Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I was talking to mother about a phone call she received from my niece Becca, who had a school project for which she needed some information. One of the questions she asked my (almost) 65-year-old mom was, "What was one of the most influential things that changed your life?"

First, let me say that's not something I could come up with an answer for just off the top of my head... I always think I would give an answer and then two days later come up with something way more relevant, making my first answer seem superficial.

Good thing she didn't ask me.

Anyway, mother started talking about how much things have changed since she was a little girl on the farm. Remember... she's only (almost) 65.

They didn't have running water. As in, no functional toilet in the house. She specifically remembers coming home from school one day to discover that her parents had bought a double basin sink that had running water hooked up to it ~ which meant no more going to the pump outside to bring in water for dishes.

They didn't have electricity... and their telephone? It was one that you had to crank.

And as she's talking about all of this I'm thinking that I remember episodes on Little House on the Prairie when the Oleson's got an indoor toilet... and that was WAY before my mom's time. (You're welcome, mom.) :) What I'm trying to say is... it wasn't that long ago that things were very different.

And THANK GOD it's changed!

I remember visiting my Grandpa and Grandma Frankl at their house one winter and we were going to town to rent a movie. In "those days" no one owned a VCR, you rented them from the movie store for the night. On this night, however, all of them were checked out... and my Grandpa rented a movie anyway, walked into a department store nearby and bought a VCR. I am telling you, I'm not sure if I thought he had won the lottery or lost his mind! But it was pretty darn exciting for the six of us grandkids when he did it.

Now picture that excitement compared to indoor plumbing. Seriously.

I just found it amazing that in the last 65 years we have gone from no technology to me becoming close friends with people I may never meet in person because space and distance no longer matter. We've gone from cranking telephones to me having video chats with my niece and nephew whenever the mood strikes. I can give testimony, first hand, that if you have the money to pay for shipping... you never have to leave your house again.

It's insane.

And I'm just trying to imagine what Becca's grandchildren will be shocked by when she's (almost) 65 years old...


  1. I remember when I was a kid..we would rent a VCR from the video store on Friday nights and keep them until Sunday! It was the kind of VCR that popped open from the top LOL. We thought we were big-time. =)

  2. Change, indeed. My 12 year old has an xbox 360 . . . I compare it, of course, to the Atari 2600 and PONG!! LOL!! And cell phones?! NOT!! I guess that's why I refuse to buy my 12 YEAR OLD one just so he can text his friends, etc. and run up a $900 bill. I do have one with minutes on it for emergencies that he takes to basketball practice, etc., just in case I fall asleep and don't wake up to pick him up . . . not that THAT has ever happened (wink, wink!)
    Also, sidebar, you may want to check out www.blurb.com - you can make your blog posts into a hardback book. Automatically copyrighted. Might be a neat idea for all of those inspirational blogger posts you do.
    Keep 'em coming!
    Wishing you wellness,
    Christina in WV

  3. p.s. I guess I should clarify that I only fell asleep b/c of horrible fatigue from chronic illness! (Sigh)

  4. so what movie did you grandkids watch that night?

    i was in kindergarten when my mom bought her first microwave. they had just come out, or were very new on the market in 1976.

    it was GINORMOUS!!!!

    seriously. i could totally crawl inside that thing!


  5. Wow! Great question for any age! I'll say the VCR certainly did change our family nights when our kids were young. Living in the South though, I will say moving to a new house with central air was the best thing EVER!!!!! :)

  6. There were six of you? You must have some serious blog material just in that alone! (sorry if you've mentioned this before, I may have missed a post or two.) I love remembering things like this!

    When my boys and I were visiting my dad in the hospital a few weeks ago, in the lobby was an old phone booth with an out of order pay phone. The boys were beyond curious... they couldn't believe that first you paid for the call with actual money as in COINS, or that the phone had a CORD on it. Grandpa got a huge laugh out of the whole deal when they told him all about it.

  7. Microwave Ovens(Can't imagine not having one)- Cell Phones (Ditto)- Color TV (Very nice indeed) - Space Flight (Scarry) - In Utero Surgery (Amazing) - Disposable Diapers ( A blessing when raising 10 kids)...
    ...I could go on and on with the things that are new and have changed since I was a little girl -BUT...

    Online shopping - THE BEST EVER!

  8. Wow. This is amazing.

    And I remember when we rented a vcr too. wow.

  9. For me, it is the Internet and the vast amount of information to which I have access...

  10. Ah, the beauty of modern times! Just think, when we were kids we would have had to talk on the phone or send snail mail to each other. How would we have found one another? Pen pal list? I dunno.

    Glad it's 2008!

  11. Isn't it crazy? I think about that all the time. Thanksgiving, we always go to my husband's aunt in Florida. She is 101! Can you believe it? When I think of all that she has seen- and the difference?! Crazy.

  12. When you were describing the indoor plumbing thing, I immediately thought of the story that my 54 year old cousin told me. The first time she went with her boyfriend (now husband) to meet his parents, she knew they lived out in the country, but she didn't know just how far out in the country. As they were passing through the last little town before heading into the "boonies," her boyfriend asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom. She just thought that was the weirdest thing and kept insisting that she was fine. He finally told her, "Sherre, Mom and Dad don't have a bathroom - they have an outhouse." She made him pull over at the next service station! LOL I don't know how many years my cousins were married before Ma and Pa Weeks finally got indoor plumbing!

  13. Being 65 myself the thing I notice is the accelerated pace of change. My grandfather was the first person in his neighborhood to own a TV. I will guess that within 10 years, for the majority of Americans, our telephones, TVs and computers will all be one device.

    Technology that gets invented today will likely become obsolete in as little as ten years.

    By the time I learn the latest cool thing it's not.