Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Gaps

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 know 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. She'd never even know the wonders of the amazing, new rotary dial phone!
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. On your one channel. 
Getting up to turn the TV on or off.
Wringer washers.
Cassette tapes. Eight-track tapes. Video tapes!
Using an encyclopedia.
Ironing.
The Christmas tree set up in the center of Main and 1st streets.
One store.
She would 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've seen that with my own daughter who is 24. I'll mention something from the past and she gets that glazed over look. It amazes me at all the changes that have been made in just a few short decades. It goes both ways though. She talks about stuff that I have no clue about. The world is moving faster than we can keep up! I can only imagine what the grand babies lives will be like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've kind of dropped out of the ever-changing world, too. My youngest daughter keeps trying to haul me along, but I've got both feet braced and I'm resisting!

      Delete
  2. So very true. And I bet the grandchildren look at you and think how unbelievable it is that you didn't grow up with internet and cell phones.
    On another note, my oldest is very into music, and actually bought himself a turntable and records.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Take heart! Records (and record players) are making a comeback! And I'll be right there with all my LPs from the 70's ...

    My kids, who are 33 and 30, feel they were born in the best time, because they witnessed both the introduction of home computers but also the rapid change from those clunky desktop models to a handheld (or wrist-worn!) smart phone that can do pretty much the same thing. They marvel, as do we!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think of my Father-in-law. Born in 1913, he watched the advent of the motor car and lived until the invention of the home computer. He missed the cell phone, but Wow!

      Delete
  4. Oh yes.
    I am grateful that my teen years weren't besmirched with FB and its like though. Very grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teenagehood was confusing enough without all that stuff. I don't know how they do it now!?

      Delete
  5. Vinyl is making a come back. I passed a store in the mall the other day with a stack of turn tables in the window. The gap is closing lol.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is why museums exist, so people of our days can see how the people lived in days of yore.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well said, Diane! And some things might be better now, but some were better then. (if that made any sense -- it's been a long day! :D )

    ReplyDelete

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