picturing the past…

this morning I woke up thinking about the future and that got me to thinking about all the stories our parents and grandparents tell us about their past. when my grandmother used to tell me about getting ice delivered for her ice box and her subsequent excitement at finally having a refrigerator I could picture it and imagine what it would have been like. when my besties great granny was telling us how she remembered the first time she ever rode into perth on horse-drawn cart it was surreal but I could imagine how amazing that must have been for her. so I wonder how the stories of my youth will be received by little boss…will she really be able to picture my world with no mobile phone or computer, no EFTPOS – yep if you wanted money you had to fill out a form, hand it to a real live human and they would give you the money. and if you wanted to know what your bank balance was you just opened up your passbook and it was right there. we had one TV and it was a piece of furniture. stood on four legs occupying a whole corner of the room and we had four channels that you actually got up to change. mind you for a while there we didn’t have any telly at all…we didn’t have a birthday extravaganza every year and when we did have a party it certainly didn’t involve bouncy castles, face painting, pinatas or balloon twisters. we had cassettes and vinyl records and I remember how hot I thought I was when I got to use a sony walkman for the first time. at school we got a mark for our work not just a bunch of letters and in sport not everyone was picked for the team – I certainly wasn’t, I was hardly there the beach was only down the road. if we wanted to buy something we went to the shop and paid cash – that was made from paper, not plastic. our holidays were either spent at home, at our grandparents or camping a few hours away…venturing overseas never entered my mind.

so I wonder if, in the future, as I bore my child with stories of “the good old days” will she just hit me with a “whatever” and turn her attention back to her gadget or will she be fascinated to learn of the hardship the children of Gen X had to endure…one thing I do know is that my father will continue to reject technology and all it has to offer – when he first started working it was for a bank and to hone his math skills he had to add up the columns of numbers in the phone book…in his head. years later we worked together in business and I was always impressed that, when faced with lines of numbers and an incorrect total, he would be able to spot the mistake by just looking at the numbers – that had been crunched by a person using a calculator. we have interesting times ahead of us and I really hope we can keep up. if we do struggle we can always ask little boss – I am sure she will help us out when we need it…


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