Writing Prompt

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“What TV show, past or present, do you wish your life was like?”

I guess it would have to be “Mayberry RFD” mainly because of the innocence of the characters. Life was simple then, but there was also Barney and other foolish folks to keep things amusing and imperfect.

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What would be yours?

 

 

Photos from Pixabay

When Did We get in Such a Hurry?

When I was a small child we had no telephone. Later, after moving from rural Crooked Creek, we did have a rotary dial phone. It was a party line with seven other families, which could be interesting at times. My Grandfather was Post Master of Gee, KY and letters were the way that most people communicated in those days. I don’t recall how long it took for a letter to go several miles to another community, but of course, it was a few days. We managed. 

Today we are all connected magically by cell phones and computers. No waiting, just Instant Messaging, SnapChat or Tweet! FaceTime and Skype are great for seeing my Granddaughter, Kate, who now lives in England.

Until it fails and it will from time to time. Cell phones get bugs and do crazy things sometimes, like eavesdropping prior to FaceTime connection. Computers contract viruses or get hacked. Yesterday my computer told me that I had no connection to WiFI and I panicked. Seriously I panicked. How could I exist? What would I do?

Years ago, I remember George Carlin remarking that everyone was carrying a water bottle. He asked, “When did we all become so thirsty?” My question today is “When did we all get in such a hurry?”  With our modern conveniences and gadgets, we have lost the patience to wait. Or, perhaps I should just charge myself. I know I am guilty and I believe that I have plenty of company.

Day One

I called the provider who instructed me in the reboot process. No luck so an appointment was set up for about 28 hours later . . . tomorrow late afternoon! How could they do this to me? I was griping to my younger granddaughter, Elizabeth, who nonchalantly said, “Just go to Starbucks, Grandmother!” What part of seven-degree temperature and icy roads did she not understand?

Day Two

After spending the night without internet I checked the temperature this morning and it had warmed up (now 10*) so I took off for Starbucks where I drank expensive coffee and was repaid by internet services. I’m a big fan. So, now I have to wait for the repair person to arrive. While I wait, I think I’ll listen to some nice soothing music, but guess what, no Pandora without internet! So, I dragged out some old CDs and got the ancient player blasting Boy Dylan. Forget soothing, but Dylan did help a bit.

Guy #1 makes it about 5 p.m. and after tinkering with the equipment for a while he says, “I have good news and bad news. I can’t fix it, but someone will be here first thing tomorrow morning.”

Day Three

I got up at 7:30 a.m. and got ready for Guy or Gal #2. It is now 11 a.m. and not a word. Finally, he showed up and identified himself as the “outside” guy since the “inside” guy couldn’t find the problem in my equipment yesterday. He was clearly an outside guy because he walked all about the neighborhood with an electronic device in hand and then informed me that all my neighbors had service but for some reason, I did not. So, now it’s sounding like it’s my fault. Guy #2 a.k.a. Outside Guy left assuring me that Guy #3 would be here to get my service squared away.

Guy #3 (“outside guy” #2) came a few hours later and here I am blogging! Guy #3 briefly became my fav. With service back on I reviewed thirty-something emails that had arrived since my Starbucks trip yesterday. I had to smile at myself for being so impatient as I deleted about one-half of the emails which were not important. Then I checked the blog stats and was not too impressed. I read the news, answered the important emails and wondered what all the anxiety had been about.

Just as I thought I could breathe easily with my Internet intact, I discovered that I had no service in three out of four of my TVs! Guy #3 fixed one problem and created another. Sometimes I wish I was one of those seniors who completely eschewed technology!

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

Way Back

Do You Remember?

Way back when  . . . 

  1. Milk was delivered to your door before daylight in a glass recyclable bottle?
  2. Books of matches were free and had advertising written on them?  

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  3. You went to the “show” (movie) and sat in the balcony?
  4. Telephone poles had insulators like these? IMG_7133
  5. Most women were married to their homes, i.e., housewives
  6. Couples on TV always slept in twin beds?
  7. Women did not go to war?
  8. “Howdy Doody” was on TV?
  9. Moms worked 24/7 for no monetary compensation. . . oh, wait, that still sometimes happens.
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Photo by Pinterest

“Old age is just a record of one’s whole life.” Muhammad Ali

 

Russia

Brief History

During the “cold war” I grew up hearing about the evil Russians who lived in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). The country’s shortened name was the Soviet Union and even that sounded ominous. People with enough money to afford underground bomb shelters had them built. There were discussions about the hard decision of what to do if during a nuclear attack a neighbor wanted to enter your shelter. What would you do was the question, since you likely didn’t even have enough supplies to sustain your own family for long. My family didn’t have to worry about that dilemma, but I worried about what would happen to us. Hearing of new threats on the evening news or hearing adults talk about the possibility of a Russian bomb was very unsettling for children. It didn’t help that we had bomb drills at school where we were taught to duck under our desks for protection from the falling bombs!

Communism

Communism came to Russia, then called a Socialist Federation, in a revolt led by Vladimir Lenin in 1917. Joining other Socialist Republics in 1922 the country became the USSR. Millions later died of starvation or while working in forced labor camps under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. During World War II he led the Soviets in siding with Hitler but ended up losing over twenty-five million Soviet citizens. The Cold War between the US and the USSR followed this period. 

The last leader under the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, introduced a new openness called “glasnost” around 1986. He was elected President in 1990 and led the reformation of the Communist Party, called “perestroika.” Up to this time, Communism had discouraged all religions including the most prevalent Russian Orthodox. Boris Yeltsin was next elected and took the country further into democratic reform and to a free market system. 

Visit

In July of 1994, I visited Russia for seventeen days. It was worth every dollar spent, every inconvenience and every discomfort that I endured to learn that Russian people were not who I thought, who I had been taught. I will tell you more about what I learned in following posts. 

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Visa Application 02/18/1994

Part 1 of 6

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

CHANGE TRIVIA

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” Steve Jobs

It doesn’t take an investigative mind to prove that change happens regularly before our very eyes and ears. Some changes are significant but many are trivial. I suppose my mind today is on the latter, but I really want to share with you some observations. I’m curious whether you have observed the same changes. 

Here are some questions for you:

1. Have you noticed that many celebrities when introduced on TV programs now walk onto the stage applauding, apparently, for themselves? Surely that is a fairly recent habit. 

2. What about the experts interviewed on news or talk shows who when asked their opinion begin their response with “so” and then proceed? So, when did this trend begin and does anyone think it adds to the information provided?

Words are inanimate so they do not have the power to change, but we at times change their pronunciation for no obvious reason. The first time I noticed this was during the Vietnam War. Out of the blue, that country was pronounced differently for a while. 

Let me make clear that I am not talking about the mispronunciation of words. I have the utmost empathy in such circumstances since it has never been a personal strong suit. I don’t know if teachers still have students read aloud in class, but back (way back) in my day it was expected. Like it was yesterday, I recall my humiliation standing in front of the class and reading in Ms. Miller’s fourth grade. Suddenly I came to a big word that I had not encountered before but I forged ahead and read, “She was deter-mind-ed to succeed.” 

3. Have you noticed the different pronunciation of any of these words over time? Is there a big authority somewhere who arbitrarily one day simply proclaims, “We will henceforth pronounce __________ differently!”?

WORD

ORIGINAL

CHANGE

Vietnam

vee-et-nahm vee-et-nam

harassment

huh-ras-ment har-uhs-ment

divisive

dih-vagy-siv di-vis-iv

Appalachia

ap-uh-ley-chee-uh ap-uh-lach-ee-uh

Chili

Chil-lee Chil-lay

Please share some of your own observations with us. 

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Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.

For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.    

Margaret Mead

Part 3 of 4

Photo by Pixabay