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In the blink of an eye

by Tina Y. Gerber - McCurley

I had the pleasure of taking my oldest granddaughter shopping for her birthday. It brought back memories of raising my two daughters, now mothers themselves, and times spent with my grandparents. In a blink of an eye: I wondered what happened? My granddaughter and I talked, as I drove to Coles Book Store. This was the first of, I hope, many adventures together? I shared stories with her about her Mom and Aunt, of things we did together, and adventures I had with my sisters, when we were growing up.

I shared about so many good things we experienced differently. We had no technology until I reached high school, where then we shared a computer with several other students. We had no internet, and we had to manually change the TV stations on the television set. Most often we were glued to Mister Rogers Neighbourhood, Mister Dress Up, and Saturday Morning Looney Tunes. We watched the Waltons, Charlies Angels, Brady Bunch, Happy Days, and Little House on the Prairie. My favourite, however, was Bonanza, and I also loved Star Trek, and the Twilight Zone. The phone was attached to the kitchen wall, and many used a dial to enter the number, we had no cell phones then. She wants one desperately, as all her friends have them, she's 11. Even though we had no air conditioning, no RV Trailer for travelling, no trips to Disney World and we had limited options during that time, it was the best time to be alive. We had vinyl records, cassettes, and our parents had 8 tracks. We lived with no GPS and no digital distractions of any kind.

Parents let you ride your bike to the video arcade and we had no helmets. We spent morning till dusk outside without parental supervision. While we had very limited options back then, our imaginations ran wild; boredom was a foreign concept to us.

My mother told me stories about when she was growing up. How they were blessed if they got an orange in a stocking at Christmas and a corn doll. Often, they didn't even have shoes, or had holey ones at that. They lived during a severe economic crisis which affected millions of families. Unemployment rates soared, but my family ate off the land, hunted and gardened, and so were provided for. Mother said, basic necessities, like clothing and housing, were scarce. I remember visiting my grandparents and discovering what an outhouse was. I was 6/ 7 years old. While my parents were growing up, they played outside, at games like hopscotch, marbles or hide and seek. School was important, but many children had to drop out, to help support their families. They valued their family like that, so they did this, even though it was a real challenge. My mother won a scholarship to high school but my grandfather said, my mother had to do 'woman's' work around the house.

I believe the generation today, and over the last twenty years, has been affected by a lack, partly because there are no more prayers in school. There has been a steep drop in Church attendance, as an outflow, depriving them of this extremely unexplored experience. Many congregations are aging, as a there is a huge techno/cultural prompt to shift the inexperienced away from mainline Christian denominations. They don't know what they don't know, and so are unaware of what this diminished respect or compassion for the older generations is doing to their future. There is virtually no shame or modesty, consequently, less honesty in their emerging culture today. Interaction has become more about an end goal instead of valuing the legitimate needs of real people. It's all about me, me, me.

It would not be a bad thing, if we continue to learn from the tried and true experiences of parents, and grandparents. They are living treasure, holding proof of the value of valuing God, others and respect for the substance gathered through many years of living.

In Prov. 16:31 it says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory on people who have lived good lives. It is earned by living right.” ERV

Time marches on, as it tends to do! It's full of seasons of both regrets and gratitude. I am thankful for the experiences and I understand life is a gift, and every day is a choice to pass it's blessings on. It all goes so fast. We should all value the gifts placed within the lives of those who have come before.

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