I woke up this morning with lots of thoughts swirling in my head, but today I’ve decided to let my age show a bit. I’m going to let my mind wander a bit, back into the past, and remember when…
I remember going to the store with a dime, as a child, and buying a small bag of “penny” candy or cookies–or sometimes even a toy! A dime would buy a lot back in those days. I also remember taking empty soda bottles back to the gas station to collect the deposit for spending money!
I remember when bread cost twenty-five cents a loaf. In fact, I remember buying everything I needed to completely stock our empty pantry and refrigerator for only twenty-five dollars! That was way back in 1972 when Ed and I got married. These days twenty five dollars might buy you a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, four pounds of sugar, and about three pounds of ground beef!
I remember when Ed’s job paid $3.31 per hour and that was considered “good money”. (I worked part-time through my last year of high school making $1.00 per hour, and had plenty of money to spend!) These days it’s difficult to make ends meet, even when people are making ten times that amount!
Speaking of working–I worked in a department store back then. We totaled up the merchandise being purchased on an adding machine. The store cash register was black, very large, and it wasn’t electronic. I remember that it “dinged” loudly whenever it was opened. It also didn’t tell you how much change to give back–we had to figure that out in our heads. These days, some cashiers have trouble counting money, even when the cash register tells them the correct amount of change to give.
Speaking of figuring out something in your head–I remember when pocket calculators were first introduced! I think our first one ran on AAA batteries! My how far calculators have advanced since the seventies–and how dependent we’ve become on them!
I remember when gas only cost a few cents per gallon! You could pay for your gas with pocket change if you wanted to. Imagine that! I also remember when you pulled up to the pump, an attendant pumped your gas, cleaned the wind shield of your car, checked under the hood, and even checked the air pressure in your tires. Now those were the days! Oh how I hate to pump my own gas! Fortunately, our little community still has a gas station that will pump the gas for you, unfortunately, their gas costs lot more than a few cents per gallon.
I remember back when there were no convenience stores in our little town. A gas station was our closest thing to a convenience store–and they only carried candy, soft drinks, and some headache medicine! I also remember when the streets of our little town seemed to “roll up” at 6 o’clock in the evening when all of its stores closed. The stores also closed at noon on Thursdays, too, to make up for being open on Saturdays.
I remember back when telephones had rotary dials on them, and the dial was very difficult to turn! I also remember party lines–and nosy neighbors who liked to listen in on the conversations of others! I remember being asked to give up the line on a few occasions, too! Later, party lines disappeared, and then came the coveted “push button” phone! Speaking of phones, remember phone booths and pay phones? Do they even still exist? I’m sure my grandchildren will only get to see them in pictures, thanks to the invention of the cell phone.
I remember when cars didn’t have air conditioning. We rode with the windows rolled down to stay cool. We called it our 4/60 air conditioner–four windows rolled down going 60 mph! This didn’t really bother us much since some homes still weren’t air conditioned, and neither were the schools. In fact, I remember sleeping with a box fan in my opened bedroom window at night–and getting “chilly” before morning!
Believe it or not, I even remember growing up without a clothes dryer or a dish washer. I was married and nearly twenty-one years old before getting my first clothes dryer. Many times I hung clothes on the line in the dark, after a long day at work! My mother never owned a dryer! I didn’t have a dish washer until about sixteen or seventeen years ago, when we finally took the plunge and bought one. My mother never owned one of those either.
I remember growing up and never locking the doors of our house. Sometimes we slept with only a screen door protecting us from outside predators–and we weren’t afraid! Of course, back then, our nearby state prisons routinely performed executions–and the prisons weren’t over crowded! I’m just sayin’…crime didn’t pay back in those days! These days, we worry–even with the doors locked!
I could sit here and reminisce all day, but that wouldn’t be very productive, would it? It’s amazing to look back, and realize all of the changes that have taken place in just my lifetime–and somehow it makes me feel very old. I remember listening to my parents talking about their past, and it always seemed surreal to me. Now here I am talking about mine–and my own children probably will feel the same way! I guess it just goes to show how the more some things change, the more others stay the same!
I’m riding Tuesday Train. Feel free to click the train button to find out how to ride along.