or soap, like Dark Shadows, only to miss most of the year when we went back to school in the Fall.

    I loved being able to watch the game shows during Summer. There were lots of interesting people and games that were fun to play along with.

    Television was limited to 3 networks and, if you were lucky, you might be able to watch PBS if your UHS feed was good. Ours usually was pretty iffy.

    No cable. No Internet. No cell phones.

    I know for many people all of this is inconceivable. I also know that many people are looking to go back to something close to that old style of life.

    I heard someone say recently that she was “over entertained” when she related pumping gas and realizing she had left her phone in the car and was surprised to find herself ‘needing’ to be entertained for the less than 5 minutes it took to fill her gas tank. As she related this story, she talked about being deliberately aware of what was going on around her; cars going by, people chatting, kids playing, the weather.

    There is something to this idea of being over entertained.

    There really was life before all the tech and fancy machinery. It is worth investigating if only to understand how far we have evolved (although some would say devolved). It is also worth considering just how much connection is necessary.

    Sometimes life spent not running around to fill up the calendar can be more satisfying and productive.

    Food for thought.

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