Friday, April 25, 2008

An Old Versus Modern (Postmodern?) Friday Five

It's my turn to host the Rev Gals Friday Five.

Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?

Plumbing...and I'm not thinking of the toilet. I'm thinking of the shower. Some of you know that Ken and I like to play "make believe" and join with others in portraying the fur trade era (pre 1840). It's fun, to a point. Then I've had enough. What do I want most? A HOT SHOWER! There is nothing like several days without one to make you thank God you can have one when you get home. And other people too. Ahem.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day?Why?

Cell phones. I hate them, and I resisted having one till fairly recently. Yes, I know it is nice to have. But do you realize how much that innocent-looking little cell phone has changed interaction? Annoyed us? Caused accidents? Shut us off, even more, from one another? And don't get me started on the constant text messaging of the "young folks." They seem to be increasingly unaware of how to interact appropriately and kindly and happily FACE TO FACE...oh I sound like an old fogey. I know I do. Don't care. Send the cell phone back to the depths from which it emerged!

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? Ifso, do you use it (them)?

My CD player has a turntable up top, and a cassette player in the middle, and the CD player is on the bottom. Of course, I use the CD player most. But I still have a sizable stash of cassettes, and I still have quite a few LPs. I don't play them often, but once in a while I do. I do not, however, have an eight-track player. I'm not THAT much of an old fogey!

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?

It is wonderful. We can have friends, and I do, who live across the world and have never met, but through cyber-space they truly can become dear to us. I would once have thought this impossible. I know better now. One friend sent my chocolates when I was studying for a difficult exam. Another sent Trinity a quilt when she was born. I've met some, and I wish I could meet more. Of course, our medical advances are miraculous. And our communications (except the cell and on and on. I also find it terrifying. I could write an essay, which is a bit much for a Friday Five.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.

I think there are many answers to this question. The first thing that came to mind, however, was family. My mother's family all were born in the same town. They all went to high school, found jobs, married, had children, lived life together, and the majority died in that same town. That doesn't mean that some of them did not travel, or have some wonderful experiences or live elsewhere for a time. Like my mother. She left her Texas small town for Los Angeles so my dad could go to work at Lockheed Aircraft during the war. But later in life, she returned to her roots in Texas soil, and many of the family were there to welcome her home. Those who moved away still kept in touch. Family ties were very strong. No one had a hospital stay without someone there to make sure nurses and doctors paid attention, or the patient had a foot rub, or reading from the Bible, and so on. I know, not all family had such love and connection, but overall our automobiles and our technology have divided us and sent us far away. My own kids, adults now, have cousins they have never once met. To me that is more than sad.

Something my sisters planned, and sadly we only did one time, was to get together once a year at one of our homes. We lived far apart and rarely met in person. I'm sorry we didn't stick with the plan, and now we can't. I think we must be specific, and focused about how we stay in touch. My kids, and now my grandchild, live just far enough away that if we don't' plan things on purpose we will find that months have passed and we haven't seen one another. Make a plan, as my sisters did, and then (unlike us) stick to it. Life is short.

Gee, I sound gloomy. I need coffee!


Sister Juliet, RSCJ said...

Hi! Your link doesn't work on the rgbp comments... but I found you anyhow!

I have to agree with your last comment, about family. We tend to have smaller families now, too. I only have one brother, and we're even Catholic! ha! But the whole family lives across the country--from Maryland to Oregon and all the time zones in between. It is certainly a matter of being deliberate about seeing and communicating with each other.

Thanks! SD

Auntie Knickers said...

Oh, your #5 is right on. And I need to plan some get-togethers with family who live no more than 10 miles away! It's not as if I'm even that busy!
Good play, and I more or less agree about the cellphones, but my kids all have them as their only phone now so I can't ban them!

Sally said...

I am with you on #5 too, I really enjoyed this F5, it called for some soul searching!

Iris Godfrey said...

I agree on #5 also, but have a thought about it as well. When we follow the call of God on our lives, He often leads us away from those we love, especially our relatives. That is not an excuse for not keeping in touch, but the reality of living out a call. Keeping in touch is easier now with free long distance telephones (cells included) and email. I think we need to re-evaluate our efforts this direction. Living close to one another is probably never going to be possible in our present world. I find it harder to keep in touch with those who do not have email.

RevAnne said...

Love your #5. My family is scattered, which makes holidays precious, since we make a commitment to be there. So true that we are so scattered, and it's hard to get together.

Lesley said...

And I'm another one who agrees with your #5. My Dad has a "cousins' reunion" once a year. They grew up together, whereas we lived hundreds of miles from my own cousins, and I've all-but lost touch with them.

Anonymous said...

1. I don't think I could live without my camera. Now granted, it has been around since 1838, but still.... The ones we have now days are so much better.
2. The The DVR Box/Cable TV. I LOVE watching TV and diving into stories, but I notice that I spend less time with my husband, reading a good book, playing with my daughter, etc... I know people who will not leave their house, no acceptations, during certain shows.
3. No, but then my mom has all the LPs.
4. Both. With the good comes the bad...
5. I think the thing that we have lost is ingenuity. Instead of figuring out how to fix something, we just throw it away and buy a new one. We spend and waste so much money on things that if we just took the time, we could probably fix. Or at least flex our brain muscles.

Law+Gospel said...

This was a great F5 and I enjoyed your post. My special cell peeve is the Bluetooth ear clip. We don't have an 8 track but my mother in law does- she IS a fogey.

Processing Counselor said...

Good idea for a FF and I'm with you on cell phones!

Diane M. Roth said...

I'm with you on both plumbing and cell phones! I want a cell phone, but fear it too.

and I do have nostalgia about our lost sense of family.

Lori said...

I'm with you on all and especially the family. My family is teeeeeeeny. You'd think we'd hang tighter, but we do not. Though when we do get together every 10 years or so, we enjoy each other very much.

Anonymous said...

Great play!

hip2b said...

You know I miss my family. We live in the kind of small town where generations still live withing 50 miles of each other...many much closer than that. And here we are 700 miles away. It just doesn't make sense.

Ruth said...

I agree with #5 the problem is my parents and sibs all live in the Twin Cities area! None of us are more than 20 miles from someone else but we almost never see each other except for holidays and the littlest nieces birthdays. I have a feeling we've become too individual to appreciate the support of one another. It's just not important enough for us...yet.

Anonymous said...

You're right about it all (imho)! I have to say that my siblings and I (four of us) all live within an hour's drive; we gather together regularly and the cousins love/hate each other as if they were siblings. Our family is a powerful, powerful presence in each of our lives...and the connection has gotten us through way too many major traumas.

Thanks for stopping by my site--it is funny (touching) how totally related our answers are! I can only say we must be sisters in cyberspace. So, welcome to our family.