Monday, April 23, 2018

Being "Real Old"

I'm turning "real old" tomorrow, "like, 22."

If you know what that's from, you're awesome. 

It's crazy to think I'm really going to be 22 tomorrow, and even crazier to think back over my life and see how much technology has changed. I mean, if I only had VHS tapes as a kid, can you imagine what my kids will think of my parents' childhood? 6 channels, no TV remotes, no cell phones...they must have lived in the dark ages! :)

Remember "Be kind, rewind"?  Kids today have no concept. A couple months ago, I put in Toy Story on VHS for some kids who were over, and I was fast forwarding through the previews when one of them said "At home, we can just skip them." That's not how a video tape works. Also, one of these kids was all confused when my sister told her we only had Mary Poppins on VHS. So confused she was going "No, the movie."

I remember our first DVD player, a VHS/DVD combo. Eventually we got a DVD recorder that just did DVDs, but it wasn't until my grandparents gave us a BluRay that we upgraded to that. Still have that exact one. I remember when we had only two BluRay discs: The Patriot and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe bought at a Blockbuster going-out-of-business sale. Remember Blockbuster?

I remember when the digital conversion was happening and we had to get converter boxes so we could still watch our analog TVs. I remember getting our big HD flatscreen TV (which we still have eight years later) when my grandparents gave it to us. I remember the first time I watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in HD, going "Wow, you can actually see something in 'the Blitz' scene." I remember when my friend's family got TiVo, and how amazing it was that they could pause live TV.

I remember cassette tapes, my yellow Cedarmont Kids tape with "Wonderful Words of Life" and "Hallelu, Hallelu" that I usually kept in my room. I remember the little stickers my mom put on the buttons so that I could stop, start and turn over the tapes all by myself. I remember standing in the living room, pretending to knock at a door to "Behold, Behold" and swinging on the swing set singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at the top of my lungs, songs I'd learned from other Cedarmont Kids cassette tapes. Does anyone listen to Cedarmont Kids anymore? I know the girls in my Bible study were unfamiliar with some of the kids' songs from those tapes.

I remember our first cell phone that we got when my youngest sister was on the way, a black thing with an antenna that belonged to my dad. I remember our first camera phones, little silver phones that took bad, grainy pictures. And you couldn't do anything with them unless you went out and bought a USB cord, because they were special cords, not the kind that come with just about everything. I remember when my parents got Blackberries, something that could do a little more than just make calls. They could pin message other Blackberries for free!

I remember when we cancelled our landline and got a flip phone for my sisters and me to share. I remember when I got my first iPhone, a hand-me-down from my mom that I still had to share, but now I could do all sorts of things from my phone!

I remember the big, clunky computer monitors I used to play Oregon Trail and Reader Rabbit on. Who else loved Reader Rabbit? My favorite was the castle one. I played it twice. I remember when we got a laptop. I remember dial-up and super slow internet speeds. No instant downloads or streaming even close to possible.

I remember when we got my mom her Kindle, just the basic all-it-can-do-is-read-books Kindle. I remember seeing my friend get a Kindle Fire, my sister get a Kindle Fire, and finally getting one myself, and how cool it was to be able to check my email on it. As well as download all these out of print books from that we'd previously had to print out and put in folders.

I remember when Netflix became popular and you could get both streaming and DVDs for one low price. The first thing we watched was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I remember how cool it was that you could just watch TV online. I remember how we finally at long last had access to lots of Disney movies because the library only had so many and the stupid vault kept us from buying most of them. 

I remember when My Space was a thing (not that anyone in my family had an account) and you got all those TV commercials with people going "This is my space." I remember when my parents first started Facebook accounts. I remember Instagram breaking into the scene, starting my Pinterest account, discovering Goodreads.

I remember when YouTube was a newfangled thing, not this massive site where you can find practically everything. I remember streaming Pandora on the computer, getting Spotify and discovering how cool it was that I could listen to all this music online for free and not have to buy the CDs. I remember the Walkman we used to have down in the closet and how cool I thought it was to have a portable cassette player. I remember getting my first mp3 player (because my CD player was getting really finicky) and listening to Narnia audio dramas and Star Wars music on it.

I remember film cameras and going to Wolf Camera to get our pictures developed. The only camera I've ever owned was film. I remember the Polaroids they used to use at the dentist and sometimes at storytime, and how amazed I was that it could just spit out a picture like that. On that note, I remember the gag-inducing plastic thing they used to have to stick in your mouth to take dental x-rays before the beyond amazing panoramic machine. I remember when my mom got her first digital camera and how neat it was that the pictures could go on the computer. I remember when we realized our iPhones took better photos than my mom's old point-and-shoot.

I remember getting our first video camera and its mini tapes you could stick in a bigger tape and put in the VCR. I remember our flip video and how neat it was that it was digital until HD became a thing and it just wasn't up to standard.

Childhood is very different these days. And though I cherish now being "real old," I still love the days of Adventures in Odyssey on cassette.


  1. I'll be 50 in a few months, and since Kendra just turned 23, I remember introducing her to much of the same things. My kids sort of sing Cedermont .. but there is SO MUCH out there! I remember wanting a calculator so bad as a kid, only $20 at Kmart (there was no Walmart!), about 8 x 4 x 1 inches and only did basic functions, you can pick up palm sized ones for $1 now. I remember luggable computers with 3 x 3 inch screens that were either orange or green and no graphics! Their entire capacity would fit on a 256MB USB drive now. Still have a couple. I remember when the TV went OFF at night because everyone was asleep. LOL The world has changed so much in the last 100 years! Imagine what you will be telling your grandkids!

  2. I remember my first scientific didn't even have a graphing function! And floppy disks, dot matrix printers, and using a word processor instead of a lines and having to figure out if I could afford to make a long distance call (and timing said call to make sure I didn't spend too much) when my husband went away to college (when we were dating) while I was still a senior in high school. Times have changed so much...we must have lived in the Dark Ages. :)

  3. I remember the advent of cable TV. It was incredible at the time to get all of the area stations crystal clear and to have all channels, 2-13, with something on it! When we could, we waited until after 11:00 pm or the weekend to make long distance calls because the rates were cheaper. When I was sent to the store on my bicycle when I was a child, there was a pay phone on the way I would always check for change in the coin return. One day, big payoff! I found about $1.25!! It's not much now, but at about 12 years old in 1970 it would buy some things! Life was simple and good then.


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