*I wrote this last night as I endured yet another internet outage*
Hit recently by a rash of internet outages, it has been frustrating to say to least in doing my family research. Oh I go to library’s , cemeteries, courthouses, etc. and do “field work” but I do spend time (a lot of time LOL!) on the internet researching where exactly my next field trip will take me. Ancestry, find a grave, Family Search, Cyndi’s List and genroots county web pages are my book marks. I find a lot of books online as well at the Library Archives that are out of copyright. I would rather read an old history book than a new one. The old books tell it as it was…… Real history, not the sugar coated bits and pieces spoon fed into today’s so called “History Books”.
So the internet goes out..What’s a girl to do? Our provider has had numerous “outages” (meaning at least twice a week) for a month. Some last several hours and some have lasted several days. I read books, I play more with my dogs, etc. I confess, I am a nerd girl not of this generation (or the last one LOL!) and do not watch much tv. I use to watch the History Channel many moons ago until they became the “Pawn Pickers” channel and what “history” they do show now is a bit skewed. A few facts with a whole lot of fluff …Nat Geo went the way of what I call the “No History” Channel. So my Golden Girls DVD’s are my running background if the TV is on or I listen to music. Someone once asked me who I rooted for on Dancing with the Stars–I thought it must be a show about Astronomy. Well . hm. It isn’t.
So this lead me to ponder our ancestor’s. No TV, No internet, heck go back not to far and no electricity. I imagine they sat on the front porch after dinner and visited with neighbors , perhaps someone was musical and played an instrument . If they were farmers they did the farm chores for the evening. Town folks hosted dinner parties with dinner often lasting several hours and front porch neighbor visits and calls.
So times like these make me think of our ancestor’s. How they lived full, lives without our modern “conveniences”. Stories told round the nightly fires, sing alongs , front porch sitting and chatting…Ah I long for the good old days where my neighbors actually would come out of their house not be inside watching the next Batchelor or Pawn star moonshine wars. I read about this generation inability to communicate due to Facebook, instant messages, email etc. No one knows how to write a letter , no one knows patience in writing that letter and having it take a week (or more ) to be delivered. We type an email, hit send and get antsy if we don’t hear back in an hour or so. We send texts, emails and occasionally a phone conversation. It’s the instant, now , this very second kinda world. We post our lives on Facebook and count how many “likes” or comments we get ..The more we get the more “popular” we feel. Like Sally Field said so many years ago “They like me, they really like me!” Ahh, I long for the good ol’ days……
Many years I read a book and I wish I could remember the name but I can’t. Anway in it , the granddaughter is complaining to her elderly grandmother about how hectic life is with her work, the house and the children. She spills out her complaints ,almost in tears to her dear Grandmother. Grandmother listens , patting her hand softly while she talks . At the end of her list of complaints and woes , she looks at her Grandmother and says “Oh Grandmother, I wish we could go back to the good ol’ days”. Instead of receiving the sympathy she expects and the “me too dearie”, her Grandmother looked at her and said something to this effect “Dear did you put your clothes in a WASHING MACHINE today? Do you have a DRYER or did you wait for them to dry on the line after hanging them up? Did you hand wash all the dirty dishes or did you use your DISHWASHER? When you wanted to stay up last night to read that last chapter of that book you’ve been reading did you light a candle or use a LAMP? When your kids are hungry and you have no food do you whip our your CREDIT CARD and call the PIZZA MAN? When you do cook do you have to go out and get firewood , light and wait for it to get hot before you start cooking or did you TURN A DIAL? When you had to go the 10 miles to the grocery store did it take you all day or did your AUTOMOBILE get you there and back in 30 mins? Don’t tell me about the Good Ole’ Days. Hunny your living in them.”
Grandma has a point.
So while I sit with no internet like all those brave ancestor’s before me, I will be thankful that 1) we have it and 2) I have the ability to instantly communicate with my friends and family. There are good and bad points to this, just like most things in life.
Although sometimes I long for the good ol days and all those things we think of in the slower , less hectic, less modern life, Grandma has a point…..I think I’ll keep my washing machine.