Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Transformation and Nonsense


Times, they are a changing…..  I had an appointment this morning.  As I got into the car, I remembered – damn! no phone.  Stop.  Went back inside to get my phone.  Then back to the car and off to said appointment.  And, I thought – it hasn’t been so long that taking the phone with me was even an option.  Growing up, did I have a phone?  Well, my parents had a phone that was hooked to the house (Mohawk 42473 – weird how I remember that phone number).  I honestly don’t think I ever talked on it to friends and I’m not even sure I know where it was in the house – probably one in the kitchen, maybe the den and one in my parents’ bedroom.  No cell phones certainly.  And, no cell phones when my children were born, young, teenagers, young adults.  I finally got my own cell phone in 2008 and never remembered to take it with me and, if I did, it usually wasn’t charged because I never remembered to plug it in.  Something that used to irritate my husband no end.  And, yet today --- I stop, go back inside to get it.  Sixty-one years undone in just 14.  Changes.


Said the pelican to the elephant,
“I think we should marry, I do.
‘cause there’s no name that rhymes with me,
And no one else rhymes with you.”
Said the elephant to the pelican,
“There’s sense to what you’ve said,
For rhyming’s as good a reason as any
For any two to wed.”
And so the elephant wed the pelican,
And they dined upon lemons and limes,
And now they have a baby pelicant,
And everybody rhymes
     -Shel Silverstein

Speaking of change, I’ve always thought my grandmother saw the greatest amount of change in modern times.  She was born in 1887 and died in 1969.  As a child she rode in a horse drawn buggy and as an adult, she saw men go to the moon.  She lived through a pandemic in her time – Spanish Flu - when nearly 50 million people died.  She saw women get the right to vote and lived through two world wars.  She was married at age 22 and widowed at age 55.  She drank hot toddies and smoked like a little chimney and I never once saw her wear anything other than a dress.  She married only once and I asked her why – why didn’t she marry a second time.  One damn man was enough, she told me. 

I wonder, sometimes, what my grandchildren will think about my life and changes.

A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years…
-Shel Silverstein

In 1987, I got the first computer my company put in a field office.  It used DOS and WordPerfect.  It was hot stuff!  Of course, compared to my laptop today – it was a clunky slow thing with a small screen.  No internet like today with everything you ever wanted to know at fingertips.  I could sign into the company main frame (located in CO) via phone line but that was pretty much all.  Nowadays I go online in the mornings to keep up with the world - check email, news (not doing that currently – all the news is terrible), and weather (not doing that anymore either because our heat index value today is 124° and I don’t think I need to know that – ugh!).  However, when the computer/internet goes down for some reason, I’m somewhat lost.  Everything I need/want to do involves the computer.  And, yet I managed to be without for 40 years; no panic, no worry.  Change, change.


Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!
Shel Silverstein

The ”Whatif’s” plague me still.  How about you?  

According to Benjamin Franklin – In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.  Well, okay but I’d say – In this world nothing can be said to be certain except change, everything changes.  Who knows! maybe there are immortals out there just keeping quiet.  Maybe someday $$$$’s won’t run the world.  Maybe someday idiots with guns and bombs and wmds will be ejected to a cement box on a deserted planet far, far away.  

Oh, and maybe someday whoever is controlling the weather thermostat will read the instruction book!

If we had hinges on our heads
There wouldn’t be no sin,
Cause we could take the bad stuff out,
And leave the good stuff in.
Shel Silverstein

13 Jul 2022



  1. I think the single biggest change and advancement (both for good and evil) in our own times is the computer (and I include the concept of cell phones in that). How quickly we've become totally dependent on them! And how quickly they spread hate and lies to the gullible and dangerous.

  2. I think the only reason I remember my phone is that I listen to audiobooks while I commute. Boy I remember listening to books on CD that I would check out of the library (they would be all scratched & skip), and I remember listening to books on tape (spent MANY MINUTES fixing them with a pencil eraser - and sometimes a screwdriver to just take them completely apart to fix a twisted bit). Phones are a lot easier!

  3. What a fantastic post, I relate to it on so many levels. My mum was born in 1913 and like your grandmother she saw more changes than any other generation. On the rare occasions I forget my phone, I fret about being without it. I would do that to the bad guys too, and all the other nasty ones.

  4. PS I also had a computer running on DOS!

  5. Grateful for my mantram that keeps all the what if's at bay.

  6. We are in the middle of a heatwave! Which is rare for us so we're all suffering. Global warming maybe?
    Anyway, changes, gosh yes. So many major ones. I think we got a phone when I was about 18. My 12-year-old granddaughter is glued to hers.