Monday, July 9, 2012


I had an arm full of towels while I was getting the lake house ready for renters before we hosted our own Fourth of July parties {Yes, two, in one day, that's how we do it around here!} when the phone rang. "The phone" in this instance refers to the corded landline that is available at The Gathering Place because cell signals can be flaky around Kentucky Lake. Because my hands were full and the phone was down a flight of stairs, I yelled to my 5-year-old daughter who will talk to anyone, "Hey, Cate, will you answer the phone?"

"I don't know who it is!" she responded.

"It's probably, Gran-Gran," I said, thinking about how hardly anyone has the number to this old-fashioned phone and how my mother-in-law was probably on her way to the lake house.

That's all Cate needed to hear, and she picked up the phone hanging on the kitchen wall. "Hey!"

And that's when I realized, my girl has never answered a phone when she wasn't sure who was on the other line. In fact, she's never answered a landline phone. She's only answered my cell phone when she knew, thanks to personalized ringtones, it was either Daddy, Gran-Gran or Grandmom. And she almost always puts my cell phone on speakerphone to talk.

Turns out, it was Gran-Gran on the landline.
I'm 33 years old, but, goodness, I felt even older in that moment thinking about how this generation -- my daughter's generation -- won't know about things that were ordinary to my childhood. There were cassette tapes, dot matrix printers, corded phones that didn't have voice mail or caller ID, and VHS tapes. And, seriously, not one of those things exists in our house. There was no texting and I got my first email address when I enrolled in college and didn't have my own computer on which to check this new, exciting electronic mail. Now I hear Cate say, "Who is the message from?" or "Did you text her?"

My, how things have changed.

And, yes, I realize I aged just saying that. It's probably only a matter of time before I start a story with "When I was a kid ..." and talk about the day of swapping mix tapes with my friends and not being offended with what is acceptable on TV.


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