Those Were The Days My Friend


Those Were The Days My Friend

I was chatting with my friend this morning while waiting for Al to wake up. The conversation came upon the topic of party lines. Some of you may ask, what is a party line? Others may very well remember the term too well.

For me I can remember when I wanted to use the phone I may have to wait my turn. I honestly believe this is where I learned to hate busy signals and the word, impatient. The way…

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Those Were The Days My Friend


I was chatting with my friend this morning while waiting for Al to wake up. The conversation came upon the topic of party lines. Some of you may ask, what is a party line? Others may very well remember the term too well.

For me I can remember when I wanted to use the phone I may have to wait my turn. I honestly believe this is where I learned to hate busy signals and the word, impatient. The way it worked was; when you signed up for telephone service you had a choice of paying a higher rate and receiving a private line, or you could do what so many did, share a party line of four, in order to keep the rates down.

You go to make a phone call. Maybe you just wanted to call and chat with your friend. Maybe it was important, you needed to call your doctor. You pick up the phone receiver and instead of pushing redial or entering the numbers, you listened without speaking.

Yes, you had to listen first. Too many times one of the four parties on your line was a gabber. By this I mean they were not speaking for any other reason than to just chat. You were to quietly place the receiver down on its cradle and go back a few minutes later to see if the line was free.

If the line was still busy you repeated your prior steps. If the jabber-box  didn’t hang up and your phone call was of utter importance, you could dial zero and get a live phone operator. You could explain your situation and he/she would listen politely and in that kind voice, would get on your line and let the other party talking know that the line needed to be freed immediately for a very important call.

I sure miss the days where there were live operators to talk to . You know, it sort of made a difference in your day. You could find out what area they were from, ask them about how their weather was that day.

Today I have spent up to twenty minutes or more being transferred from one automated area to the next. Many times I will end up back where I was in the beginning and have to star over or worse yet, hang up the phone and dial back the same number.

Back in those days I did use the operator once in a while as I needed to get through to my own call. But then there were other times that I just turned in to a crabby old woman. I would listen just long enough to hear the other party say, ” Is there someone listening in on my conversation?” I would then quietly place the phone down on its cradle and wait.

Other times I would answer with a yes. I am trying to get through but I could expect to hear well missy, you have to wait your turn. I am on the phone now. Oh this used to burn me up. No wonder I got gray hairs earlier than the normal time.

I also remember being the proud owner of the new six-foot plus phone cords. Easy to use. Each end plugged into the two pieces of phone. This enabled you to take your land line phone with you to several  rooms. But I laugh as I remember that as the new cords wore down, they twisted.

Sometimes I spent several minutes untwisting the mass of curls in order to use the phone. The phones were heavy. They had big plastic phone rings that you inserted your finger in on the appropriate number and then held it in place until the number touched the silver piece letting you know you had done it correctly.

Now today I am not sure if there are party lines still. I know I don’t have to click on that big dial. I don’t have to listen to see if anyone else is talking first. I never slam the phone down in the cradle.

No, today I have to worry more about cell calls being dropped.  Worry about if going over alloted minutes has been  happening. Losing or breaking phones, carrying insurance, having my own personality being as my phone cover. What color and size of cell phone do I want to carry. What am I willing to pay for in order to have the most conveniences.

The world of technology has certainly changed. We never miss a call anymore. We don’t have answering machines. We have voice mail. We even get to pick our own ring tones. Do any of you miss the good old days of live operators and party lines?

oldfashionedphoneold-fashioned-phone2cell phone

Daily Prompt; If You Leave


Daily Prompt; If You Leave

DP, Daily Prompt

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?

I swear the prompts lately know my personal life. This isn’t the…

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Daily Prompt; If You Leave


DP, Daily Prompt

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?

I swear the prompts lately know my personal life. This isn’t the first one lately that the answers have been so easy. No thinking either, just writing my thoughts.

Contemplating leaving? Sure, I have done it. I do it more often. Every day I think about it. Of course it is Al leaving me and me not leaving Al. Al and me Christmas 2013 As the days dwindle down I find myself cautiously and fearful of what I will do next.

Oh I suppose there will be another soul out there that needs some help. I have repeatedly told myself I will never ever take care of a family member. But, I have also learned many valuable things during my brother’s illness.

One thing I learned quickly is not to take anything for granted. Yes, my parents and most of our extended family are now deceased. dad, bev, me and theda This makes it easy to say out loud that I will never care for family again.

No more getting so closely involved. No more around the clock care. I will do what so many other caregivers do. I will clock in and somewhere around the eight-hour I will clock out and go live my personal life for the next sixteen hours.clock

But what I learned is I get burnt when I get too cocky. When I say never, God shows me this is not in the cards. He proves to me that there is always a possibility. I ask, how? Well, he says, you do have children and grandchildren don’t you? There are still some distant family members, right?

I hang my head and say a soft yes, I guess there is, but my kids are younger than me and I am not that close to any other family. I will pass on before my kids, naturally. I have learned that I need, no I have to leave my life options door  open.

I should always be ready and willing to take on the next responsibility he gives to me. I should look outside the box and not center on myself box. Maybe illness and recovery will be in the picture. Maybe some family member will need my help temporarily.

Who knows? I can’t see the future, but I do know better to say never. God puts us here for a reason, a specific reason. When we complete his task, he either takes us home or we move on to the next task.

So sitting here at this very moment, there is a little fear about the unknown future. Yet there is going to be a huge relief that Al will no longer be in pain. I realize that all doors will be open and I will carefully look through the stained glass windows and step out in faith once again.stained glass window

I get more excited as I realize that some shut doors will now once again be opened. I will be able to go see my children that don’t leave almost next door. my kids when they were young Maybe a man will cross my path and God will help me to stop in my tracks and look up into his eyes.

Isn’t God amazing how he takes a little speck of sand like me and uses it to his full benefit. Yes, there is sadness, there is war, there are memories and there are good times. But best of all, there is the unknown, the new teachings. New thoughts and ideas explored, and best of all, I am alive. I have made it to one more day, one more feeling, one more experience, and one more chance.v_10_unsolved_mysteries_of_the_world_001_4fd4855e01ab2

Daily Prompt; Stranger in a Strange Land


http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEW.

I imagine there are those who are like me. Vacations are not in my dictionary. Oh, I am not saying I have never been on vacation. I went with my parents each summer to Minnesota. My Dad went for Pike fishing. Mom did more work while we were on vacation than she did at home.pike fish

When I grew up and got married we used to go to the State Fair each year. The kids and I would ride the wagon around the fairgrounds, and get sick on fair food. My husband went so he could watch the Tractor Pulls.tractor pull

One fall my husband and I went to a small fishing lake in Michigan. I had a good time I guess. He fished and I tried to find things to do. I did end up nine months later with this.newborn

Now when I think of vacations, I think of the word alone. I would love to just go to a cabin in the woods and do what I want. Or go to my daughter’s house and stay for a week and catch up on life.

I wouldn’t go to the big malls to shop. I wouldn’t go to the most expensive dining areas. I would try to find a Ryan’s Buffet. http://www.ryans.com

I would visit any antique stores in far off places. Ally Cats I would enjoy the birds singing.female red bird at millers I would enjoy the beauty of flowers.park flowers

Maybe find a nice guy and  fall in love.Couple-in-Tub

Or maybe I would just look at the stars in my rocker on the porch and dream a way.flashing stargrandma_rocking_in_chair_hc

Or sit by the fireplace and roast marshmallows and talk about the good old days.fireplace

I guess my best part of the vacation is not so much it being somewhere I have never visited.

It is about the quietness and the peace. It is about the company I am in. It is about pleasing my inner spirit. It is about looking through the crystal glass and seeing how darn lucky I have been all my life.