the Old Way, only better

My kids are remembering “the old days.” A time when cell phone use at schools was hidden in the bathroom so you wouldn’t get caught and have your phone confiscated.

“That was like 6th grade, Mom,” she says. I’m not sure her memory is serving her exactly. ‘She’ is in 10th grade. Four years ago is ancient history to her.

This rattled my brain because I was just reading a kids book where the protagonist was surprised at the freedom of her companion who got to use her cell phone at school. She couldn’t because it would be confiscated. And I thought, that is so dated! They don’t confiscate cell phones anymore. My kids, ahem, text me from class.

But two years ago, if you were caught with your phone out, you could pick it up from the security office at the end of the day. TWO years ago. Now we’re in a new age. The rules have changed. What wasn’t right now is. What a surprise that kids often find rules and regulations simply suggestions.

Now, as a budding author of youth fiction I’m wondering, how do I keep anything relevant with change the only constant? Maybe I should play it safe and just write historical fiction. But who wants to do the research? I guess it’s all right there, in my recent memory – the good parts, the ones I can recall. Maybe it doesn’t all have to be new.

I mean whatever happened to seasons? You know, the revolving of time. Its folding back on itself. Like when the spring comes and it’s time for baseball. Same game. Same rules – pretty much. Slightly different players and managers. But you can count on it to be the same. When you turn it on or head to the field or to the ball park you’ll know how it’s supposed to be played. I like things like this. Things I can count on – not to change. If it’s spring, it must be baseball season. It doesn’t come any sooner just because the world is moving faster.

Ironically, some would say that recreation, like playing the game or going to the ball park to enjoy one, is a waste of time. After all, there are so many other “productive things” I could be doing.  Perhaps. And if I think this way, it does steal the joy from the game. I refuse to let it, but it’s a constant struggle.

But we’ve figured that dilemma out in this country, too. How to work and have our recreation, too. We overlap and shoehorn. We don’t sacrifice anything; we just find a way to fit it all in. That’s what we do at our house. Right now my 10th grader, newly driving herself, is playing both soccer and softball along with refereeing and volunteering and, when she can squeeze it in, doing some school work. I am, thank goodness, now not driving her everywhere (which means I am free to overlap and shoehorn my own schedule – ah the freedom!), but I am still chief cook and bottle washer. Literally.

This morning, I am rinsing the half dozen water bottles that were in use over the weekend. I scrub and empty and turn them upside down to put them on the wooden rack we have. My husband made it 22 years ago to accommodate the baby bottles we were washing, rinsing and drying back then.

Re-purposing. Some might call that innovative. But no, we have been using it right the way along. Perhaps that’s what’s most needed today. Innovators who take what we’ve been using and recall it into action for the new day. That’s creative and, frankly, it’s fun.

If I wrote it, what would it be? Not historical. Nor futuristic. I guess we would call that creative fiction. It speaks about the past to the future by people living firmly in the present. (Star Trek comes to mind, here.)

Speaking of terrestrial, this weekend I was standing on the sidelines, cell phone in hand because my track pants had no pockets, and I needed to free my hands to field balls before they rolled down the hill into the woods. So I reached inside my windbreaker to see if there was a secure pocket. Sure enough. My cell phone fit perfectly in the ‘cigarette pocket.’ I know it wasn’t made for cell phones or iPods because, yes, I purchased this jacket before either of these was invented.

I was creating a new use. Or making better use of the old way. Very futuristic of me, eh?


About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on April 9, 2013, in Body, Life, Mind and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Loved this. Experience this as well, in writing, especially, but also drawing. Excellent blog, as usual. Speaking of pockets, if women’s sweats-pants-shirts do not have pockets – useable pockets – i purchase the men’s version. Started this as a tech in the usaf because the women’s uniform pockets were not adequate for a 7-level screwdriver and pen, which techs were required to carry. Too few lady techs at the time, I guess, and that was not that long ago. 😉

    • Ah, the good old days, eh Judy? Separate and unequal. And you’re reminding me of the men’s running singlets I sewed to overlap the portion that went over the shoulder and shorter the “arm hole” so that my bra wouldn’t be showing. Hard to imagine we ever were concerned about sports bras being anything but outwear 🙂 Alas, at my height I even have trouble finding women’s track pants that are the right length – let alone with pockets!

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