My grandfather was born in the 1890’s, he served in World War I, and he could tell stories of living on the farm with no electricity, no plumbing, no cars. My father was born in the early 1920’s, he served in World War II, and he could tell stories of living on the farm, no electricity, no plumbing, no cars. They could also tell fantastic stories of living in the farmhouse – of how the rain sounded when it would hit the tin roof in the summer and of waking up with frost on their noses and snow on their bed in the winter. They could tell stories of the depression and it’s aftermath; of the sacrifices needed to win two world wars.
I was born at end of the 1950’s and I am not sure what stories I have to tell my grandchildren about how hard it was when I was growing up. I guess I could mention that I did actually walk to school from kindergarten through eighth grade, but it was only across the street. So what can I say? “Let me tell you about life growing up in the 1960’s. We only had one television and it was black and white plus we only had three stations to choose from and get this young fella – when we wanted to change the station – why we had to get up off the couch and walk all the way across the room and actually turn a knob on the TV! And we didn’t have no fancy microwave ovens – we had to actually turn on the stove if you wanted to cook something. In summer, when it was hot, we opened a window and maybe plugged in a fan to help cool down. I went to schools that didn’t have air conditioning and when we did math all we had to use was pencil and paper.”
Yet, as bad as I have it in the life was not so rough department, what stories will my children have to tell their grandchildren? “Why I remember back at the end of the twentieth century, 3-D TV had not even been invented, that was even before HDTV, our TV only had 150 TV stations and we didn’t even have a TiVo in every room. I can remember when we had to use something called “dial up” to get on the internet, we had to use a phone LINE. You probably won’t believe this, but there was an actual line that went right into your house in order to use the phone. Why I can even remember Super Nintendo and Playstation 1 and sometimes we had to play on a screen that was less that thirty-six inches across! Cell phones? I didn’t even get my own phone until I was sixteen! Yes, we had it rough, if we wanted to listen to music we had to use something called a Compact Disc, where the music was actually put onto a little disc and you had to carry the disc around and put it in a player to listen to it, you see way back in the last millennium, there were no digital downloads, yep we had it rough.”
Don’t you envy our parents and grandparents? They had it easy when it came to telling stories about having it rough.