Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Interesting Aspects of the Everyday

We take so much for granted. When I talk to people about writing their life story they usually respond that no one would want to read about their lives. Well, I'm sure our ancestors thought the same thing. We often think that nothing interesting has happened to us, but the everyday is interesting.

There's so much to write about. You can't take for granted that your grandchildren will know about or understand the things that you have seen throughout your life.

Yesterday, my kids and I were watching a TV show from the 1970's. One of the characters went to a pay phone and inserted his dime and made the call. My older son, age 10, asked me "why is he putting money into a phone?" In his lifetime, few payphones exist, everyone has a cell phone. So he has never seen a payphone and we have never used one in the last 10 years.

Think of how the phone has changed over your life. Did you have a party line while you were growing up? Did you know someone who was an operator and operated a switchboard? Think about how different that is for kids now. Maybe even some of you didn't have a phone growing up. Although, that is the ordinary it would be interesting for your descendants-it will give them a 'taste of life' during your era, your lifetime. Sometimes the ordinary and everyday are interesting to those who haven't walked in your shoes-in your time.

When I first got married our landlord recalled when electricity came to town and his grandparents were the first to have their home wired for electricity. They had a porch light that everyone would come over and watch at night.

Times change and that's what makes our lives interesting.


Jennifer said...

Heh, that reminds me of when I was out once, and was washing my hands in a public restroom. A little girl walked up to the faucet and started waving her hands in front of it, expecting the water to come on. She looked perplexed and turned to her mom. Her mom had to turn the faucet handles for her! The girl could have reached them, it just never occurred to her that she would need to use them!

Gena Philibert Ortega said...

That is a great story! Thanks for sharing it.

Greta Koehl said...

When I lived in a small Texas town in the late 1970s, you could call anyone else in the town (or county, for that matter) using just the last 4 digits of their telephone number. I believe a few people (out on farms, mostly) still had party lines.