On Being 90.

Earlier this week our small family celebrated my mother’s (aka, the Coach’s) birthday. 90 years young! It was a quiet, but fun day, with goodies being delivered to the door for her and take-out Chinese for dinner.

This morning as I sit with my second cup of coffee, listening to the dog snore across the room – man this dog can snore. I know they make gizmos that humans can wear to prevent snoring, but I wonder if they make such a thing for dogs? Hmm. On second thought, probably not a good idea. If the thing was not made of iron, Trooper would eat it! LOL. But I digress…

I began today to think about all the changes Coach has seen during her lifetime. In 1923, Time Magazine was published for the first time. Hockey Night in Canada was first broadcast on a private station – the first hockey broadcast ever! The Irish Civil War ended. In New Jersey, the first American Airship took to the skies. Walt Disney founded The Walt Disney Company. And these are just a few events from that year, of course.

But what changes would a 90-year-old have experienced? There was no indoor plumbing; facilities for washing clothes were tubs and a scrub-board. No telephone in the Coach’s house. No buses to school in those days. At school the boys lined up at one door and the girls at another before the doors were opened and they could all file inside. Heating of homes was wood or coal. Radio but no TV. Eventually telephones were installed in homes in the small town where she were was raised. One long ring and two short rings, made the connection to our house (yes, I was around by then – so I’m ahead of myself) but those were party lines and everyone in town could (and many would) listen in.

But I’m ahead of myself. My maternal grandfather fought in WWI. He was a veterinarian. He treated family pets and farm animals as well. He was often paid with chickens or potatoes or veggies and that kept the family pantry well stocked.

Coach and my father attended highschool together. Dad was in the Canadian army and after WWII ended, they were married…trudged through a raging snow storm to get the job done, too! He then entered law school and Coach had me. Travel for them was almost always by train, as no car was to be had just yet. My father graduated law school and opened his own office. My parents did eventually acquire a TV when I was about 3 yrs old…big box of a thing with a rolling picture and barely any TV stations. And my baby brother came along. I was very impressed with him, really.

Phones in cars, cell phones, flat-screen TVs, computers were all in the very distant future. But she doesn’t want anything to do with these things anyway…well the TV is pretty neat. Mother was given a Kindle reader by my brother and sister-in-law a few years ago, but she could not get used to not having a “book” in her hand.

Telephone systems greatly improved and, yeah, there was privacy. LOL

Mother’s first washing machine made horrendous noises, rocked around the basement floor and had rollers so that everything could be run through and dropped in the laundry tub for rinsing…but it was hers!

Then, sadly, at age 49, my father died. Life changed dramatically.

Someone put a man on the moon and space travel became more frequent.

These are just a few very minor changes in the world since 1923, but a great deal for one person to experience. And when I think of the things my father had never experienced since his passing in 1972, it’s all quite astounding. What an amazing world we live in.

And think what I could discover that my Grandparents never experienced!

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