Monday, January 16, 2017

Ever-changing

The kids are home today from school for Martin Luther King Day. What am I saying? I"M home today as well. It's still hard to believe I go back to work this week. Pinch me please. Today we don't have to much planned. A little light cleaning and shuffling of those totes I showed you the other day. Then tonight, Family Home Evening, I'm thinking Lexi and I will spend the afternoon/evening making Fry Bread. Last night we made popcorn the old fashioned way. That was the first time Lexi has ever had it or made it. Can you believe that? Amazing how things have changed. 

The other day, while at Safeway, I ran into a lady. She walked up to me and said, "I knew you years ago when (at least 10-15 years ago) and you were Sondra Schmidt. Are you still a Schmidt?" My response came with a look of shock as I said, "I sure hope so!" The other lady with the one asking just laughed. The women then went on to say, "I use to be a Jones, but now I'm a Sally Smith." (Not her real name.) It just struck me funny, I guess. I hoped later that my joking about it hadn't offended her. She's an awesome person! A lot of things have changed in my life but my name is not something I'm ever planning on changing. 

It did make me think, though, about how things change and evolve over the years. I started making a mental list of noticeable changes since my almost thirty years of marriage.
  1. My weight. BUT, we won't even go there.
  2. Kevin. Kevin wasn't as outspoken as he is now. I couldn't even get him to call different companies about our bills, or walk a payment in to the electric company or phone company. I use to think how could this possibly be? Didn't he pay his own bills on his mission? So, why is this such a big issue now? Today, he still doesn't like to talk to people like utility companies, but he's one of the friendly people I know and will say hello to anyone and everyone. I've watching him some time ago mow our lawn and he would literally talk to all of our neighbors as they came outside or drove by. I laughed then because he would have been done twice as fast if he didn't stop to wave hello to every person he knew that drove by. He's known as friendly and happy....But NOT a push-over. He always smiles and says hello to everyone. I also remember him being a hard worker as well. In fact, I ran into an old co-worker of his today at the grocery store. This co-worker had worked for the company a lot longer than Kevin had when it was decided that the company would be sold. The new owners came in and started making changes. Kevin was sad because the old owner was a long time family friend and he wanted to be loyal to his friend. BUT, Kevin made the personal decision to do the job he was given right up until the very end. He decided he would do the job and remain employed for as long as he could. As it turned out, that meant a lot of late nights and doing all kinds of things he wasn't use to doing, but he jumped in and worked hard. One day this co-worker who refused to jump in and help decided he would leave work early while everyone else stayed to complete a big project. Well, that was the turning point for Kevin and the turning point for that co-worker. The co-worker was demoted and eventually fired, while Kevin was promoted and given a fat raise. Kevin didn't want to take away the co-worker's job. It just happened. Kevin has never been the type of guy to not jump in and help, no matter what his title was. He knows how to work hard. (Just a little background on the co-worker, Eventually the co-worker found another job, and as it turned out the same thing happened at the new job. He acted like the work to be done was beneath him, so he just didn't do it. Well, he was fired from that job as well. We found out from another friend that ended up working with this co-worker at the new place.) Even with callings in the church, Kevin works very hard at them and gives them his full attention. How things have changed for Kevin these days. It makes me sad. While Kevin may never work the way he has in the past, I know that drive is still there and he just needs to find his passion and give it his all again, just maybe in new ways.
  3. The valley. When Kevin and I were first married, their was only one mall in the area. That was pretty much it, until you got drove out to places like Scottsdale or the east side of Phoenix. There use to be lots of space throughout the valley, now there are tons of businesses and homes and apartments everywhere! Today, Fiesta Mall is a ghost town and now if you want to go to the local mall you head to the other end of town to Superstition Springs, or to Queen Creek to their outdoor mall, and if you really want the mall experience, you head down to Chandler to Chandler Fashion Mall. There are tons of other places in town now. I think there is a Chili's, Michael's, Target, Kohl's, Walgreen's, CVS, Walmart or fast food places every few blocks now. Not to mention the number of theaters in town and churches! My goodness there are lots of them now! A person would not recognize this area today from thirty years ago. If you'd have told me that our little area would have become what it is today when we were first married, I'd have laughed and never believed it. 
  4. Teenagers. Teens today talk about and even know about things that we never knew at that age. (okay, we knew a little back then.) We had certain guidelines that were to be followed. Some things were not discussed. Some things were taboo. Today, I'm shocked at how open they are about everything! Sometimes, way too much. 
  5. Manners and common courtesies. I think that manners and common courtesies have gone with the wind. Men don't hold doors for women today or offer their seats like they use to. Now a days, if a young man holds a door open for me, I say, Thank you, and your parents raised you well!" Kevin and I tried to instill those basic manners and common courtesies in our sons and I hope that these things are something that they take with them to the grave! Yes Ma'am, and No Sir are words rarely spoken in respect. Sadness. 
  6. Technology is an obvious, so I won't even go there. Except to say that even in the kitchen, the differences are astonishing! As I was browning ground beef for chili (yes, I'm finally making it.) this morning, I thought about microwave popcorn, individual serving packages, desserts that can be zapped and eaten in two minutes....I LOVE THOSE CHANGES!  Even warming a simple babies bottle happens in the matter of seconds instead of half an hour. Now we don't rake up the leaves in our yards, we blow them off with a yard blower/vacuum tool. That's a great changes!
  7. Entertainment. When Kevin and I were dating, things just started to change. It didn't just mean grab a bite and then go to a movie anymore. Now, there are indoor fun parks with rock climbing, laser tag, black light bowling, rollerblading or skateboarding through an awesome park, golfing, the zoo, the wild animal zoo, race car driving, and even indoor and outdoor surfing! (Just to name a few things) We went hiking and skiing and to performances at the University for a "big night on the town." (Still do. Well, at least the performances) Today, it's instant entertainment. Oh, and the movies. I remember that it was a huge even to see something like Star Wars at the theater because we didn't get to see many movies unless they were played on TV (which was a huge event back then) or it came to the theater. Back then having movies on video tape was something and they cost a bit too. Now a days, everything is on DVD or out on Netflix or Hulu....or in a Redbox machine for less than $2.00 to rent it. 
  8. The other day when I was in seeing my therapist I noticed that she had this funny thing on her arm that she had not wore there before. It was a wrist watch! Now a days people don't wear watches because of the cell phone. Not only that, but, we are in constant communication, we don't need to carry a camera or a video recorder, we can watch TV, read our email, check the web instead of thumbing through a phonebook, and we can even read a book or have a book read to us.  The cellphone has really changed the world.
  9. People don't write letters anymore or call people on the phone anymore. We send emails or send a text message. Hand written letters and actual telephone calls are a thing of the past. Sadness! OH and copying! My printer has been being funky for about a month now, and as I was thinking about a new replacement, I was remembering my teenage years of taking a typing class....writing assignments and using my Dad's computer, so that I would have a nice clean paper to turn in instead of writing every word myself. Back then, you only had ONE computer in the house, now every member of the home has a laptop and you can print using WiFi. No more dial-up Internet connections and waiting for what seemed like an eternity to access something called the worldwide web. Research alone has become so much easier today! AND, if you want dirt on a celebrity or a public figure, or even your neighbor, it's all right at your finger tips in a matter of seconds. Amazing!
  10. Lastly, at least for my list....trust. That's changed a lot! Kids now a days take some interesting classes in Elementary School. Good touch/Bad touch and Stranger Danger. Not to mention all those classes kids take later on in Elementary School. AND even a Scoutmaster having to have a required background check. Teachers not being allowed to be alone with kids. Not all good changes. Well, it is a good change to protect our children. BUT, a bad change in that they need to be done now. Sad! Enough said about that.
There are so many more, but these are a few of them that I see immediately changing in my own personal life. It's interesting to think about the differences between now and then. The world is changing at such a fast pace. Most of these changes are for our benefit and are meant to simplify our lives, save time and energy, but sometimes, I believe, they actually complicate things. Taking a trip today means not only packing your luggage with clothes, but the necessities have increased to include maybe a DVD player, DVDs, the iPad or iPhone, a laptop, the cellphones, Game systems and a whole lot of chargers. Now a days I turn around and head back home if I realize that my cellphone isn't in my pocket or my purse. Years ago, I use to leave the house all the time without a phone. Now a days, Kevin won't let me leave without it and insists that I always have it. 

I would have made a lousy pioneer. I'm glad to have all of the amenities that I have today. Yet, there was a beauty about the simpler life of years ago that I miss. There are even a few things that I'd like to see stop changing or, even better, to go back to the way they were. That's of course is not going to happen, so I guess the only thing I can do is appreciate the past, try to keep up with the world today and, all the while, hold on to what's important and really matters regardless, because those things, like the importance of family, values, morals, personal standards...they never change. Enough said.

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