Behind the Times

I’m officially behind the times, I just recognized it and am OK with being on the other side.

The beginning of the month means attacking that stack of envelopes teetering on the end of the table. I still write checks. I don’t think my children have ever had a checking account. I’m quite sure they went straight to ATM cards and online banking. With things that fluctuate, like electricity bills and credit cards, I like to know exactly where I stand.  Perusing the statements and writing those checks means I pay attention.

I’m behind on filing away the statements. I avoid the office upstairs and my shame. Before the Store, I spent my waking hours in that loft space and now it has become a dumping ground for well-intentioned projects.

A weekend visit from Daughter Number One, Ms. Lexie and her partner, Shana was the perfect recipe for my starved Mothering soul. I made dinner, cooking is best with appreciative guests. Lexie entertained us with a fashion show from my closet. As she twirled and vamped in vintage Chanel suits and pumps that will never see my feet again I smiled. I’m behind on my fashion sense but holding on to the threads of my past life. She and Shana are carving their own paths. Watching them and listening, I realized I’m behind the curve of forever, beyond the infinity of youth. But that’s OK with me.

I’m behind on the blogs I follow, the community of folks, just like me that are viewing life from the other side of 50 years. I’m behind on my correspondence, letters curl in the sun, emails go unanswered, and phone calls are left unreturned. To make matters worse, I gave up an hour on Sunday when we turned the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time…the clock in my car is finally correct again.

Television shows pile up on the DVR and I have no interest or time to deal with them, books and magazines are stacked next to my bed. But that’s OK because I will get to them. Out of the blue, I remembered last night the traditional sign-off for television at the end of the evening. If you grew up 50 years ago, the world of media ended (except your transistor radio) and didn’t start again until you awoke the next day. At the end of every night the station would show a snowy black & white video of a fighter jet headed into the sky and this poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was recited:

High Flight
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

The next thing you saw and heard was an irritating beep and this on your screen:

Bye-bye TV

Yes, I am behind the times in many ways. But I am OK with that…


12 thoughts on “Behind the Times

  1. We were just talking the other day about when TV went off the air. There were no remotes and if you were lucky you got 3 or 4 channels. I’m in the generation which started out writing checks and now, I haven’t written a check in probably 10 years. I, too, am somewhat behind the times. I refuse to tweet and have limited skills when it comes to all the newest gadgets. Glad you had a good dinner with Lexie and Shana.

  2. My Darling Doppleganger… I cant tell you how HAPPY I am with this blog!!! I still write checks, would never consider on line banking, (That one’s for you Dad), I cant figure out how to change the clock in my car, which is now an hour slow, it is hiding somewhere with in the hyper intelligent computer set up, . Don’t know how, what or even why to “tweet”. On the other hand, I dont have to worry about my bills being paid (because I do them myself), I like to actually go to the movies, and I will simply add an hour to my mental clock while in my car. When my nephews come in and help me with “techie” things that are second nature to them, I genuinely look upon them with great pride and astonishment as my heroes…. “Ignorance is bliss”….

    • Too much of a good thing, Doppleganger! I can do with less corresponding or at least more personalized interaction. Funny, I always think of my dad when I write checks. His penmanship was perfect! I try to at least make my checks legible.

  3. Sometimes I wonder if the day will come that sees revolt among the masses. ‘Too much! It is all too much!!’

    We’re inundated with too much information, too much technology, too much saturation of STUFF.

    Simpler times sometimes beckon…

    • Shame on you Allen with Pandora at your fingertips you can hear whatever your heart desires! Oh, that would be more technology. WBCN in Boston on the FM dial was the soundtrack of my youth, Charles Laquidara and The Big Mattress was my anthem…

  4. I’ve got very behind with everything too. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. I seem to remember our TV just turning into a black screen with a white dot but I could be wrong. I certainly don’t remember any poetry.

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