Friday, June 17, 2011

In Simpler Times

We hear it all the time, "I'd love to go back to simpler times and live life the way it was intended". In fits of madness, I have said the same thing myself and I actually lived in those simpler times. Funny, they didn't seem so simple at the time. We had no microwave, our radios came from Japan and were called Transistors (and I loved mine even when it couldn't pick up a channel that was right down the road...Donnie Goodale was the disc jockey. Whatever happened to Donnie? I should google him and find out. Now that's not something I could do back in the simpler days. There were no cell phones. Our telephones had party lines and that's where a lot of folk got their news about their neighbors. It put a whole new spin on the term "eavesdropping". There was no a/c and when we had heat waves like we are in now, we kept every light in the house most determinedly in the OFF position, kept the drapes drawn to keep out the heat and the rooms with their high ceilings were actually cool. Well, coolish I suppose.

We ate our main meal at noon and called it dinner. We still call the noon meal dinner even though we eat far to much at what is supper and should be a light repast to get us through til breakfast. When did all that change? It probably didn't change for the farm families still out there, and I've tried to change us back to the old time way of eating. It's a hard job to change a generation of habit, I've found. We had no microwaves to make the preparations of meals a bit easier and faster, but we did have a toaster. It mainly burned the bread when you weren't looking and we all learned to spot the signs of scraped toast. We hated the taste of burnt toast at first then got used to it till I have to have mine so near burnt that it could use a bit of scraping. Where I once had to pile that homemade jelly on to give it an acceptable taste, I find that I now have to have that slightly scorched taste to make breakfast taste like breakfast.

Given all that, I can remember hearing my grandparents complain that times were changing to fast and they wished they could go back and live when times were simpler. Overhearing this, I would wonder how far they wanted to go back. No electricity, no cars, I mean how much more simple could life get than we had it in the 50's and 60's! I know one thing, I don't want to go back to simpler, I like my a/c, my fast truck, my cd's and dvd's, my microwave and dish that gets me 500 channels (but only shows three shows at one time that you'd admit to watching). No way would I go back to simple. That is proven to me every time we have a storm so severe that we lose power! For the first half hour we talk about how people used to live without power (this while we're looking for the nonexistent candles) for the next hour we're on the phone calling the power company to make sure they know what's going know, power is out come fix it NOW. If it lasts for more than a couple of hours, boredom usually drives you to take a nap or fight. If the nap wins over the fighting everyone is glad that no one had to go to jail. That in itself is a good thing. So, simpler times anyone? Please Lord, NO.


merry weather said...

Well I agree. I was born in the 60's, so I can only really remember the last forty odd years.

Yes, it's a pain in the neck and disconcerting to be snug at home without power, without our all important gadgets etc.
And Science has come so far since then - medicine for example has leapt ahead meaning disease and health problems are controlled with much greater efficiency and much less trauma to patients. I'm thinking specifically now of the ordeal of the dentist's chair and the big black mask bearing the gas that knocked you out and made you vomit afterwards!

Yet, when I look back to the late seventies say - I think the routines of life were tougher but we were less "busy", less stressed, more accepting, less selfish even. Kids could play outside, there might be minutes going by between cars on a road, there was space between the buildings to see the sky!

Maybe that's what people hanker after in looking back into the past?

I dunno. Maybe I'm just getting a bit old ;-)

*Settles back into rocking chair*

Love to you and Mac X

Vee said...

I love your take on things and you so often leave me laughing. Hope that you have a great day and that the power stays on. Amen, Sister, I'm with you!

Jeni said...

Simpler times? Yes, in many ways they were that, for sure. I don't use my microwave for a lot of things I could use it for, but I do love it for thawing stuff quickly, melting things fast and without burning them, and for "baking" potatoes or acorn squash in 12-15 minutes as compared to using the oven for at least an hour. Cellphones -which all three of my kids have one but I don't and probably never will get one. Why? Mainly because to use it here at home, it would be useless to me since where we live, a signal is a virtually unheard of entity and I don't go out often enough to make them worthwhile. That Verizon guy needs to come to this area and stay here until this signal thing gets corrected, ya know! Medical issues are or can be really complicated at times now with upteen treatments for this and that but boy, when those treatments work and things that used to be virtually incurable often are almost wiped out now -I'll take the less simple stuff any day there! And computers -let's face facts, I'm as addicted to this little machine as I am to a couple other things that aren't all that good for my health but my system tells me daily I can't live without 'em. And when the power goes out and my tv screen is black as is my computer screen, you know I am just one big mess of nerves, don't 'cha? But I'd take the attitude of people in general years back to those often encountered today. A much friendlier society albeit a bit slower one. My body slows me down a lot these days which often causes me to see and smell the roses and other things of beauty that I only gave a passing glance to in years past, even when life was supposedly simpler and slower and ya know, I like this aspect a lot these days!

Anonymous said...

Life certainly could have been seen as simpler back then but I wouldn't want to be without electricity and my broadband connection now, lol.

CJ xx

Diva's Thoughts said...

I'm so with you. I would not want tp go back to a simpler time. I like what we have now.

I would go back to when behaviors and values were nicer.

Love Bears All Things said...

Hello Sandi,
I think of you every time I go out to water those earth boxes. The tomatoes are taller than me and are showing some large green fruit so it won't be long till my first BLT. I picked a pepper yesterday and had my first cucumber Monday.
Speaking of Simpler times....Honey Bear says they are coming back before we know it and we'd better get prepared...he thinks the infrastructure is going to crash(value of dollar, no oil so no gasoline or electricity)..ever thought about what would happen if all the computers shut down? Just watch the last Die Hard movie....we had a little taste of this after the tornadoes on April 27th when we were without electricity for 5 days---no traffic lights, gasoline pumps didn't work until they got the generators hooked up(but they run on gasoline so they would be temporary), no cable, no phone, water supplies limited....very scary, folks....
enough doomsday talk....I remember the simpler times you wrote about: sure I have come to rely on all of the modern conveniences but with all of them came some changes that aren't so great.
I love posts like this one.
Mama Bear

Maggie May said...

Well most of us in our family wouldn't be alive now if we'd been living in *simpler* times. People quite often died young even in the 50s.
No, give me today's way of life and I'm thankful for it.
However, I think people stuck by each other in those older days and helped each other. That is sadly lacking today.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

NitWit1 said...

Since I was born in 1936 I remember almost all you mentioned and much more that my parents told me when coming through the depression.

However, I am impressed they neigher complained when they did not have much or gloated when they were able to afford more . I remember ICE boxes, not refrigerators, hot baths in a wash tub in same water as brother and sister on Saturday night,....rubboards for clothes, root cellars, and out houses. lots of beans and cornbread, splitting a round steak 5 ways.... etc. But never did I ever complain or feel depreived.

larkswing said...

Will and I were talking about that few weeks ago while camping. I, too, like my lights, and a/c and tv and REFRIGERATED FOOD, and more importantly - my computer!! hehe

Pondside said...

I like my mod cons like central heating, microwave, washer and dryer. I wouldn't mind going back to a time when parents took responsibility for their children and neighbours watched out for one another - but most things I like just the way they are.

Lee said...

Great post Sandi! I remember a few things about the old times that I'd go back to, but for the most part I agree with you. I hate burnt toast and I love my clothes dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and computer. But you know, the chores that everyone did after supper when there was no TV to watch and no dishwasher became a gathering place for fun and conversation. Grandmother would wash, I would rinse, and Granddad would dry and put away. Those are what I miss from the old times.


Donna said...

I hear 'ya....although...I can think of a few things that we could do without...Hahaaaa

david mcmahon said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the post, Sandy (hi there, Mac!) but it's interesting to reflect on this: what we consider simpler times were in fact hi-tech times for our parents and grandparents!

Justabeachkat said...

Great post sweet friend! I agree...I like things as they are now. LOL


Debbie Lo said...

Well said! My hubby often discuss simplifying our lives, especially with the cost of living these days. But then, like you mentioned, we'll have a power outage and suddenly there's nothing to and we're bored. LOL

I do love hearing stories though about how things were "back when," and "simpler times" are awfully fun to dream about! (We have to have our dreams, right?)

Thanks for sharing, Sandi!

Suldog said...

True. Life is constantly getting better, overall. I'd certainly change a few things back, if I had the power, but going completely back? No way!