Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Everything Old is New Again

Kids are so funny.

Just like when they are toddlers and they unwrap the latest bright and shiny toy, only to discard it and play with the box, children are fascinated by the unfamiliar.

I was reminded of this by Sandy's post about her kids' fascination with her neighbor's discarded typewriter.

Last summer when my kids and I were in Houston we went to a Houston Comets game with my (non-missionary) sister. After meeting for a burger beforehand, my girl rode to the game with her aunt in her new, albeit no-frills, car.

On the way home, she said, "Mom, Aunt has the NEATEST car! It has this handle that you turn to open the window! She let me roll it all the way down and back up."

Clearly, I have deprived her by driving a van with automatic windows.

About a month later, while my man and boy were on their Scout backpacking trek, she and I spent the night at an adorable bed and breakfast in Fredericksburg. And she discovered the wonders of a rotary phone.

"That is so cool! How do you dial it? Can I try?"

I showed her, including the frustration of your finger slipping so that it doesn't go all the way around. And explained how impossible it was as a teen when we still had a rotary phone and push-button phones had come out and I would try to dial in to win a radio contest. She wasn't fazed. She still wants one.

Of course, I remember when I was a kid how much I loved visiting my mom's friend who collected antiques, including the old phone pictured here!

I'm just not sure I like my own childhood being relegated to the antique category!

She delights in reminding me that the latest American Girl Historical Character is Julie - a junior high girl from 1974! Spare me! You know, way back when there were no DVD's - we watched filmstrips and reel-to-reels! And no copiers: only the mimeograph machine. (I can smell that wonderful purple ink as I type!) And every elementary school fire drill was followed by an air raid drill as we huddled under our desks with our arms over our heads (like that was going to do any good!) Oh yeah, I was in 3rd grade when our school got air conditioning!

And just think: my poor kids have never known the thrill of being chosen to clean the chalkboard erasers. . . .

So what about you? What "ancient" memories does this bring back? Are your kids fascinated . . .or horrified?!


View blog reactions


The Herd said...

Tape-recorders when you had to rewind to get to a certain song...or when we thought the tape recorder was really cool, when it flipped to the other side....that's my old memory!

Linda Vujnov said...

I loved those extra long cords on the phone that would have to be uncurled every time you hung up the phone. You could actually walk across the kitchen with the phone in your hand...imagine!

A Stone Gatherer said...

If I can say this - good old fashion discipline! My son was having a hard time a school the last couple of weeks. When his teacher called the day Spring break was to begin I said to her: I don't have a problem with you putting soap in his mouth! That would deter him!

sara said...

When I got a record player that would play my favorite record over and over without me having to move the needle!!! It also had a stick in the middle where I could stack SIX records to have it play one after the would just drop one down when the first was finished.....amazing!!!!

Xandra said...

I remember reciting the Lord's Prayer every public school. It was after the pldege, and just before the alphabet.

My kids can't believe that cartoons were only broadcast on Saturday mornings. Remember waking up before the parentals, making a big bowl of creal and watching Looney Tunes and Superfriends? Good times.

One thing that amazes my seven year old is that we had to pull over and use a pay phone if there was an emergency. If it wasn't an emergency, IT COULD WAIT until you got home!


Anonymous said...

My kids crack up because my grandmother still has one of the wooden phones (like the pic in this post) where you hold one piece and talk in the other. The funny thing is, it actually still works! They also laugh becuase I still have a Karen Carpenter 8 track. I think my kids are somewhere in the middle between fascinated and horrified!


Kelly @ Love Well said...

My kids are amazed when I tell them there was no Noggin or Nick Jr. or Disney sending out kids' TV programs 24/7. Saturday morning cartoons were all we had.

And while they haven't realized it yet, my kids will grow up with the World Wide Web as a constant. My four-year-old is intuitive with the computer.

Faith said...

LOL! My 9 yr old (Claire) and I are reading aloud together the Julie books. She thinks it is a hoot that mommy (me) was 14 in 1974...I reminded her that the current clothing trend is '70s. She thinks my old record albums are a riot ("how did you carry them around mom?) she didn't know what a phone booth was at age 4 when she saw one in a curious george book ("why couldn't you just use your cell?")...oh my...there are many things my kids cannot believe we had or didn't have! My memory of school was having to WALK! here in suburbia NO ONE walks....children must ride the school bus or be daughters gasp when I say I never had to ride a bus except for field trips...AND my old schools STILL don't have AC! (I'm from a very tiny town in central NY)

Mocha with Linda said...

These are great!

Another thing I remembered this morning is that my kids have no understanding of the sentence "You sound like a broken record!"

Oh well, time marches on. When velcro shoes came out and I lamented that kids wouldn't learn to tie laces, someone reminded me that we don't button shoes!

Rhonda said...

I love enlightening my children and letting them know of all the 'modern conveniences' that they enjoy.

We had a black & white tv until I was 12.

We got a microwave when I was 16. (My parents still have the same one - they paid $1000 for it at the time. And it's one of the big ones.)

No Call Display. Yikes!

No VCR - and only 13 channels and that was on a good day! And I was the one to change the channels for my dad. Who needed a remote control?!

I remember my mom having a ringer washing machine.

We had neighbours, when I was a kid, that were an older couple - they still had an outhouse!!

No video games or movies for long car rides. I would just annoy my parents with incessant games of 'I Spy'.

How did I ever manage without my flat iron, my cell phone, my dishwasher and of all things my computer!!!

Anonymous said...

Hee Hee Hee, what a fun post, and fun commments! Thanks for the link!
I often think about it when I tell the kids to "roll down the window" they don't know that you used to really "roll" it down. Or when I say dial the phone number....who dials anymore.
How about shag carpet, no answering machines, those big microwaves that my mom made us move away from as soon as we hit the button to heat something up, and AM only radio in the car.

Mocha with Linda said...

And Rhonda, how long did it take the little white dot to disappear when you turned off that black & white TV?! LOL

And not only did we have no TV remote, but I was the one who had to get out and open the garage door plenty of times! I was in high school before we got a garage door opener!

These are such fun comments! I just love modernization!

alihsee said...

I remember most of these things, especially the first 2.. strangely enough!

Here via CWO - thought I would pop in and say "howdy" to the blog of the month :)

The Preacher's Wife said...

Yeah, I felt really old this year when Decade Day during Homecoming Week was the 80's. Some of those little girls wore outfits in jest that I totally thought I was the bomb wearing back in the day.

Luke and I had fun the other day laughing about how cool we thought his aunt was when she first got a bag phone.

Don't you wonder what the advances will be in the next 20 years?

Linda said...

Transistor Radios when you're laying out in the sun with margarine rubbed all over as "tanning lotion."

Becoming Me said...

Great post. I too loved those long phone cords. I remember when I got my first Boom box...the bigger, the better. LOL

Sue Cramer said...

My kids are always shocked when I talk about old TV shows and the fact that I remember when videos were a new thing!

And...that we had to wait soooo long for movies to come out on video!

Blessings friend,

Anonymous said...

Wow this is taking me way back!! Do you remember romper room? Captain Kangaroo? yeah, oh yeah:)

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Ok, I was just talking yesterday about how I backpacked thru Europe with no ATMs. We had to go to BANKS to get money. And no email. Can you imagine? Another girl said she remembered going to the bank every Saturday morning with her mom to get cash. I went to the bank with my mom all the time too - my kids have been, like, once in their life!

Also, the cable box that went click click click and had a long cord so it could reach the couch. THAT was some modernization there.

I also remember thinking the fax machine was just the most amazing invention ever.

Ok - one more - remember if we wanted popcorn, we had to use that giant, LOUD popcorn popper that plugged in the wall? And then you tipped it upside down and ate the popcorn from the lid?

Wow, I feel really old now.

PamperingBeki said...

Haha!! That's too cute!

I love your blog banner, by the way.

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

I know I am a couple of days late in responding but I just had to. I was just talking to someone the other day about 8 track tapes, remember those? And card catalogs at the library. I absolutely LOVE this post, it has me walking back down memory lane......