Tag Archives: telephone

Things We Don’t Do Anymore

I was recently reading a book written a while back and it made a reference to calling the time-of-day line.  That got me thinking, how many things that used to be a normal part of our everyday life are no longer done?

  • Calling the Time-of-Day Line (for those of you too young to know what this is, it was a special phone number you could call to get the exact time when setting clocks, etc.
  • Getting up to walk over and answer the phone, then having to stand next to it for the entire conversation because it was mounted on the wall and had a phone cord.
  • Kids going to their friend’s house, ringing the doorbell and asking if their friend could come out to play.  No one called their friends on the phone to arrange a get-together until they were teens.
  • Riding bikes or roller skating without a helmet on.
  • Going to the Drive-In (there are a few still in existence, but they are not common)
  • Getting up to turn on the TV, then again to change the channel, and then again to adjust the rabbit ears or antenna.
  • Reading TV Guide to find out what was on TV that week.
  • Getting up on Saturday morning to watch cartoons, because that was the only time they were on TV.
  • Carrying a checkbook with you at all times to pay for any items you didn’t have enough cash for….debit cards did not exist.the-future-will-soon-be-a-thing-of-the-past-quote-1
  • Paying all your bills by sitting and writing checks, then sending the payment through the mail.  Most young people don’t even order checks anymore, and a lot of them do not carry cash, they use a debit card for everything.
  • Do research by going to the library and reading an encyclopedia
  • Take your rolls of film to the store to be processed.
  • Open up a paper map to look at when planning a journey or to figure out where you are — although paper maps still do exist.
  • If not at home and you needed to telephone someone you had to look for a payphone and then have the proper change to put in the phone to use it.
  • Pull into a gas station and wait for the attendant to come out and inquire as to how much gas you wanted, and while the gas was pumping the attendant would clean your windshield and check your oil.
  • Have CB Radios in cars to communicate with each other — this was a bit of a craze in the late 70’s….my handle was the Gumball.

I’m sure there are more things that I haven’t thought of.  What do you remember doing in your everyday life that is no longer done?

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Filed under Activities, assumptions, decisions, Discoveries, exploration, home, Life is a Melting Pot, memoir, reality, Uncategorized

Freedom on the Horizon

For the past six years my son, Patrick, has called me every week, sometimes more than once a week, and each time we engage in a 15 minute conversation.  He always calls me.  I am not allowed to call him back.  We try to exchange as much information as possible in those weekly conversations.  Things that need to be handled, questions, and some general fun information on what is going on in each other’s life.

This past week Patrick called me in the middle of the day while I was at work.  It was a very special call and he was bursting with good news.  He finally received notice on the outcome of his parole hearing, which I talked about in All We Can Do Is Wait.  He is being paroled!  On March 20, 2018 I will be picking Patrick up from the prison and driving him home.

He will be on a two-year parole and is being released on a tether.  It is a six-hour drive home and Patrick will need to report to his parole agent here in our county that same day.   He will need to get a driver’s license.  The majority of his clothes will not fit as he has gotten taller and broader in the past six years.  Patrick was twenty-four when he went in, and will be thirty when he comes out.

Patrick and Grace taken during prison visit October 30, 2017

Patrick and Grace, October 30, 2017

It is exciting to have Patrick coming home.  In the time he was incarcerated he lost two daughters (my granddaughters) to foster care/adoption.  He also missed the funeral/memorial services of one grandmother, two grandfathers, and his father (my husband).  In addition to a general loss of freedom, those who are incarcerated can lose much on a personal/emotional scale as well.

We are both looking forward to the day of Patrick’s parole with excitement, but I think also a bit of trepidation.   Neither of us are the same people we were when he was arrested all those years ago.  There will be an adjustment period as he will be living with me initially while he gets his feet under him.  My home will need to meet the requirements of his parole.   He is used to living under the constant scrutiny and control of a prison and will now have the ability to enjoy freedom within the confines of his parole requirements.    He is used to living with all men.  I am used to living alone.  It will definitely be an adjustment.

The countdown has begun.  Seventy-seven days to go, but who is counting.  Freedom is on the horizon.

 

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Filed under anniversary, celebration, communication, Coping, decisions, Family, habit, home, impressions, Life Changing, Life is a Melting Pot, parents, reality, time

When the Lights Go Out

Internet went downA week or so ago I was finally home for a Saturday, the first one in weeks, with a long to-do list.  At 10:30 am there was a glitch — we lost our power.  Washer and Dryer both stopped mid-cycle.  Dishwasher stopped mid- cycle.  I’m not used to this.  In the eleven years we have been in this house we have only lost power 3-4 times – why now?

It was rainy and gloomy outside, which means even with the blinds open it is dark.  I managed to get the small load of clothes out of the dryer and hung them to dry.  Then I stood in the house looking around.  What could I do that would allow me to be productive with only the light from the windows?

The CD’s on our shelves had all been taken down and needed to be reorganized, and there was a window nearby.  Not a very exciting project, but at least it was something.  Rather blah sorting music CD’s when you can’t even pop one in the player to listen to.  At least it was something to do.

Life without power is challenging.  Walk into the bathroom close the door and realize as you flip the switch that there is no light.  You are standing in a pitch black room because it has no window.  Exit the room and go look for a flashlight to use.  As you are looking for the flashlight you walk into a room and instinct comes into play…you hit the light switch out of habit, and again nothing happens.  Then you feel like an idiot….why would you be looking for a flashlight if the lights worked?

The coffee maker went off with the power, so now you want to warm up a cup of coffee, but the microwave won’t run.  The internet also went down with the electricity, so you try to surf using your phone, but due to lack of power the cell lines are tied up and nothing is loading.   Figure out lunch with items that do not require cooking.

It was around 4:30 that our electricity came back on.  Lights flashed on, lights that had been on when the power went down sprang to life.  However the internet was still out.  We have a package plan, internet, phone and TV, so nothing worked.  Predicted connection:  11:30 pm.   You feel like you’ve been stripped of contact with the world!  Now what will I do.  I have lights, but no TV, phone or internet.

Losing power, even for a short time, is a wake-up call to how dependent we are on technology.  Our ancestors lived without all these modern conveniences and did quite well without them.  Yet loose the for a portion of the day now and you find yourself lost, unable to function, because everything relies on electricity and/or internet connections.

Try going for a few hours without any lights, electricity, internet, TV or telephone.  Get back to the basics of life.  It will give you an appreciation for all you have, and for how your ancestors lived very happy, content lives without all our technology.

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Filed under Coping, Life is a Melting Pot