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Mayberry

Recently I was given the rare opportunity to disconnect from many modern conveniences that most of us, myself included, often take for granted (more on this “opportunity” later). This got me thinking about the “simple times”, or what I have always perceived to be the Simple Times, the mid-20th century.

“Simple” is relative, of course. I venture to say that those who lived in the 1950’s and early 1960’s would put up a pretty good argument with me about whether or not it was a simpler time (in fact, I doubt they thought so at the time–or even thought about it at all), but in explaining what I mean specifically, I’m confident I’d win them over.

To me, Simpler Times involved–first and foremost–a lack of technology. Technology, especially these days, is a double-edged sword. Of course I’m mostly thankful for whatever makes my life easier, but there are drawbacks:

1. Computers = less writing by hand, which leads to terrible handwriting.
2. Microwaves = less cooking time, which means I don’t “need” to slow down.
3. Credit/debit cards = I don’t have to carry cash, but I also have to be careful of fraud and identity theft.
4. Television = I can keep up with news and be entertained, but I’m less engaged with others, not to mention reading fewer books.
5. Email = no waiting by the mailbox, which leads to a lack of patience for those who don’t respond immediately.

See what I mean?

In America today, we are over-stressed, over-scheduled, over-anxious…and sometimes I feel like I’m over it. Suddenly going fishing and skipping a rock or two before going to hang out at the local barber shop sounds like a great idea.

It’s nice to have quiet time to reflect, even just for a little while. During the rare occasions when I get a chunk of peace, I find myself thinking, “Wow, this is great, not having 21st century intrusions.”

Of course, after a few days, that feeling completely passes and I’m happy all over again for my television, my cell phone, my computer, and even my microwave.

Wishy washy? Nope. This is America: I have the freedom to change my mind about things whenever I want.

Happy (and safe!) Fourth of July!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Liz July 3, 2011, 11:19 am

    Here, here and YAY for skipping rocks (also, fishing!) thanks for the reminder and I’ll take it as a directive, to slow down, my friend!

  • Tara R. July 3, 2011, 9:26 pm

    I got all nostalgic for stone skipping and firefly catching this week too. As much as I’d miss it, I think I would eventually embrace a life free of technology. I’m considering a commune high in the Tennessee hills.

    Happy 4th!

  • Heather July 3, 2011, 10:23 pm

    It’s funny you say all of this because I was JUST talking to my Gram about how I think I’d love a house out in the country (like my SIL lives) because life SEEMS and IS so much more simple there. The internet is still dial up (not kidding!) and the cell phone reception is few and far between. I think I’d love it for a week, then I’d really be in trouble. I guess I want the small town feel but a commute to a store to be less than 30 minutes. Enjoy your 4th!

  • Grandma W July 4, 2011, 6:56 am

    Happy Fourth to everyone.
    I have lived in simpler times and it was nice to get a written letter or note by hand and not even typed. It is so much more personal than getting emails plus anything you put on the computer is out there forever. Which can be good and also not good.
    I look at some of the handwritting of most children and you can not read it, that is a shame.
    My family was the first on our block to get a TV back when I was small and that was an unbeliveable time. Families use to talk more at meal time too. Things have changed so much since those days and I don’t think all for the better. But I do like the cell phone especially for emergencies.
    Oh well life is a bowl of cherries and lemons so enjoy it all.
    Have a great day.
    Love
    Grandma W

  • DaddysFishBowl July 5, 2011, 1:25 pm

    My handwriting was horrible before computers, so I welcomed the chance to never have to write again, lol.

    Glad you were able to escape & unplug for a bit.