Thursday, October 4, 2007

Times have Changed

I'm amazed at the way things have changed over the years. I know that every generation has seen their share of changes and improvements in technology, but I feel that now more than ever it's changing at a faster rate than we can keep up! I can only imagine what the next 20 years will have in store for us.

What I miss...

1. No stores open on Sundays.

2. Having to fill up with gas (at 32 cents per gallon) on Saturday to travel to Grandma's on Sunday because the gas stations were not open on Sunday (except on the interstate).

3. I miss penny candy. I miss going into the drug store and buying a bag of candy with the pop bottle money I got from the bottles I found on the side of the road. I'd find a couple of bottles after school while riding my bike and I'd go to the store and cash them in then run down to the drug store and get me 20 pieces of candy and the clerk would put those candies in a little brown paper sack for me to carry them in. And the candies back then were great. the little cinnamon hot dog shaped chewing gum, the square pieces of flavored taffy. a huge variety of tootsie roles and tootsie pops. Remember the wax lips or teeth?

4. I miss the stores closing at dark most evenings and everyone was at home every night spending good times with the family.

5. Riding bikes or walking around town without fear of getting kidnapped or hurt by others.

6. Trick or treating on Halloween was the best. We'd run the whole neighborhood and come home with tons of candy. We never feared someone hurting us with razor blades or poisoning the candy like we have to be concerned with today. It was a community event back then.

7. Family reunions happened almost every weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's house. This was of course before we all started moving all over the United States with our jobs and careers.

8. I miss going to work for a Company that you could count on being there for you till retirement. Now who knows?

9. I miss getting a bottle of pop (coke) for 10 cents a bottle at the local laundry mat where my mom washed our clothes.

10. I miss going to the grocery store on Friday nights after Dad got home from work with the paycheck. The whole town was there on Friday afternoon. We saw everybody there and it was fun and a busy time for merchants in our town.

11. I miss going to the park downtown and playing on the huge slide in the middle of the park. We'd wax that slide down by finding a waxed paper cup in the trash can and then we'd rub the inside of that cup on the slide making us slide super fast. The parks back then had great equipment like monkey bar and all kinds of equipment to climb on. The swings were huge and we could really get some air as we would fly out at the peak of the swing. We'd play in the park for hours and the rule was to run home when the street lights came on.

12. Suppertime was family time. We all sat around the table and talked and the TV was never on until after Supper. (now the TV is never off.)

13. We would go to work for an 8 hour work day and work 40 hours per week. You could count on the same shift every week. Now who knows?

14. A wrist watch looked like a clock and we'd wind it up each day.

15. 8 tracks were the latest thing in music. This could be the end of records.

16. A car cost you $5,000 brand new off the lot and a house was $25-$30,000 brand new.

17. Everyone knew how to work on their cars back then because they were all the same.

18. the high school football, basketball, and summer baseball and softball fields were the place to be for the whole community. Now that was entertainment.

19. Speaking of entertainment... you couldn't beat the "drive in." Mom and Dad would send us kids down to the big screen and we'd all play on a playground under the screen until the show started. As soon as we saw that movie start to play all the kids would run back to their cars and settle in for a run of three movies. I never made it past the 2nd movie before I fell asleep. I remember Dad carrying me into the house in the middle of the night after the long drive back home. What a great time this was for all of us.

20. Everyone in town all had the same banker, insurance man, lawyer, teacher (for all generations), schools, etc.

21. Everyone knew the police chief and believe it or not, he was a great guy. Gave you a break once in a while because he was your friend and neighbor.

22. When we had a parade, it went through the whole town and latest for hours. Lots of candy was thrown out and us kids would always compete for ribbons by decorating our bikes up with crape paper and riding in the parade.

23. There was nothing like being home for the Holidays. It began with Thanksgiving and went all the way through to the New Year. I remember looking out the window on a cold night just hoping it would snow. As Christmas got close we'd dream of Santa and the gifts we'd get for Christmas. Believing in Santa and then finally finding out he wasn't real... it didn't warp our minds like everyone's afraid it will today. It was the fantasy of it that made it fun. It was like living out a fairy tale.

24. TV shows were for the whole family, no cuss words, no sex, but lots of comedy. We laughed a lot more back then.

25. TV was free (we only had three channels) but they were free. TV also closed at a certain time of night, usually around midnight and I remember they would always close the network with pictures of our American flag flying as the National Anthem would play. Made me proud of our Country.

26. We all had the same telephone Company, and some of shared phone lines with the neighbors on our party lines. I remember having to listen first before dialing when we picked up the phone because someone might already be using the phone line.

27. The US mail was the only way to send a package or letter.

28. We all had our laundry hanging on the clothes line.

29. We all washed the dishes in the sink.

30. Our food was home cooked, not out of a box like it is today.

31. Going out to eat at a restaurant was rare and a special treat, now it's the norm!

32. Cookies in the cookie jar would last a week, because you could only have one or two before going to bed as a snack. Now a days the cookies don't even make it to the cookie jar!

33. I remember when the families had a Mom and a Dad.

Now days...

We have email, text messages, job uncertainty, political unrest, Internet, electronics instead of toys, music that is filth (because we want to be able to express our self in our freedom of speech.) To have TV in the house we have to pay an arm and a leg now and it's not good enough to have 3 channels, we have to have 150 channels and we still can't find anything worth watching. Every time you turn on the TV you hear cussing, you see sex, and we just don't seem to laugh as much anymore. Everything's a drama! And it's not a tasteful drama either. The bolder the better it seems! One TV isn't enough, we have to have one for each room so we don't have to be together to watch TV anymore. The dining room table might as well be the computer desk because we rarely eat as a family there anymore. Speaking about computers, we all own one an we also pay dearly for the Internet as well. Not just in monthly payments but in the time we spend on it away from our families and the filth that is available there as well has hurt many families.

Cell phones are the new way to communicate, talk about costing us an arm and a leg... this is it, but everyone in the family has to have one. Not to talk to each other though, so we can talk to our friends or better yet, send them a text message or a picture or any other thing that is a meaningless waste of our time.

Between the Cable bill, the Internet bill, and the new phone bill for our cell phones, the average person has $200 more in bills that they didn't have just a few years ago. Is it any wonder that our children can't afford to leave the house and make it on their own? Those that go to college are often so far in debt with student loans that it takes them 10 years of their life or more to get that huge debt paid off. I feel for our youth and teenagers today trying to go out into the world and make it on their own. We've given them as a society a false hope. For some reason they all feel they need phones, computers, cars, Internet, and all the luxuries of life that it took us years to get as their parents. We've set them up to fail.

Those of us working out there today.... It's get more done with less people! The Internet has replaced the mail bag and instead of getting mail once or twice a week we get emails all day long everyday so that we can be informed and directed with each passing minute of the day. We all have more to do and less time to do it. So we extend our work days to get it done, but it doesn't work. People are stressed at work because nothing is secure and everyone is expendable. The technology changes so fast that we can;t even get the new changes communicated properly or learned before they change again. Today's technology, TV, computer, accessories, is tomorrows junk, only because it becomes obsolete so quickly.

I won't even go into the details of all the drugs that are out there destroying the minds and the lives of so many people. I'm amazed at the way the media drives issues. News is instant and available on all issues. Nothing is too graphic anymore and nothing is off limits. We get to see it all. We get to disrespect each other on the radio and on TV. We seem to love seeing others suffer, or at least we're quick to jump on others misfortune and talk it to death in the news. Never mind we've ruined someones life with all the media attention! Most of what we hear, we could have done without hearing... Why? because it doesn't affect me!

I could go on and on, but I'm tired just thinking about it all. I don't want to go back to the good old days, but the way we're tackling the days of today.... Well it's destroying our families, it's killing our time together, it's costing us a fortune to live and we all just can't afford the pace we've set for ourselves. We're in trouble, all because we don't remember what was important to us in those good Ole days. We have to slow down some. We have to, or this technology and fast paced world we live in will wipe us out. It's like we don't have common sense anymore? We have to get back to focusing on the family, Spouses loving each other, teaching our children how to survive and providing good role models for them so they can be successful in life and marriage. America has fallen into a trance. We've become disillusioned into believing that we have the right to do whatever we want whenever we want to whomever we want. It's all about what feels good and we've thrown morals and respect out the window to get it.

It has to stop.

We've got to change.

We must take a stand.

Let's learn from our past, Thank God our past generations were not so self ambitious and that they thought more of their families and their future rather than just... "What's in it for me?" We have good role models for the most part in our past, I suggest we start imitating them since what we're doing isn't working out so well. From where I sit, the future doesn't look real good unless something gives.