An Old Versus Modern Friday Five…

Singing Owl writes…Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation–gulp–was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn’t remember a time without cell phones, and on and on. As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?
Well, I would have thought it was the computer, but I have discovered that I can do well without it…at least for awhile! I think it would be the car. There are so many wonderful places I would never have seen if it were not for the automobile that enabled me to get there.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?
I think we could do without cell phones…I certainly could do without them ringing in the middle of worship. Because we don’t seem to know how to turn them off or to vibrate, they interrupt our efforts to have meaningful face-to-face conversation.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?
I still have a cassette player here in our den, and I can’t remember when we last used it. I think it may be “out of there” by the end of the weekend! Our turntable went out with the unlimited pickup last year after sitting in a closet for a few years.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix…or something else?
I am mostly excited by it, but when I wonder what is ahead for our children and grandchildren, I get a little nervous that our ethics are not keeping pace with the rapid change.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you’d like to regain?
Since I wasn’t there, I can’t be sure. After all, just about anything that my forebears have told me about the “good old days” has been filtered through their experience.

I think I’d like to regain the sense of community that people once had in their neighborhoods. I live in a neighborhood that has more private decks than front porches. We added a front porch to our home several years ago, and we enjoy visiting there with neighbors who are walking their dogs…or watching a summer storm pass over.

We are in the infancy stages of a vision for reclaiming community in our neighborhoods in our congregation. Our hope is that teams of 3-4 households in each geographical area will be salt and light where they live…coordinating help for people who need little things done around their homes, and sponsoring some kind of community-building event like a block party or holiday open house. We call it “Neighborhood Care-ring”.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 08:48:00

    “Neighbourhood Care-ing” I love that!! I miss catching up with neighbours on the front porch too. That was a huge part of my childhood.


  2. Mrs. M
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 08:54:00

    I remember reading a few years ago that neighborhoods with lots of front porches had much lower crime rates, because neighbors are more aware of each other, and notice when things are out of place.


  3. Sophie's Daughter
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 09:11:00

    great idea for neighborhoods!


  4. RevAnne
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 10:42:00

    Love the neighborhood project. Front porches are an essential part of building community; we’ve lost so much when we went to kig back yards. I remember summers at my grandparents’, when we used to either sit on the porch and wait to see who came to see us, or walked down the block to see who else was out.


  5. mid-life rookie
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 11:27:00

    The neighborhood thing is hard in most areas. Our’s does it pretty well. In spite of rear entry garages, there are quite a few people in front yards about 5 or so every afternoon. We (or they as I haven’t helped organize it)have an annual Christmas party. It progresses from house to house for 3 courses. Everyone brings food, so the hosts don’t have to cook it all. We also collect gifts for one or two families in need from our nearby elementary school. It’s been a while since we’ve had a street party in the summer, but we used to do that too.


  6. RevDrKate
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 11:51:00

    I grew up on the front porch, so I think that is fabulous, and I love the Care-Ring idea.


  7. Diane
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 19:55:00

    my #5 is similar to yours, so of course, I agree. we are less likely to relate to each other in neighborhoods…


  8. Singing Owl
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 19:55:00

    Lots of people mentioned front porches. Interesting answers this time around…and I have to say that the beautiful Asian face smiling at my from your sidebar made me smile. 🙂


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