By Gerry Fischer
It is down-right likely God is telling us something. Think about all the times throughout your life when people have said, “Those were the good old days.” Sometimes they add, “I wish we had them back.” Well, maybe we can get them back, or at least the best part of “The good old days.” Just look at what’s become of us. We play on our computers. Instead of writing a letter, we first decide whether a text, email, Facebook Messenger, My Space, Linked-in, or anyone of a host of other messaging platforms is best. Or, should we make a telephone call? If so, do we choose landline, or cellphone? I guess, that depends on what else we are doing with our cellphone, which is very much like a computer. Of course, we could opt for our “tablet,” not a yellow pad, but rather another hybrid device, between a computer and cellphone. Our choices are so complex because we have bought into the notion, we must have these gadgets in order to be cool, hip or whatever words are used, in vogue today.
There is a movie I like very much, “Absence of Malice,” starring Sally Field and Paul Newman. Sally plays a reporter and Paul Newman a suspected Mafia guy. There is a seen in the movie where Paul Newman visits Sally in her apartment and she is typing a letter to her father. Newman asks her, “Why don’t you just telephone?” She answers, “I could, but when we hang up, what does he have.” You see she knows the letter means more than a call. She composed the letter, addressed the envelope, stamped, and mailed the letter. Thought, effort, and time were given. It is exciting to get a letter. A letter is opened with expectation, not unlike a Christmas present, as it should be. A letter is a treasure.
We use to write letters in longhand, but sadly, cursive’s not being taught. I asked why, and have been told in our “technological society,” it’s unneeded. That’s sad and short sighted. When I came home from school, I had to show my mother and father what I was assigned, and then complete the work. On Friday and Saturday nights, we watched television for a few hours, but after a while Mom would get out the Dominoes, Scrabble, or Monopoly game and we would play on the kitchen table. Dominoes were fun and taught me to calculate scores in my head, Scrabble was fun and taught me to spell and learn vocabulary, Monopoly was fun and playing it, I learned the value of money, collecting my $200.00 for passing “Go,” paying rent, mortgages, taxes, utilities, and railroad fares. I learned the value of “Free Parking. The, games were all fun.
Last week two of our grandchildren called and relayed what fun they were having with their family. They are helping with the children’s school assignments and playing games together. One of their favorites is a dice game called “Yahtzee,” in it you roll five die on the board and if they all come up the same it’s a Yahtzee, and you win at once. You otherwise, total scores, to see who won. Amber told Fran one of the girls got five Yahtzee’s in a row. They had such a good time and were able to laugh and enjoy each other. They had fun playing Yahtzee, even in this technological age, just like we use to have.
When Fran and I were first wed, we had young married friends. None of us had any money, but we would get together at different houses and play cards or a game like Pig Mania, where you threw two model pigs with a spot on either side. You counted the scores, but if the pigs landed where they were touching each other it was called Makin’ Bacon, and that person lost part or all their score. When that happened, we all yelled, “MAKIN’ BACON,” and laughed and laughed. Those were simpler times, kind of like we are experiencing under social distancing.
Maybe with this Carona-virus thing God is allowing us time to see what we are doing, giving time to reassess. Let’s ease up on the technology, get closer together, maybe write a letter and play some games. Enjoy your family and learn about what your children are doing. Take a walk. Maybe if we took more walks, we could save money on our gym memberships.