Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I May Dislocate My Shoulder

I may dislocate my shoulder patting myself on the back for making great advances into the cyberworld. I still can't believe that yesterday I managed to scan a picture and then post it on a blog!! Talk about old dogs and new tricks ... Why am I so proud? Any 12 year old could have done that. Yes! but when I was twelve I was just getting used to indoor plumbing -- and the drinking water was hand pumped from a well in the yard even then.
My daughter Leslie reminds me what a slow adapter I was to ATM carsds. My first one actually expired before I took it out of my wallet and tried to use it. When I replaced it I asked Leslie to show me how. Now I almost never go beyond the ATM vetibule of a bank anymore. --By the way a pet peeve. Do not call it "an ATM machine." The M stand for machine.

This bridge is a symbol for where I've come from and where I am now. It goes over a creek below the hill Versailles, Indiana. I rode a school bus over iit the years [12] I went to school there. At that time the paint was faded or maybe nonexistent; but now it's been freshly painted and become picturesque. I took this picture in June went I went home for my -- no, I won't say the number -- high school reunion. We had 56 in our graduating class and over half put in an appearance reunion weekend, only three have died which we consider lucky. Slightly under half of us began in the first grade together and continued through all 12 years. More of us have had successful and satisfying lives than I would have expected. I'm not the only one who can look back and say, "it's a different world."
Indeed!! That little four-square house I wrote about in my first blog entry had no electicity, no running water, no telephone, of course, nothing like central heating. I remember that men came when I was four and cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling and then in other ceilings and then THERE WAS LIGHT!. Perhaps a year later other men, attaching other wires to our house, hung a big black box with a crank and a horn shaped thing to hold to your ear. it jingled a variety of combinations of sound. One combination was ours, others were for our neighbors.
Thus did technology enter my world. My father plowed and mowed and harvested with a pair of horses, Gray and Jim. He had a Model A Ford. Just before I was six he bought a John Deere tractor and sold the horses. About that time the cast iron cookstove in the middle of the kitchen which burned wood or coal was replaced with a kerosene kitchen stove. I love to tell this story to young people ... it seems mythological.
With those memories still clear in my mind ... I think readers can understand that I feel I personally have experienced a technlogical revolution and when I learn something new -- like blogging, you'll have to forgive me if I pat myself on the back.
One other observation on the subject. When I was in Tibet in 1996, the little group I was with was having tea with the Abbot of Ramoche monastery in Lhasa in a room build about a thousand years ago. Nearby we heard a phone ring and saw a monk answering it -- a touch tone phone. They, like much of the world that is only in the last ten or fifteen years acquiring technology, went from nothing to digital, skipping all the intermediary steps. This is happening all over the world. Maybe it doesn't amaze young people who have known nothing else, but to me it's like going from puberty to adulthood skipping all those confusing teenage years. Of course, now it's cell phones ...Think about it ... yes, I feel like a human bridge with a memory that gives me a perspective full of wonder and amazement. WOW!

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