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Hartselle Enquirer

Our world is constantly changing

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Have you ever considered how our world has changed in the last 25 years? Or 50? Or 100? This all came to mind when the air conditioning in our van decided to take a leave of absence as we were driving home from vacation. It was terribly hot. The kids were fussy and it wasn't fun.
As I was sitting in our van whining to myself, I began to think about how people have lived since time began without air conditioning. I don't remember anywhere in the Bible where God says, "On the eighth day He created air conditioning." When the Israelites wondered the desert they survived without the a/c. When settlers traveled west in wagon trains they made it without the a/c. Of course, this revelation didn't really help my disposition.
Nevertheless, it did open the discussion with my kids on how things used to be. Hubby and I were talking with the kids about the technology we have seen develop in our lifetime.
My father has always been one who wanted the latest technology. When VCR's first came out they were close to $300. No, seriously. I thought my mother was going to kill him when he came home with one! That first VCR we owned was about two feet long, about six to eight inches high and very heavy. It was huge compared to today's standards.
Now we've gone from VCR's to DVDs.
DVD's have also changed immensely since they've hit the market. I saw an interview when DVD players first came out and the interviewer asked if there would ever be DVD recorders for home use. The expert replied that it would be available in the next 20 years or so, because it just took to long to burn a DVD and the technology just wouldn't be available for the average family. I wonder if he's eating his words?
Or better yet, how about DVR's? We recently added this service to our cable line up and I love it!
How many of you remember Walkman? Now we have CD players and even better MP3s and I-Pods. I can really date myself in this department. I not only remember, but I bought and used, (cringe) 8-track tapes!
How about when the smaller headphones came out? Remember those bulky headphones. I hated those things–they covered half your head. We have those little button earphones for most things now.
Have you thought about calculators? I remember when handheld calculators were not standard equipment. How many of us are old enough to remember the slide rule? We were watching the movie "Apollo 13" with the kids and they wanted to know what on earth those men were using to help the astronaut do the calculations. My hubby remembers when a four-function calculator was $400!
How about black and white TV and movies? I was watching an old movie and one of the kids wanted to know what was wrong with the color? I told her that it was a black and white movie. Her response: "Why would they want to use only black and white in the movie?" OK, I didn't explain that very well, did I?
I grew up in a rural area we had a whopping three TV stations–that's assuming the weather was good. Come to think of it, that's probably why Daddy bought one of the first VCR's
Let's look at camera technology. I remember those old Polaroid cameras that you took the picture and pulled it out of the camera. Then you had to wait to pull off the covering revealing the picture underneath. Who still has a 110 camera? Even 35-mm cameras are slowly being replaced by digital.
Speaking of digital, think about computers. In 1949 "Popular Mechanics" stated that in the future computers might not weigh more than 1.5 tons. Oops! Others believed that most normal people would never have the need for a home computer. OK, they were way off.
Cell phones. Yep, it's a love-hate relationship. There are times when I find them to be a nuisance, but we had to do without them for a while on vacation because one area we were in didn't have service for our cell phone company. It was most inconvenient! Remember when the first cell phones came out? There's another big bulky thing that in the last 10 years has shrunk to near nothing.
Here are some other things that have changed: full service gas stations, grocery carry out, and drug store soda fountains.
There are so many things that have changed in the last 40 years I couldn't possibly include all of them in this article. In fact, I think it would take a book! I haven't even touched on things in the medical field. It is a fun thing to talk over with your kids. Although, by the time the conversation has ended I do tend to feel quite a bit older!
If you have a question, hint, or tip for Mom's Corner; please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496, Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail moms-corner@juno.com.

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