THEN AND NOW

 

ANTIQUING

Last Saturday I visited several antique shops and had a wonderful trip down memory lane.  They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but as I looked and revisited the past I wondered if you can teach a new dog old tricks.  Let’s go back fifty or sixty years.

I used to work in an office with engineers.  The only computer was Hal, a monstrous computer in the developing stage, which took up a whole room.  I remember visiting Hal and was instructed to type in my name.  After much noise of gears groaning, Hal begins to play tic tac toe with me, of course he always won.  This was exciting to see a machine able to communicate, however limited.  It was many years later that computers and technology came back into my life.

I will be the first to admit my computer skills are lacking.  I know computers can do way more than I am able to navigate.  But, in my day I could type 80 words per minute using all my fingers and thumbs.  I used to take dictation using Gregg shorthand, with an ink pen, at 120 words per minute.  If I had to type a letter or memo and needed to make four copies carbon paper was used between original paper and onion skin paper copies.  There was no auto correct or spell check, so it had to be accurate, with little or no erasures.   Copiers were ditto machines and  mimeograph, which took some skill to prep and run.

Between the typewriter ribbons, carbons paper and ink from copiers, I always had blue ink on my hands and if I was lucky not on my clothes.

When I had a job in retail while in high school I had to add items, add sales tax, count out change, and balance my cash register without the aid of calculator or computerized register doing it for me.

It was fun remembering the old days with the array of office mahines and household goods that were considered modern in my day.  I can’t help but wonder what the next fifty or so years will bring.

  

50 LIFE QUESTIONS

 WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY

There are several outstanding things I remember.  My mother was a great baker, she baked twice a week Wednesdays and Saturdays. She made pies, cream puffs and light fluffy cakes.  The baking she did on Wednesdays were my favorite, it was just me and my mother, my three older siblings were all in school so I must have been three or four.

I didn’t help her bake but got to watch, I especially liked her cakes, maybe that’s why cake is my favorite dessert to this day.  Mom didn’t have an electric mixer, it was all done by hand.  She would sift the flour several times, the sifter had a hand crank on the side.  Sometimes she measured and other times she just knew how much to add.  Once all the ingredients were together in the bowl, then she would hand beat the batter, I remember her saying this was her exercise.  I’m sure the lightness of her cakes was the skill in which she could beat that batter.  Into the greased and floured cake pans then into the oven.  The cake pans had a narrow metal bar that lay flat from the center of the pan with a small tab along the rim of the pan.  This turned 360 degrees around the bottom of the pan once the cake was baked to help loosen it.  I was always fascinated by this.

My mother prepared the frosting pretty much the same way, sifting the sugar and beating by hand til it was the right consistency.

After the cake was cooled and frosted there was always some icing left in the bowl.  That’s what I waited for.  My mother always gave me the bowl and told me not to tell my sisters I got to lick the bowl.  I remember watching my sisters come home from school and probably thought it was a good idea to deny having licked the icing bowl, so I said, “I didn’t lick the bowl.”  

And that is one of my earliest memories.

GOOD HEALTH

 Fall is rapidly approaching and soon we will be seeing signs and reminders to get your flu shot.  This is certainly a good reminder and getting a flu shot is something I strongly recommend.  However, pharmacies will want you to get this shot as soon as possible, the end of August and beginning of September.   This is not the best time to get a flu shot.  Mid October through November is the best time to get your flu shot.  The flu usually starts after the Christmas holidays and generally peaks in February/March.  If you get your shot too early you may not be totally covered by vaccine at time when the flu peaks.

I have heard people saying, “I always get the flu after getting my shot.”  First of all the influenza shot contains the dead virus in a small amount to get your immune system prepared to fight off the flu virus.  There probably have been some people who did get the flu after shot, but they may be already  infected with the virus.  If you get the live vaccine, a nasal spray, well that could happen but it generally doesn’t if you are healthy at time of administration.

Fall also brings us all the fresh fruit and vegetables.   Most of us wash our fruit and vegetables before eating them.  This is just a reminder to wash fruit such as cantaloupe, and melons too.  Even though you do not eat the outer shell, a knife cutting through the fruit can and has contaminated the fruit inside.

Stay healthy, get your flu shot and wash your raw fruits and vegetables as well as your hands.

 

50 LIFE QUESTIONS

Question:  What fads do you remember from your youth.

There were two specific fads I remember well.  Both were when I was in Junior High (Middle School).  One started with three girls who started to wear gray confederate caps.  They wore them throughout the day, in every class.  Within the week there were at least double the girls wearing these caps and soon just about everyone began buying and wearing these caps, boys as well as the girls.

I did not participate in this fad only because I didn’t have the $2.00 to buy the cap and my parents did not indulge me my giving me the $2.00.  There were a few of us who did not have this cap, probably for the same reason.

I don’t remember how long the fad lasted, probably only that semester but, to a young teenager it seemed to last forever of which I was not a part of  but, these many years later can appreciate not being a participant.

The other fad that I did participate in was having a lightweight white jacket.  I think I got one for my birthday and then with a permanent black ink pen, friends, classmates and anyone you could get signed your jacket.  It was cool to have your jacket covered with signatures.  I loved it, but my older sister thought I ruined a good jacket. 

THE TIME OF OUR LIFE

We get so caught up with life that we are often wishing it away.    How many times do we say “I can’t wait”.

 I get a  can’t wait til I’m done with school, I can’t wait til I can vote, drink, live on my own, marry, start a family.   When we attain those we then can’t wait for our children to sleep thru the night, are potty trained, start school, finish school, move out.

Why do we have this rush thru life, what drives us to get to the next step.

‘We can learn a lot from young children who live for each moment.  As I reflect on the eve of my oldest son’s birthday, I remember a nice summer day, he was nine or ten, he filled his water gun, took his jar of bubbles and sat under a birch tree, sending an arc of bubbles in the air and practiced his aim with his water gun.  I remember thinking what fun he’s having, no worries, just living in the moment.  

Life cannot always be this simple, but we should try our hardest to enjoy our happy moments and store them away in our minds to revisit when we rushed through all the times we didn’t have that luxury.

Son, I wish you a very happy birthday, and remember your moment under the birch tree when nothing else mattered but seeing how well your aim was.

 

 

FIFTY LIFE QUESTIONS

As I was preparing for some elective surgery few years ago, my granddaughter prepared a notebook for me titled ” Fifty Life Questions”.  During my recovery time, I answered most of the questions, but I still have some to go.  Writing my responses to her questions really helped me focus on the changes through the years.  I will share these questions and responses from time to time on this site.

QUESTION :  What is my favorite book/movie and why?  

I have read several books that I really loved: “Brave New World” and “To Kill A Mocking Bird” are among my favorites, but my most favorite is “Gone With The Wind”.  This is also my favorite movie.

I loved it from the first line.  The history of the old south, the hardships of the Civil War, the story of survival and perseverance.  Scarlett O’Hara is a strong character throughout the book, and the author had a unique way of putting you right in the story.   I cried at the end and felt drained, but, after all, “tomorrow is another day”.

  

 

ANATOMY OF A SCAR

When a person gets a cut the wholeness of the skin is broken.  It doesn’t matter whether it is small or large, shallow or deep, your body’s defense has been broken.    That is why it is important to clean any wound thoroughly to prevent infection.                                                                                                                                      

Bleeding takes place, sometimes in copious amounts and other times a small smattering of blood, depending on the depth or severity of the cut.  If the cut is deep there is no immediate pain as nerve endings are severed also, the pain comes later when nerves not severed get the message to your brain.

If the edges of the wound are brought together and sutured or glued, there will still be a scar, but one barely visible and in time may be forgotten.  If, however, the wound is left open, a mesh work of blood and cells fill in the space and a scab begins to cover the wound.  This scab protects and the cut begins healing from the inside out.  The scab becomes hard and begins to shrink as healing takes place.

A scab is rarely left alone, however, and one starts picking at the edges and perhaps removes the whole scab.  Then bleeding starts over and the process of scab formation starts again.  When the healing is complete the scab will fall off, a white patch is in place of where the skin was, always a reminder of the past injury.

Emotional scars have the same anatomy.  A small or well approximated injury will leave a scar, but in time may be forgotten.  Wounds left open need time to fill in and protect.  Like a physical scab, it is often not left alone, opening up to rawness and bleeding and in need of a new scab.

If it is a deep wound, there may be no immediate feeling, but a numbness that takes time to feel the pain.  And when healing is complete and the scab falls away, there is a scar, always a reminder of past injury.,