I signed up for this whole blog thing just three weeks ago and I guess I jumped in with both feet. Now I’m part of a “Post A Day” challenge and receive emails for inspiration. The photo challenge headline was “Old Fashioned” and the post challenge was “Write about your earliest memory.” Since I don’t have a lot of time here, I’m going to try to be creative to combine both while also keeping my Facebook peeps in the loop with what we are up to in Our Town. It’s a triple challenge! So I’m going to take you back to 1955, 1985 and possibly into the future as well at EXACTLY 88 miles per hour because at PRECISELY 10:04pm lighting is going to strike my clock tower with the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need to hit the bed and be re-charged for tomorrow. That gives me one hour to compose my tale and meet all three objectives so buckle up and get into my DeLorean because we’re going to go fast…

I took Brother out for some special one-on-one time when Sister started Art Camp this summer. We hit up an old battleship and managed to get a private tour in the middle of one of the hottest days of the year through a steel oven that had no open doors or windows for circulation. It was built sometime near the end of WWII and we were actually informed that it was a destroyer quite aptly named as you should have seen my hair and makeup by the time we left. We got to check out the innards of this hot box on water and got to climb every ladder and go down every “hole with a pole” so the kid was in heaven. I left with one of the images burned into my brain. My kid actually had to ask me what this was and the conversation went something as follows:

The old typewriter from our Battleship Tour

What’s that?!?

Well, Brother, it is a typewriter.

It looks weird. What’s it for?

Communicating with other people. Like… writing letters and then putting a stamp on them and delivering them through the postman.

They didn’t have email, huh? Or computers. Or electricity. Did YOU have to do that to talk to your friends before there were telephones?

Oh, Brother. You’re in for it.

Who invented it?

Um. Well. I dunno. But I’m pretty sure it was another Brother who marketed it and put his name on it: Brother. Ha! See! I do know something kid.

I’m not that freakin’ old and certainly not old enough to have composed much on one of those old-fashioned typewriters. I did type my papers in high school and most of college though on an old word processor – again a Brother but from another more modern mother. Man, I can’t even believe that as I sit here now, with just a few clicks of my keyboard I can actually send something out to the world wide web for LITERALLY everyone and their brother to read. It’s super cool I guess, but MAN does technology move at lightning speed!

Look!! It

One of my earliest technological memories was the super-fancy TI computer that my dad bought used for $50 since it was “educational” unlike the Atari all the cool kids had. We used to play Alpiner where you’d use the keyboard as arrows to keep your self on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Everest and The Matterhorn. Yeah, not a whole lot of educational value there but The Matterhorn was my favorite and I was madder than a hornet every time I got killed. I know I’m not the only one who remembers that game, right? I dunno… I also thought a matterhorn was some kind of big mountain goat or sheep or something. Somebody let me know if you know what I’m talking about since I couldn’t find it on Google. Just don’t ram your answers down my throat with sarcastic intellectual elitism, OK? The TI hooked up to our TV and we’d play it for a little while here and there when we had nothing else better to do and I’m sure we had our fair share of fights over that game but it seems like it was about having to take turns. When I got older, my sisters got the first Nintendo that came out and though it was revolutionary at that time, it was NOTHING compared to the Wii and Nintendo DS, DSi’s and even 3DSs my kids have today.

There really are tons of stimulating, healthy and educational games available today, but Great Scott!! Kids actually FIGHT over these things, and I’m not talking about just sibling rivalry either. Parents are shelling out money that many of them probably don’t even have in order to keep their kids equipped with the latest and greatest in violence and video and I’ve seen things reported on the news about kids beating up other kids to take what they have. I do my best to keep my kids away from anything other than an “E for Everyone” game but at some point they are going to be exposed to them through other kids. Let me tell you what I predict for the future here though. If the PreK and Kindergarten set are already screaming at the TV every time they “die” then we are in for a heap of trouble here. I actually have to remind the little zombies to BLINK when they stare at the handheld things and completely zone out. KNOCK to the HEAD… Wake UP, McFly!! I’ve been known on occasion to “lose my ever-loving mind” and snap pictures of complete and total meltdowns to post on Facebook for my friends to see. All I have to do now is hold up my phone when the craziness breaks out because they know how stupid it looks. I’m sick of it and wish I could find a happy medium here. Sometimes I feel like that scene where Marty wails on the guitar and the sound just reverberates through the whole hall. The WAILING and WHINING and CRYING is gonna be the death of me y’all! Sometimes I can only stare slack-jawed at the little robots when they test out new games at the game shop. I can almost here the smart-ass gamer kid behind the counter saying to us, the bewildered parents holding out our credit cards, “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are going to LOVE it!”

Yep, I