Kidding Around: 50 years ago...

Jan. 11, 2013 @ 05:39 AM

My momma officially turns 50 on Sunday. She is half a century old.

That means that I am two decades and three years old. Weird right?

As my momma and I were discussing possible column ideas together recently, she said that I could make fun of her being 50 if I wanted to. Perfect.

However, I don't want to make fun of her. I actually think that making it to 50 is quite an accomplishment and she is much wiser than I am. Although it did take me a few years to figure that out.

Anyway, we were talking about the column possibilities and it hit her. So here it is folks.

I have looked into several inventions that appeared on the scene during her lifetime. Some of them are items that I could not imagine living without today. Prepare for a trip back in time.

Picture this, you live in the 1960s. You are sitting at home with your family watching Saturday morning cartoons. Many of you readers out there know what life was like in 1963 when my momma was born, but for me it is hard to imagine.

Using the very handy search engine Google, which they definitely did not have in those days, I looked up some of the items that have been invented in the last 50 years.

That brings us to the first obvious invention. My momma did not have a computer or the Internet. Although some computers had been invented at that time, they were not household items and according to stories I have been told, they would not have fit into a house anyway.

Back in those days, there was no sitting in front of a laptop to add to your Pinterest Board, playing Angry Birds or watching Netflix. As my daddy likes to say, when they were little they played baseball outside with a stick and a rock. Today, if you need to find my little brother you can look on the couch where he will be killing zombies on his video game while talking to his friends through his headset.

Here is another kicker. Without the internet, they didn't have social media. Crazy, I know. How could they possibly get to know someone without stalking their Facebook profile or seeing all of their thoughts on Twitter?

Their only form of communication was the telephone. That meant they actually had to pick up the phone, dial a number and hope that the person was home. They didn't even have answering machines when she was a child. And I have heard about party lines. Those sound exciting.

And what about cell phones? Smartphones have become a must have in our world today. Having the world wide web in the palm of your hands is expected. But only a few short years ago the flip phone was the norm and before that people had those giant car phones.

As someone who got her first cell phone in high school, I can't even think about not having one now. How did people communicate when they were traveling? What happened if you got lost? How did your parents know you got to and from college safely?

Being a school teacher, Momma says there have also been many changes in her career because of new technology. She says she was amazed at how grading papers has changed since the 1980s when she began. The things that were once all on paper, are now done with computers. Now she just pops those grades into a computer program and it averages them for her.

It is amazing how things have changed throughout my momma's and even my lifetime. Laptops, iPods, iPads, mp3 players and flat screen televisions are more of the new inventions that have sprung up.

Thinking about the innovations makes me look forward to what we might see in the future. Maybe one day we might all be like The Jetsons zipping around in our flying cars. Who knows what those inventors and mad scientists will come up with next?

To end today's column I want to say an early happy birthday to the woman who inspired me to write it. Happy Birthday Momma I love you!