Monday, September 30, 2013

The 21st Century Devil Comes With A Keyboard

Not to give too much away here, but I learned to type on a manual typewriter when I was in high school.  The television in our home was still operating off of a dial antenna, everybody still had album record players, and if you had an 8 track tape installed in your vehicle for easy music listening, man alive, you were in high cotton!

I held jobs all though high school and after, but my first “real” job in an office setting turned out to be quite the experience. In 1986 I worked as a customer service representative and my job was to take payments and enter applications on the computer.  That part of my job didn’t feel all that foreign I guess; but the fax machine, ah…that little dilly of a deal threw me for a loop! It took me several days to understand why the paper I kept feeding it, to go somewhere else, was coming back to me. In my mind, if it kept coming back, it never made it to where it was going. I would put it back in and send it again, and again. Until finally, someone who had received that paper about twenty times, called, and asked me to stop. That story is probably still being told somewhere by someone.

Now that everything we do seems to involve technology it shouldn’t seem like such a shock I guess. We have been moving towards this hard and fast for the past forty plus years. Telephones, cell phones, DVD players, Blu-Ray Players, Skype, and Face-Time.  With the highest grade cell phones and the picture programs that go with them, who needs a camera anymore? With the various social networks, you can see and talk to people you haven’t seen in forever and capture twenty missing years in one afternoon sitting.

But to have all of these things, you must make yourself vulnerable. You must allow your name, your “secret” password, your face, and other pertinent information be all but broadcast to the world. We are told of security’s set in place, but how real is that I ask you?

Three weeks ago my email account and my social network accounts were hacked within one week of each other. Some maniac wreaked havoc on all my email contacts and sent gosh awful things to all kinds of people. Not only that, but the hackers actually got into my computer and shut it down. I had to pay $200 to get it cleaned up and back on line.

As much as I ranted and raved during all of that, I could hear in the back of my mind, my Daddy telling me years and years ago, that all of this technology, this invasion of privacy, was not good and would catch up with us all one day. I am beginning to think my Daddy in all his infinite wisdom may have been right. There is a clan of tech savvy devil’s out there somewhere, stalking and planning an attack on your email or worse maybe even your back account.

P.S. If some genius could just create a one minute window to “snatch back” texts that are sent to the WRONG THAT is something worthy of creating.  Not that I know anything about that sort of thing.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Parenting 101 ....TakeTwo

I have no idea how I got to this point in my life, yet here I am. My children are almost grown. One is just starting college; the other has just completed Graduate School.  My children are nine years apart in age so I have lived quite the glory land with both of them.  Except for about nine years in between, they were both able to experience being an only child. And I have been able to experience motherhood with a child still at home, headed into my Fifties.

The curve ball to all of this is that if my children are almost grown, and I am almost fifty, well then my parents are well into their seventies. There within lies the Catch 22. I like everyone else my age that is lucky enough to still have both parents living, is also experiencing another “parenting” experience of a whole different kind. Some days, I am the parent to four individuals instead of two.

Years ago I watched my Father help complete his Father’s life in his last years. It’s difficult to help people that have always been strong and independent. Because even when they are no longer either of those things, somewhere in their minds, in spits and sputters of time, they still are and they resent being treated as if they are any less.

They learn to deceive, evade and avoid all questioning. They hide information to protect you and in their minds, to protect themselves. They don’t want to be “tended” to, and they would rather that you mind your own business. They know what to ask at their doctors’ appointments, they do not need reminders from us.

It’s a tightrope that I walk. Show concern, but not too much, ask questions, but not delve too deep, to show compassion without it appearing to be pity; and to know that my day will be here soon enough. Will I be as difficult? Most likely. Will I demand respect? Absolutely. Will my children be able to handle it? I’m hoping how they were raised will shine through at a time when it may be needed the most.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

It's Never Really Over

The New BobCats... Season 2013
Looking for a place to park is always easy. I’m always early. I get out of my truck, walk down the street, and take my place in line. Finally, it’s my turn, greetings all around; I pay, and move on. I glance up to search out my “regular” spot to sit, and it’s empty. I had wondered if it would be, or if someone else would have already taken my place. 

Suddenly the all too familiar smells both assault my nose and bring it pleasure, all at the same time.  Fresh cut grass, smoke rolling from a grill, and popcorn exploding in a machine not too far in the distance.

Then I hear grunts, and groans, and shouting.  I turn around and there they all are, dressed out in their uniforms, spread out like an army, and ready to rumble. They’re on the field, warming those muscles up, getting ready for the first game of the year, the Fall Football Jamboree. 

I climb the steps to my old seat in the bleachers. They are made of aluminum and on a hot August night, they will be warm to the bare legs. I always sit at the tip top because if there is ever a going to be a breeze that might be the only place you feel it. 

My camera in tow, I settle in, start framing shots, and look for my target. It’s then that my mind finally understands, he’s not out there. My son wrapped up his high school football career last year. It seems unreal to me that it has really happened and the emptiness that I have already felt several times over begins to set in. So many things have changed, and yet life still moves on. 

I may not have a “dog in this fight” anymore, but I still know plenty of the other young men who are coming up, and taking the place of all the others gone before them. It’s a fresh new season and I know a lot of Mama’s who will be proud that I’m here with my camera and ready to help create memories.  I’m not quite ready to hang up my Pom Pom’s yet. I think you have to kind of wean yourself off of these things. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.