Things Have Changed

May be an image of 3 people, television and text that says 'It's 1970 and we are sitting in front of the tv enjoying our Swanson tv dinners on the tv trays. took the picture, that's why you don't see me. It doesn' get any better than this.'

Things have certainly changed over the years. The photo shows life around 1970, and I saw it today which triggered my thoughts. It is not my family, but I couldn't remove the caption.

TV trays, remember them? We also had TV dinners! Our TV was black and white until the late 70's, and only got 3 channels determined by which way Dad turned the antenna on the back of the house with his pipe wrench, and every show was filmed in the snow. OK, it wasn't actually snowing on every show, it was our weak analog signal. Didn't matter which channel you put it on, you didn't have to worry about who was in the room. The shows were family oriented and safe. If the TV quit, Dad took out all the tubes, carried them up to the tube tester at Minute Market, tested them till he found a bad one, and we went back home, and every single time I can remember, the TV went back to working.

Some folks had modern shaggy carpet, occasionally orange or yellow or green, even had a lawn rake inside the house to groom it. Ours was indoor/outdoor carpet in the one room we had it in, I guess because we were pretty good about bringing the outdoors indoors every day. Air conditioning was cheap, just open the windows. We had something called a swamp cooler, but it still felt like you were in the swamp. Clothes were dried with the latest dryer, using both solar and wind energy. Diapers got washed, not thrown away. The one car we had required us to go get Dad at work at the end of every day if Mom needed it that afternoon. Occasionally Dad walked home from work, a couple of miles. I would sit at the end of the street on my bike on the sidewalk and wait for him to turn the corner in that old car at 5:05pm on the days he had it, and race him to our house. Funny, I always won.

We got mostly clothes for Christmas when many others got bikes and cassette recorders. If we got non-essentials, it was small and modest. We didn't have much money to do anything but the necessities, but God always covered those, and I wouldn't trade those days for anything you could offer me. OK, some of these memories dipped back into the late 60's some, but those were great times. Kids had the run of the neighborhood with no worries about someone hurting them, and we knew every family on our block and usually adjacent streets. Kids hurt ourselves enough to cover concerns by our parents, but there just wasn't evil to contend with. We were told to go outside and 'play' and play had some of us digging tunnels like Hogan's Heroes. Our parents were astounded at how much dirt we moved.

We had open chains that often caught our pant legs on our oftentimes home built bicycles, no helmets, no pads. We had banana seats and extended our forks to make choppers. We fixed our own flats, often more than once a day, and could disassemble, paint and reassemble our bikes with our eyes closed. We built ramps to see who could jump their bikes the furthest, and as some got to be teenagers, we had mini-bikes with motors and really had the run of that side of town. People were inherently good, and even if they didn't go to church, they might remind you at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon that it was time for you to get ready for church.

Hippies were everywhere, but they weren't dangerous or evil or bad, they just thought a little different, dressed a little different, and had long hair. They would still help you if you needed it, and their message wasn't hate. If we look around our world today, wouldn't it be nice if that kind and degree of different was all we had to contend with.

Finally, we had family life, Mom always had something cooked and on the table, or we were very tankful for sandwiches, PB&J or Ham. Dad worked diligently, and could fix anything and taught us to do the same. They taught us love and how to manage money. They made certain we learned about God and His will for our lives.

Times change, and so do people. If you had any of those good times 45-60 years ago, you can make your own list of memories, and recall how much things were different back then. My prayer is that today's kids will be able to look back in 50 years and talk about how bad things were in the 20's, and how much better they are in the 70's. May God work to change our world, and the hearts of mankind to be more like Him, and purge the evil that is so prevalent and driving the decisions in our world today.