The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Sandy Laumeyer
Just a Thought 



January 10, 2018

The pages of the calendar have turned and now it’s a new year. It’s hard to believe that it’s the year 2018. I remember being in World History class as a sophomore in high school, studying a historical time line. A discussion began concerning when the 20th century would be left behind and we’d be living in the 21st century.

At the time, the year 1958, we all wondered if we’d be alive to see the new century. We talked about what it would be like, about what progress humanity would make.

Last week, I was visiting with a close friend. She commented about spending her early years in a house that had no running water and no electricity. About how there was no bathroom in the house and how her family took a bath, one after the other in a galvanized tub. In the winter, the tub was placed in front of the coal or wood stove and hot water was added as necessary so everyone had a warm bath.

I replied I remembered that well, as it was the same for me until I was 11 years old. And that it took a long time for my brother and me to remember we didn’t have to leave the water in the bathtub for the next person. For us, the greatest thing about the new house our parents had purchased was we didn’t have to go outside to the outhouse in the winter or use chamber pots on wintry nights.

My friend and I talked about how simple the food was that we ate. How our fathers went hunting and fishing, and when we were old enough, we joined them. We both remembered planting huge gardens and helping our mothers can the produce and fruit we raised. And we reminisced about what a real treat it was to eat a meal in a restaurant or purchase an ice cream cone or have a soda.

I spoke of how one daym when my mother and I were doing dishes, I said to my mother, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a machine we could put the dirty dishes in, push a button, and they’d be washed and dried and all we’d have to do was put the clean dishes away?”

“Oh, don’t be silly,” she answered. “There is no such machine.”

But they did come into existence and I’ve owned several dishwashers. I’ve often wondered what my mother would say when she saw me using one.

I began working with computers in 1962. I never thought I’d ever see one that could be used in a home. How wrong I was. I’ve owned quite a few computers, starting out with a desktop one and then graduating to laptops. Now even the cell phone you have can connect to the Internet. And you don’t even have to call someone to get a message to them. Unreal.

Being able to send documents over your landline telephone is something else I’d never dreamed we’d be able to do.

I’ve seen so many things become reality in my lifetime. Microwave ovens, cars that can park themselves, being able to read books on a small screen, people receiving new hearts when theirs can no longer sustain them, all the other medical advances, wheelchairs with motors. The list is endless.

Every so often I tell my grandchildren about what it was like when I was growing up. As I do, I wonder what their grandchildren will see in the years to come.


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