WHAT SNEW?

I got the second parking ticket of my entire life last week.  The pissy part of it was that I actually had put money in the meter.  It ran out.  I guess a dime doesn’t get what it used to.  We so rarely park anywhere these days where there are actually parking meters.  One day the meters will suffer the same fate as telephone booths and full service filling stations.  Hee hee.  I said filling station. *snickers*

There are so many things from our pasts that have found their way onto the endangered species list, lingered there for awhile and then just bit the dust.  Remember rotary dial telephones?  Console televisions that you actually had to manually change the channel and adjust the volume?  Department stores, even in small towns, that had elevators?  Diners?  Toasters that lasted as long as a marriage?  Oh, well, I guess it’s the same these days…  I’m talking about our parents’ and grandparents’ marriages.

Remember mowing the grass with a push mower?  That used to mean two wheels, cylindrical blades and a handle.  As recently as 10-15 years ago, I bought one.  I was determined to cut down on neighborhood noise and conserve gas and cut down on air pollution.  Had I kept up with it, I might have some stellar abs, biceps and deltoids to show off.  But I was too lazy and it was too hard to push.  My bad.

I still would rather wash my car in the driveway with a bucket and a sponge and detergent and a hose than use a carwash.  It’s just plain old fun to put on a bathing suit top and cut offs and make the car all shiny and pretty.  It’s also plain old hard to find the time usually.

Lots of people these days listen to audio books.  I’ve done it, but I still love the feeling of a real, old fashioned book with pages to turn.  I love the smell of the paper and the beauty of those words all lined up and spaced so perfectly on the pages.  I enjoy the anticipation of turning the pages or flipping back to re-read a memorable passage. And when I finish a particularly good book, I like the feeling of hugging it to my chest to show the book gods my appreciation.

As much as I rely on a keyboard, I still love pencil and paper.

As pleased as I am to get personal email, a hand-written letter in the mailbox is such a joy to receive.

Popping a cd in is fast and easy.  But remember what it used to feel like to buy a record album and rush home to tear into it?  Once in awhile all the lyrics were printed on the paper jacket inside and that was the ultimate!  But the actual action of lifting the dust cover on the turn table, pulling up the arm and sliding it over, placing the record on the turn table and placing the needle in the groove…  it was like a ceremony we performed in preparation for the thrill of the music.  It was all part of the experience.  You adjusted the headphones, sat back and let the music take you away.

Remember winding your watch?  And the alarm clock?

When is the last time you wrapped a gift with paper, tape and ribbon?  I still do it.  I’m stubborn that way.  Occasionally I’ll use a gift bag to save time, but I get such simple complete joy out of choosing pretty paper to wrap a gift.  I rarely buy ready-made bows.  I buy ribbon, the good stuff-cloth, not paper- and love the look on the recipient’s face when they say “Oooh. Look how nice this is wrapped!”  One year at Christmas time, my son Michael questioned me; why I spent so much time lining up corners and cutting the paper so straight and painstakingly wrapping each present to my own specifications.  I don’t know that he understands even yet, how much I enjoy the simple little act of preserving an old tradition.  Like brewing tea in a real teapot or ironing a cotton tablecloth  or baking a layer cake.  Some things are just better the old way.

Why just the other day I was mending a ripped pair of the son’s boxer shorts.  Yeah, they could have landed in the rag bag.  But then I would have missed out enjoying the ten minutes that it took me to thread the freakin’ needle. 😉

Do ya think I’m old fashioned?

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12 responses to “WHAT SNEW?

  1. i would say you lean into appreciating traditions which is awesome. legacy and traditions are awesome and must be passed down.

    you are a good balance as far as i can tell 🙂

  2. I loved so many of these memories. I can relate to every one of them. My efforts with pencil and paper end up looking so horrible, however, that I’m not into that much anymore.

    On that note, I must admit, receiving a handwritten letter is very special these days.

    Funny you mentioned wrapping gifts. My wife still wraps, and very well. She doesn’t rap worth a damn, though. To be honest, we do have a birthday gift bag sitting on our dining nook. She discovered we had no birthday wrapping paper and it was a last-minute thing.

    So many of these things are about tactile feedback, something we as members of the animal kingdom need and are getting less and less of in the technological age.

    Perhaps some things will make a comeback.

  3. Piglet, Yeah. I try to impart this to my kids, always have. Unfortunately, they’re not as receptive as I would like. But it’s a whole ‘nother world now. Remember when guys used to change sparkplugs and hoses and stuff? Shit, they pay people to do that now. My gram used to make bread and noodles. My mom was into canning and quilting. I should be passing that down to Ju. Alas… tick tick tick.

    Mark, seems you enjoyed that post, I’m glad. I enjoyed writing it. Just wish I’d had more time. Since I finished this, I’ve thought of a few more examples of how things are changing and others are getting lost in our culture.
    Wrap/rap. hee hee. You are such a card.

  4. Record album? What is a record album? 🙂

    I was reflecting on similar grounds the other day. I was pining for 8tracks. Yeah they were clunky and weird but they were also the ultimate in cool!

    Remember going to your first concert and hearing a song that was split between two tracks on your 8track. I actually caught myself making the clunk noise out of habit!

  5. I recently made covers for my couch and couch pillows. The sofa was starting to look worn, but the frame was still strong and sturdy … is that weird? LOL

    I admit I don’t mend boxers for my son, but I could if I needed to …

    I am reading a John Irving book right now. I find it funny (and sometimes annoying) when I mention a good book I’ve read and someone proceeds to talk about it RE the movie. Or, they pretend to have read the book and you’re going, “Obviously NOT”. Audio is cool … but, I agree with you that there’s nothing like a good read.

    To answer your question … you do seem old fashioned, but not TERRIBLY so. It’s quite refreshing.

  6. Jeff, I wasn’t terribly into 8-tracks. I do however hold a special place in my heart for a certain Rolling Stones 8-track that I can still picture, being slid into the player by a strong, tanned hand in a really hot car by a teen-aged boy on my first date. Mostly because the hand was dangerously close to approaching that restricted area between my knees. (And I mean KNEES. No higher…) Yes, the seats were waxed and yes, I ended up straddling the hump in the middle of the front seat. Directly facing the stereo. While I can’t remember the name of the 8-track or what kind of car, the scary image of that brave hand is etched upon my memory. LOL
    The other two, which I cherished and still own are Starship’s Red Octopus and Led Zep’s Physical Graffiti. They have been played to the point of erasure almost. I may bury them in a time capsule one day.

    Kat, I would do the same if my couch weren’t so complicatedly designed. It would take some fancy-ass planning and skill to get mine covered. I admire that you had the ambition and know-how to do it 🙂
    If the boxers hadn’t been beautiful blue and green satin, I may not have either 😉
    Yeah, some people don’t get the book /movie differentiation.
    Uh, you didn’t have to answer the question at the end, but thanks. The whole thing about me, is nobody knows quite where to file me. 😉 Sometimes I’m this, sometimes I’m that. No rhyme or reason.

  7. I still write letters and postcards, and sew things I need to mend as well as wash my car in the driveway. I don’t think it is bad to hold on to traditions as long as there is a balance of new and old. All the new is not bad and all the old is not either….just finding the good in both is the trick…I am glad I don’t have to horse and buggy to work…haha.

  8. I enjoyed this post. There are many thing that I do which could be done more quickly and more easily. Some people ask me why I bother. I never considered most of them tradition, but that’s going to be my answer from now on!

  9. Mishka, Hi, good to hear from you. Good points you brought up. I dunno your route to your workplace, but I think a horse and buggy might be kinda fun one day, think of it…

    Hazel, oh man, I could have gone on and on and on if I’d been writing this personally to you. I went through so many childhood memories while writing this. We need some good “remembering time” together one of these days.

  10. Police live for parking tickets i think. Especially our university police. I’d rather not mention total parking ticket fines that i have accumulated. IM NOT TOO AT FAULT THOUGH. One was when i was packing the truck with stuff as i was MOVING OUT of my dorm freshman year. I pulled off to the side so i didnt have to carry the fridge ACROSS campus. Went in for 5 minutes, came out to find the *expletive* (so many options) policeman had already ROLLED up in his golf cart and started writing me a ticket.

    Feel very blessed to have only gotten 2

  11. P.s.
    Sorry I’m ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who cannot stay focused enough to read more than half of a long post. Nothing personal, sometimes i can, other times I feel as if i had ADD.

  12. BoBu, That was so wrong that you got the ticket when you were moving the fridge. You’d think CAMPUS police would cut you some slack in that case. I’m afraid if I saw a cop in a golf cart I would have to point and jeer.
    I’m deeply saddened that you have not read my entire post. So much so, that in the future I may have to leave you a message hidden somewhere in the last paragraph of my posts. The concentration exercise will help deter ADD, which is not a laughing matter. I feel that way too, often.
    Miss you.

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