Saturday, February 26, 2011

Youth is Wasted on the Young

I remember when I was young listening to my parents talk about the good old days.  I would laugh when my mom would tell me that she had to share a phone line with her neighbors and they didn't have a car until she was in high school.  The other day I was driving with the boys when Colin asked me what my favorite video game was when I was his age.  I was trying to explain to him that there weren't video games when I was his age.  I am glad that he had his seat belt on because I am sure he would have fallen out of his chair.  One thing led to another and  we started to talk about the other things we didn't have that we take for granted now.  I was really shocked at all the things that have changed our lives. 

The biggest change is of course, the computer.  I remember our first computer was a Radio Shack TDK-64.  We were all that and a bag of chips because we had one.  It used cassette tapes as the memory system.  It didn't really do anything but make some simple pictures, but it was soooooo cool.  There were no cell phones or answering machines.  If you were waiting for someone to call you just waited.  There was no such thing as a fax machine or e-mail.  We were one step above the Pony express.

Another thing is the microwave.  Colin wanted to know how I cooked without it.  I am not sure if I should take that as a commentary on my culinary skills or not.  Really, I don't use it for everything.  He wanted to know how we made popcorn.  I tried to explain what an air popper was to no avail. 

He was also horrified to know that we did not have any way to view a movie unless we went to the theatre.  The concept of no VCR or DVD player was not to be imagined. Then I told him that we only had four channels, and Disney was not one of them.  I am pretty sure I heard a gasp.

Toys were not electronic, and Nintendo was not a company.  We played with actual Barbies, not virtual ones.  We had a Fischer Price little people village that we played with all the time.  We actually played outside all day without my mom orchestrating the activities.  Sometimes we even played in the mud. 

Our cars did not come with air conditioning, automatic locks or windows.  We rolled the windows down with a hand crank and drove to create a breeze.  The drivers door would be unlocked and my mom would send one of us in to open the rest of the doors.  The radio in the car had an actual dial and you would have to play with it to get a station to come in clearly.  If you went on a long trip you could read a book for entertainment.  This made for two really long trips to Florida.
I can only imagine the conversation that Colin will have with his kids.  The technology changes are coming at an amazing rate.  The advancements in medicine boggle the mind.  I would love to be a fly on the wall of the car or whatever mode of transportation is being used in the next 30 years to see what he has to say and how his kids react with horror.  Life is good and apparently it is getting better every day.


Anonymous said...

Kate - Let me yell you about no antibiotics! Antibiotics were developed in WWII (1940's). Sulfa drugs were the first and they were replaced by the 'miacle' drug penicilin. Before them if you got phneumonia it was serious. If you were fat chances are good that you would die. Papa, your grandfather was skinny so they put him in bed and put all the covers in the house on him. He told me that they came in every half hour to 'sop the sweat from around his eyes'. He was lucky - he lived. Think your boys would relate? -- Dad

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