Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Monday, August 11, 2014

The Gap

Look closely. The gaps are there . . .
Okay, I don't want to suggest that there is a generation gap in our family but . . . well . . .
Yes. There is a generation gap in our family.
And it was never more obvious than it was that day.
Several of my grandchildren had been over for the long weekend.
A fun time, made even more fun by the 'launch' of our new pirate-ship playhouse.
All of the kids were in the house.
Because it had decided to rain.
And our intrepid pirates didn't want to get wet.
Ironic, I know, but there you are . . .
The oldest girls were colouring.
The eldest was also singing.
At least I think it was singing.
“You are Beau-ti-ful! You are Beau-ti-ful! You are Beau-ti-ful!”
Over and over and over.
After a few minutes of this, I leaned over the table, collected her attention and said, “Your record's stuck.”
Now this was a term from my childhood, teenage years, adulthood.
In fact, right up to the present day.
It was something I thought everyone knew.
I was wrong.
She stared at me, blankly. “Huh?”
I thought she must have simply missed what I said.
I repeated myself. “Your record's stuck.”
“Huh?” she said again.
I stared at her.
She stared at me.
Finally, “What's a record?” she asked.
“A record,” I struggled gamely forward, “A record is what you listen to. On the . . . record . . . player . . .” my voice dwindled away.
She was still staring at me, blankly.
Oh. My. Goodness.
I can't believe that this newest generation hasn't even heard of records! Why it's only been a few years since I used them. 
Ten at the most.
I looked at her.
Nine years old.
Oh.
Then I thought of all the things she would never understand from my childhood.
She would never pick up a telephone, crank the handle and hear the word, “Operator.” or stealthily lift the phone to listen in on the neighbours' conversations. 
Never see the 'Indian-head' test pattern and hear 'O Canada' at the beginning of the television day. Or hear 'God Save the Queen' at the end of the day, before the TV goes dark and silent. 
Wringer washers.
Cassette tapes.
Never sit around the table after dinner, listening sleepily to the hired men discuss their day's experiences with the boss.
And I thought of all of the things that I wouldn't - or didn't want to - understand from hers.
Yep. Generation gap.
Gives us a little breathing room.
Probably a good thing.

14 comments:

  1. I'd never thought about a generation that wouldn't know what a record is ... although I've often thought about the generation that won't know a world without computers. I think this is a bit like how people felt when the age of airplanes arrived.

    WE shall have to be the carriers of such information, Diane! Just like our parents told us of iceboxes and horses pulling snowplows and buggies, we have to tell our grandkids about records and record players :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Done! We'll be the repositories of the past! Hmmm . . . that sounded a whole lot better in my head...

      Delete
  2. So true. Ahhh....those were the days. I still remember my 8-track fondly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my 8-track! I loved that thing! Another thing to describe to my grands! :)

      Delete
  3. We still use that expression here....so out of date we are,.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or ahead of our time. I'm going to go with ahead of our time...

      Delete
  4. OMG...never thought about it. But it no longer applies. Like so much else.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This one has me laughing. Oh my; how we do have a generation gap. I certainly have it with my grandchildren. I did a blog post once on a site I use for my grandchildren and tried to show what era we were from. It was funny! Blessings for the chuckles and smiles today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I'm heading to your blog to find that one! :)

      Delete
    2. Found it! What a wonderful, fun post! Where on earth did you get all of those sayings? Scarily prophetic, some of them! :)

      Delete
  6. I definitely remember listening to the neighbors conversations and J once got my hair caught up in a wringer washer at my grandma's house or going out to the outhouse at 3 a.m.!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My grandchildren do know what records are, they've seen my old collection and we've talked about them, also in the shops here are record players now with the ability to transfer the recordings to CD or MP3 format. They've never known a wringer washer though, or had to pick up the phone and speak to the operator.

    ReplyDelete

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