Have you ever walked into a department store and been assaulted by an aggressive woman with a spray bottle in her hand? Before you can say no thank you, you are covered in a fragrance that sends you into a fit of sneezing and choking? While you are gasping for breath the self-imposed dictator tells you the name of the weapon and what is sells for. As if wanting to know is the first thing that comes to mind rather than the murder of the combatant.
I often wonder how many people run, not walk, screaming into the outside air for a clean breath winding up in the nearest emergency room. After several respiratory treatments to open up those vital airway passages the assault starts over again because you are now the carrier of those nasty histamines. They are in your hair, on your skin in your clothes…
It’s at this point that you realize you don’t even like how it smells. It’s not a sweet smell that is pleasing which would at least make the pleasure worth the risk to life, but rather a bad odor that warns of impending doom.
Who in their right mind thinks that this is the way to advertise a product for sale?
I remember when I was young, I loved winter. I loved the sledding and ice skating and snowball fights and making snowmen with the kids in the neighborhood, then crowding around a fire sipping hot chocolate to warm up. It was great fun.
Where I lived, my street was horseshoe shaped. All of the back yards connected into a big circle. One year we had so much snow that our dads made igloos for us kids with a big tunnel that connected them. They lasted for a few weeks. That was in the fifties.
I remember when my kids were little. I would spend ten minutes with each one of them getting them into their snow suits and all wrapped up to go sledding just to have one of them tell me they needed to go to the bathroom. So, I would have to get them out of their snow suits so they could pee. Then start all over again. It’s a wonder we ever made it outside to play.
I also remember the year I was working at the hospital and it snowed so bad that staff could not make it in. I was stuck working for three days straight. We were temporarily assigned beds so we could each sleep in four hour shifts. When I was finally able to go home, my area was still not clear. I was transported home in a snow plow. My street was the first one to be cleared in the neighborhood only because they needed to get me home. That was definitely an experience. The truck was so high that when I tried to get out of it I fell into a snow drift. My husband came running out of the house to help me up. It took a while because I started laughing. Meanwhile the truck driver was looking at us like we were crazy. By the time I got into the house I was frozen. I had no boots on because when I had gone to work three day before it was not snowing. My feet were soaked. I think that was the year I started hating winter.
It was also the year we visited my in-laws in North Carolina for the first time. They had retired that year and moved there. I fell in love with the area. Sunset Beach quickly became my very favorite beach. We talked on the way home about how nice it would be to retire in the area and get away from the cold winters. We began to pursue buying property and the next visit to the in-laws we bought a small vacation home.
Finally the time came for us to move south permanently. I was so happy to be out of those bitter cold winters in Pennsylvania.
My daughter finally gave us grandkids but they still lived in Pennsylvania. We left North Carolina the week before Christmas one year to spend the holidays with them. We were planning to return home the first week of January. Well, before we could head out, it started snowing. We were stuck there until February. One bitter cold day I remember standing at the front door of the house watching my grandkids in the snow thinking who would want to be out here in this weather? But then I remembered that kids love snow and I bundled myself up and headed outside to play in the snow with my grandkids. I am so happy I share those memories with them.
When I think back to how it was when I went to school, even high school and college computers were not a required part of our school supplies. How did we do it? Imagine having to write long papers by hand using a pen. Then later using a typewriter with a ribbon that needed to be changed and no memory back up if the dog ate your assignment. How did we make it through?
Well, it seems to me that long before computers and the verbiage it brought to the English language we were using zip files. We would learn lessons and file the info in our installed computers, our brains. We would input so much that there was a worry we would run out of room causing a melt down of the installed hard drive. So, the invention of the zip file actually happened long before computers.
Within our brains are many, many zip files with names attached to them. When we need to recall one thing or another, we simply push the key in our brains to open that particular zip file. And voila, information right at our fingertips.
Today our children have access to computers not only at home but in school. I can remember my two younger children using a computer daily in elementary school and my grandchildren began using them in pre-school. No wonder most of them are teaching us how to use computers and how to fix the problems that we have with them.
Computers are a great advantage for study I won’t deny it, but there is a disadvantage to computers too. I see that the wonderful experience of spending time in a library is in decline. You can access just about any information on just about any subject through the use of computers. What you can’t get is the feel of paper that has helped hundreds of people look up that same interesting fact, or the smell of old books, or the beautiful art that is etched onto the pages. The silent sharing of a table in the stacks as you comb through volumes of written words. The joy of being around so much knowledge.
Truth be told I would rather be without my dishwasher than my computer. I find it makes my life easier in many ways. It connects me to people I may never have had the opportunity to connect with and it gives me an outlet to stretch my abilities.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain