Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's a Birthday Thing

I’m not sure how I feel about all this. Not blogging, and not necessarily getting older, but about things. I celebrated a birthday recently and a friend reminded me of some sobering facts. I was born before microwaves, remote controls, cable, VCR’s, the internet, DVD’s, TiVo, cable, satellite, cell phones (even those big mobile ones), and the closest thing to the word “Google” was that you had googly-eyes for someone. I was even born before man walked on the moon.

So what’s the big deal about all this? My parents were born before all this. My older brothers were born before all this. Most of my friends were born before all this. I even have one child that was born before the internet came about. So why the fuss? Because I never thought I’d think about those things in reference to, well – ME!

I was talking with a new co-worker recently. She moved down here from up north with her teenage daughter and I inquired what brought her here of all the places she could have chosen to live in the south. She said her parents had moved here some time back and took up residence in the neighboring county. She drove down here to visit and loved it. That’s cool. So we got to talking since I had lived in the same county where her parents are now living. I told her I used to live at what is now a state park and have many fond memories of growing up in a place where most could only visit. My older brother and I had access to all the great places that visitors couldn’t go. We lived in the kitchen of the lodge and spent many days riding the river boats. Her first exclamation was, “Wow! You’re a part of living history!”

Now I love history. Love learning about it, learning from it, imparting it to others, especially my children. But I never in all my life imagined that I’d be a part of ‘history’, at least not beyond my own family tree. Never thought I’d throw those acorns that far. But as I think about it, I guess I am. Not many people around can say they lived in the staff quarters of that particular place. I spent summer days collecting bottle caps, riding my bike down the tree-lined roads, and picking barnacles off the dock. I’d saunter into the kitchen after school on hot Florida days and receive a cup of orange sherbert. On Sundays, the family would have lunch at the lodge. The waiter would take our orders and among the shrimp and chicken and pasta orders, there would be one “usual”. That’s how we’d say it and that’s how they’d write it down, and the cook knew exactly what it was and who it was for – one fried chicken leg and green beans – still one of my favorite dinners.

So here I am 30-something years later and just learning that my memories are a part of the history of a small spring in Florida. I’ll never read about myself in a book, but that’s ok. I’ll Google my old homestead and be content that I knew a time when there was time that was uninterrupted by the constant streams of modern day life. Something I really wish my own children could know.

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