Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Things That Help

So what does it for you?  A glass of wine and a good chair around 4 p.m.?  A desert sunset?  A walk along a beach?  Sleeping in?  Decluttering a closet?  A long phone conversation?  Monitoring monarch butterfly migrations? Listening to Ella?  Singing Ella?  Fly fishing?  Running a 5K?  Chocolate?

For me:

It's being with someone with a fabulous sense of humor and having a good laugh! 

Having someone else make supper.

Having someone else come up with a plan to go someplace together.

Going someplace by train.  (Planes are no fun anymore.)

Finding a fabulous new book in the library.

Playing my Coyote Oldman "Tear of the Moon" CD -- Native American flute and Incan pan pipes.

Sleeping through the night.

Seeing afternoon light filter through a line of trees, especially in the autumn when there are fewer leaves.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Elsewhere Land

  • Since cars didn't have turn signals, drivers had to open their window and stick their arm out to indicate a left- or right-hand turn.  Straight out for left; bent up for right.  I haven't a clue what they did in snowy climates.
  • Laundry was hung out to dry on a line with clothes pins.
  • Women weren't called "moms" except by their own children; they were called "mothers."  As in Happy Mother's Day.  They also weren't called "stay-at-home-moms."  They were "housewives."
  • Generally, a man's salary could support the family so women stayed home to tend house and children.  They sewed clothes, gardened, made three meals a day from scratch, laundered, ironed, dusted, vacuumed, took the pets to the vet.  There were no drip-dry shirts; all cotton shirts had to be ironed.
  • Doctors made house calls.
  • Popcorn at movies cost 10 cents a bag.
  • Movies played continuously; two for the price of one.
  • Marshmallows were a legitimate ingredient in Jell-O salads and sweet potato dishes.
  • Children rode bicycles or walked to school.  School buses were only available for those who lived some distance.  School started at 9:00 and got out at 3:30.  Anyone could walk into a school at any time.
  • No one ate pizza until around 1956.  Then it was called pizza pie from the lyrics to That's Amore sung by Dean Martin.
  • There were no shopping malls or fast-food restaurants.  The first fast-food hamburger place that I remember charged 15 cents for a burger.  That was around 1953.
  • A family of four could get a month's groceries for $50.
  • There was no aluminum foil or plastic wrap.  Plastic bags came out in the early 1950's.
  • People lived in small houses.  A couple of bedrooms (with small closets), one bathroom, a living room and a small kitchen.  Plus a back yard to play in.
  • Three people could sit comfortably in the front seat of a car (no bucket seats) and children spread out in the back seat.  No seat belts until ca. 1961.
  • Gas stations weren't self-serve.  An attendant filled your tank, opened your hood, checked your water and oil levels, and made sure you had enough air in your tires.  Sometimes, they gave out free steak knives to entice you to go to their station instead of the one down the road.
  • There were no credit cards.  You paid in cash.  Or you charged it.
  • Many roads were two-lane only.  A few had a third/middle lane for passing.  Of course, to use that lane, you had to be sure no one was already in it coming toward you.
  • With no television, children listened to radio programs after school:  The Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.  Otherwise, they played hop scotch on the sidewalk outside their house.  Or they built forts in their bushes.  Or they practiced shooting a bulls-eye target with bows and arrows.  Or they made a cake and iced it.  Or they set the dinner table, peeled carrots, washed dishes, played rummy, checkers, chess.  Or they sat around the radio after dinner listening to the Bob Hope or Jack Benny shows.  Or they practiced a musical instrument.
  • People were optimistic that the government was doing its best for everyone.
  • The word "hippies" hadn't been invented; such people were called "beatniks" or "bohemians."
  • One didn't have to fly to cross the Atlantic or Pacific; one could travel by freighter or ocean liner.
  • Young and old, people smoked.   (Trains, too ...)