Balancing the Good New Days and the Good Old Days

I was just watching a little girl eating a ice cream cone and realized how quickly it was melting as she walked in the sun. Then, for no good reason I started thinking about other things that go poof and they are gone, probably not to be seen again. For example, the block of ice the iceman used to carry into our kitchen with his ice tongs, or the letters the postman brought with the three cent stamp attached. The list could go on and on but the one item on the list that is the saddest is the more than 291 newspapers that are defunct, MIA in the past few years. And the list increases every day.

It is not only the printed word, it is the written word also. Teaching penmanship is no longer fashionable in our schools; consequently, we are not teaching the beauty of the English language. The theme paper and number 2 pencils we coveted have seemingly been relegated to the dust heap, and in their places we have a keyboard, a return, back space and alphabet button on a computer. I believe in progress and I love my IPad and computer, but I wish we did not exile one for the other. Personally, I am glad I had to make all those circles learning to keep the numbers and letters between those two lines, and glad I had to write all of those thank you notes because it was the proper thing to do.

Teachers have so much that is required of them for testing purposes that I am sure something had to be eliminated. And I understand we are living in an electronic age and students have to embrace that; their future depends on it. However, I think they have missed out on some important things also.

I grieve the most about our newspapers but I have to accept that family owned newspapers are almost a thing of the past. It is more about advertising that brings in the money, not the news. I don’t think we will see the likes of the newspapers I grew up enjoying: the four or five sections of 10 or 12 pages in each section, every day.

At the same time, I still progress is wonderful. I will gladly accept ice cubes over the old ice pick and the block of ice.


The Sounds of Silence

Well I am back in business. My TV, iPad, and phone captioning are operating again after a tech outage of a day. I felt like I was living next to the Flintstones and Wilma was knocking on my door to borrow my platypus to take her grocery list to the local store.

I hope all Pundit fans had a great Christmas. My kids gave me a sinfully huge television. My electric world just got bigger.

Then the cruel hand of “gotcha” entered my small apartment at Oxmoor Lodge.

In one fell swoop of unbelievable misfortune, my new television screen decided it would show me nothing but SNOW. No button I pushed (my first mistake) would bring it back. Shortly after this fatality, my trusted iPad decided it would join the television to inflict more pain and suffering. I really thought it was a bit of overkill.

What next, you ask? Here it is: I have a caption phone. When I get a call, the conversation is displayed on a small screen and I can read it – it is great for deaf people. My hearing went south over the last year; I think it went so fast it skipped over Key West and headed for Cuba.

Now my captioning got on the same plane south.

So there I sat. I thought, “Ain’t this electronic world amazing?!?” When I was growing up I had to pay ten cents on Saturday afternoon to see a moving picture, I had to actually write with paper and pen, put it in a stamped envelope and send it on its way. When you were deaf if you even had a phone you could not hear the conversation.

Well, friends, life is pretty good with all its glitches. The list of my worries during quarantine were:

1. Will my TV get fixed before Victor and Nikki split up again, or, who really shot Carmine; Fen, or his mom or dad?

2. Will my iPad get fixed in time to play “Words” with my opponents?

3. That I won’t be able to hear when Publishers’ Clearing House calls to tell me I won $5,000 a week for life.

That’s OK, I told myself. I have already experienced more wonderful events then I ever expected: most of them without television, my iPad or a caption phone.

But here’s one final thought that tells the truth. When the kids are driving you bonkers, yelling and running through the house, your spouse is yelling, “Where are my socks?” and your mother-in-law reminds you that she always laid his clothes out for him, don’t scream, “I want some peace and quiet, quiet, quiet!” Believe me you don’t. I sat here in “quiet” for about eighteen hours until the television man came and the snow went away, my iPad started pinging to let me know someone had sent me a message, and the telephone started ringing. They were all beautiful sounds. Remember – be sure of what you wish for because you just might get it!