I know a lot of us are thinking about how much the world has changed in the past two years, but the other day I was thinking back past that. Mollie mentioned that she just couldn’t imagine how the world worked before cell phones. Did you have to sit at home just to talk to your friends?
What if your plans changed after everyone left home? What if you had car trouble in the middle of nowhere? How did we live? Although it was certainly normal enough when I was a kid, I had to admit I’m not sure how we managed.
It got me thinking of a couple of other small things that have changed so very much. I remember going to the grocery story with my mom. Getting the groceries was much the same as now, but our kids would never recognize the check-out procedures. Usually, mom would place me on the little conveyor belt and I’d ride a few feet laughing with the check-out lady.
No one worried about me pinching a finger or worse or about my folks suing the store if I did. As soon as I got down the eager bag boy was taking everything from the cart and placing it onto the counter to be run up. The customer never did that. Then the boy bagged your items in tall, reusable brown paper bags and placed everything back in the cart. Then, smiling at me, the boy would wait until I had the privilege of jumping on the gray mat at the door and watching it magically open by itself. As Mom and I walked hand in hand the young man rolled the groceries to the car and put them in the backseat. It’s a wonder he didn’t come home and unload them for us. The customer service back then was great.
Another place this was more than evident was at the gas station. Now I stop to get gas in the rain, cold or wind and I get out and pump it without a thought, except that I wish it wasn’t raining, cold or windy. The station that my parents went to when I was little was a bit different.
When we pulled in the young men – usually two, ran, they actually ran to our car. One would say ‘Fill ’er up?’ as the other one began washing our windshield before he popped the hood and checked the oil. One of them then ran to the station and back with our change.
All this now seems like fiction from a 50’s movie, but it all really happened. Do you have memories like this? Some things that your kids or grandkids hear you saying and think you’ve finally lost your mind. Share them if you do.