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Archive for the ‘The Good Old Days’ Category

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Years ago I created a collage

of favorite photographs.

I glued them in a haphazard way on top of a big old ugly $15 dime store print that once hung over our couch.

Even now I think it was a great idea and I remember pasting away and thinking, “How artistic if I do say so myself!”

I loved it so much that I eventually had the collage framed and was assured the priceless photographs were safely under protective glass.

“This collage of family and friends will live on through generations,” I thought.

And yes, that inventive impressive self indulgent collage is over the desk in Bill’s “office.”

And every now and then I look once again at a dimming past.

Literally!

Some of the photos are not only dimming,

they are disappearing!  

Many of those faded fotos in my collage were taken with an early Polaroid camera in the 1960’s or maybe even earlier.  The miracle was that the camera itself would process a picture and spit it out for at you.  Then you waved it in the air and blew on it to “set” things – or at least I did.

I suppose being under glass and exposed to sunlight would “unset” or affect images.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have shaken the photo to hurry things along.

Is there a Polaroid camera now with a re-set button?

I want to hit RE-SET!

The fading fotos from yesteryear are following my life cycle and we will all fade away together.

Are you watching your life fade away too?

If you are wondering if they even make Polaroid cameras anymore, the answer is Yes!  Instant film is coming back into popularity!

From Polaroid’s Comeback, by Mark Rogers, Photographer: “Polaroid cameras have recently been coming out of storage. …With instant film so popular, there are now once again hundreds of these small, square-shaped photographs around — and your favorites should be preserved and displayed the right way. Just like standard photographs and prints, instant film can suffer the same damage as standard film. However, a little more care should be taken when handling the still-developing film — according to Polaroid, the more closely the photographer followed the instructions, the longer the photo will last. Tip: Shaking the photo does not help a Polaroid develop faster. In fact, it could actually damage the developing photograph!…Standard photography preservation practices apply: keep the photos away from light, heat and moisture; most organizations maintain that Polaroids will fade in as just as much time as conventional photographs…”  

 

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I have a friend.

She has been my friend forever.

I can hardly believe that myself, but it is true.

We grew up playing paperdolls, hopscotch, riding bikes, trying on her big sister’s clothes.

We grew up “spending the night”, talking until 2AM about boys and dreams.

We grew up writing letters with real pens on paper and sent with stamps by snail mail.

We grew up, got married and had children.

And we grew up sharing – always sharing – all the joys and problems of life, love, and parenthood.

And the greatest thing is, we grew up always laughing.

And we are still growing up!  And sharing – always sharing – all the joys and problems of life, love and aging.

She is my Oldest Best Friend Forever and her name is Kit.

She just sent me this card and I will cherish it –  forever.

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I have a phobia of sorts.

It is shortness of breath when faced with too many choices like shopping in cluttered overstocked stores or having to decide between zillions of television channels

When we were young and living in “remote areas of California” I was happy to do all the shopping at one local general store.

And we didn’t even own a t.v. or a computer or a cell phone.

But there is no accounting for progress.

We moved to the Virginia countryside where life promised to remain simple and uncluttered.  There were only three restaurants, no department stores, and no big box stores.

We put an antenna in the attic to get two clear television channels and one fuzzy station and decided we were living in Paradise.

And time marched on.

And suddenly there was a bigger, wider, more enticing world of satellite television with a zillion optional programs.

We were among the first 20,000 people in the United States to have Direct TV.  There were no installers then (at least in rural Virginia) so Bill installed everything himself.  Imagine the joy in surfing around with a remote thing!  And imagine being given a whole menu of options!  I could feel my breathing phobia kicking in.

And time marched on.

There is no accounting for progress.

I recently learned how to record t.v. programs for later viewing.  For those of you who are still novices like I was, you just push a button that says REC on your remote.  I have gone a little balistic with this new power (but symptoms of my short-of-breath-phobia are emerging too).

I have R E C’d enough programs to keep me recliner-chair-bound for the winter.

  • The Young Pope is mesmerizing.
  • But then Mercy Street is enticing.
  • And Victoria is a must.
  • I like the History channels.
  • And nature things.
  • And all those recommendations we get from friends.
  • And we currently also have three Netflix discs on standby.
  • And I want to get back into blogging.
  • And there is so much to do in cyberspace anyway.

Progress?  I call it “overkill” and there is simply not enough time in a day anymore.

Do I want to go back to three channels on the t.v.?  No.

Well maybe 10 or 20 options max?

As for shopping I sometimes yearn for the good old days.

A visit to Ernie’s General Store in Hayfork, California sounds good, simple, easy.  I could get paint, gifts, clothing, hardware, and maybe even a television set – all in one place.  Those were the days when we rented a trailer from Ernie and it was in his back yard!   That was when we were young and living in the wilder more remote places of California.  It is now many decades later and there is no accounting for progress.  I recently heard Ernie’s store was for sale.  I wonder if it is still there.  

ernies-gen-store

Ernie’s Department Store Hayfork, California

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For Milk Delivery

This old building in downtown Lexington, Virginia features a small set of doors on a side wall.

I thought the little doors were a local curiosity and my own curiosity prompted a small research project.  Google is quick to respond so it didn’t take long.

The old doors were called a “milk chute”.

Evidently they open to a platform where the milkman (they used to have milkmen in the old days you know) could pick up empty milk bottles and replace them with full ones.

The homeowner would retrieve the delivery (not the man – the milk bottles) from inside the house.

And if something extra was needed  (not the man) or  something different (well, maybe the man) from the usual order, the owner could leave a note in the neck of one of the returning empty bottles (hmm…secret messages?).  Actually, you could order vegetables or bread too.  The chutes were multi purpose.

And if you locked yourself out of your house, a little kid could usually crawl through the chute to get inside and open the door for you.

Clever huh?

Although home deliveries of perishable products came to a halt by the late 1960’s, there are still many old buildings with milk chutes (unfortunately, not milk men).

But, discovering little doors like this made me yearn for the good old days of  home deliveries, milkmen and mystery doors.

milkman2

vintage milktruck

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Pedometer 1

The final indignity that has opted me out of modern gadgetry was an old reliable pedometer that finally ran out of batteries .

And of course, no one could figure out how to open the battery box.

Maybe it was frozen in shock at how few steps I walked in the last five years.

I mourned that little pedometer and somehow knew a substitute would require a Masters’ Degree in Programming and hours of frustration to get up and running walking.

Forced to buy a new pedometer- three or four new ones  to be exact- they all challenged my intelligence.

It’s not that I’m not intelligent.  I used to be considered a bright child.

But that was in the good old days when life was simple.  There were no huge technological innovations calculated to make things easier.

Life was easy enough with Off and On switches you might have to get up for.

But I am ranting.

Even after hours of reading and re-reading I could not decipher the directions to all the new pedometers stacking up in a secret hiding place reserved for storing complicated gadgets.

Asking for help, as you may know, is humiliating.

But trying one last time, I ordered a supposedly SIMPLE  PEDOMETER that “is operational right out of the box!”

Really?

I could hardly contain my excitement when it came – a simple little drop-in-your-pocket pedometer with great big Easy Read Numbers and a little pull-tag.

I pulled the tag (according to the directions) and it was ready to go!  No intelligence required!

But where were the instructions to program calories burned, body mass indexes, breaths per minute, miles consumed, muscle contractions, levels of perspiration, or all that other irrelevant stuff?  Not there.  What a relief!

All I ever wanted to know was STEPS!

And, although I hardly believe it, this little gadget ONLY REGISTERS STEPS!

No need to purchase another 550 page book on Pedometers for Dummies (I wonder if there really is such a book)!  I already have Computers for Dummies, Windows 10 for Dummies, and Office for Dummies, plus a few more.

“By golly,” as they used to say in the good old days, when I was intelligent,  “Someone has figured out how to regress to simpler times.”  Kudos to the inventor of this precious little Steps Only Pedometer!

And  now maybe I can fool the world into thinking I have a Master’s Degree in Programming.

Why can’t everything else be this easy?

Why do I always have to pull out the directions for my self cleaning oven?

Shouldn’t I just be able to hit “Clean??

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Groundhog-Standing2

This looks like Walter but the image is from en.wikipedia.org

I wasn’t ready to believe it but the sun came out yesterday – all day.

And I found myself reclining on a deck chair with bared arms and legs in way of confirmation.

They say twenty minutes of exposed skin to sunshine helps your body create its own Vitamin D.   Ahhh – warmth that seeps into your bones and Vitamin D too!

Yes, it’s here!  

   It is truly summer!  

It must be summer because the sun is shining.

Even our resident groundhog (who I secretly call Walter) came out of his underground den.

I could not get a closeup shot but I saw him all stretched out on the warm concrete pool deck.

At first I thought Walter was dead and was making plans for a decent burial.

Can you see Walter?

Can you see Walter?

Then Walter stretched!   It was one of those big luxurious catlike stretches.  Walter was lying flat on his back and his little legs came straight out and he looked soooo happy.

Then there are the summer shadows and shady places that take me back to childhood somersaults and playing in the grass.  Those were the days when Mom urged us to get out of the house (unsupervised) and “Don’t come back until I call you for dinner!”

Childhood Memories Under the Maple Tree

Childhood Memories Under the Maple Tree

I’m too creaky for backbends and cartwheels, roller skating and climbing trees.

But it’s summertime in Virginia now.

I think I will join Walter in another big sunny stretch.

 

 

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washtubtn

Photo courtesy of the Lone Tree Museum, Lone Tree, Iowa

 

“Wash on Monday, 

Iron on Tuesday,

Mend on Wednesday,

Churn on Thursday,

Clean on Friday,

Bake on Saturday,

Rest on Sunday.”

~ From Pioneer Journeys of the Ingalls Family, Pepin, Wisconsin,  Household Chores

It’s Friday again in Virginia!

I vowed to send off an events diary every week for your reading pleasure

and to share my own life in capsule form.

But I am failing to meet the challenge.

My life has been a panorama of dedication to routines and commitments.

Time to let go right and make some serious life changes?

I’m washing today and it’s FRIDAY!

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