Sunday, June 30, 2013

3746 I remember

Sunday, June 30, 2013

And who can doubt that it will lead to the worst disorders when minds created free by God are compelled to submit slavishly to an outside will?  When we are told to deny our senses and subject them to the will of others?  When people devoid of whatsoever competence are made judges over experts and are granted authority to treat them as they please?  These are the novelties which are apt to bring about the ruin of commonwealths and the subversion of the state.
--Galileo Galilei--


I remember the insecticide spraying of my childhood.  Trucks went up and down the street almost every evening, spraying.  They killed indiscriminately, though. 

"Sunday Morning" did a segment today on mosquitoes.   They, the mosquitoes, are winning.  With so much flooding all over the world and evolving resistance to insecticides, I think it's likely to get worse.

We have a lot of mosquitoes in the city house neighborhood.  Big ones.  I'm pretty lucky in that I am rarely bitten, but the Nugget attracts them in droves, even when she's covered in repellent, and worse, her parents often take her on hikes in the woods.  Her little legs are covered with bites.  I worry (a LOT) about all the nasty diseases carried by the bugs, so I bought some of those yellow, coiled, inexpensive bracelets impregnated with citronella oil, geranium oil, and lemon grass oil.  Reviews claim they work.  I intended to put one on one of her wrists, and another on the opposite ankle.

Maybe they do work.  We'll never know because they stink so strongly they make your eyes burn, and the Nugget absolutely, flatly, vociferously refuses to wear one, let alone the two I'd prefer.

We went for a walk the other evening, and I wore the bracelets myself.  They seemed to work as long as she held my hand -- the hand with two bracelets on the wrist -- but she's too independent for that, wants to explore on her own (plus she wanted to distance herself from the stink), so within a half block we had to retreat back home.

She's too young to accept the logical argument that "the bites are worse than the stink, therefore you should accept the bracelets."


Perfection would be a trained pet bird that sits on her shoulder and eats any bug that comes near her.  Opportunity for an entrepreneur!  You'd be a billionaire in a year!


I remember when milk, eggs, and bread were delivered to your door.  The milk came in glass bottles with heavy cream at the top, and paper caps.  If you didn't have a milk box and a bread box by the door, you had to guard them from squirrels.  Squirrels would pull the paper caps off the bottles and lick out all the cream.


I remember when the dry cleaner man came to your house to pick up and deliver laundry.


I remember when sheets and bras, shirts, blouses, skirts, dresses, pants, tablecloths, and often men's boxer shorts had to be ironed.  In effect, everything except towels.

I remember hanging wet laundry on a clothesline when the temperature was below freezing, and gloves were too awkward for the job.


I remember when all doctors made house calls. If you had a fever, they figured you shouldn't be going out.  They didn't want you spreading germs, and getting sicker from the physical stress of getting to the office.

Now, no matter how you feel, if you can't drag yourself to the office or the ER, you need an ambulance.  I don't understand.


I remember ashtrays in hospital rooms, theaters, airplanes, buses.  I remember when teachers smoked in the classroom, especially in college.


I remember when nobody we knew had a TV.  Then when we all got them, I remember when shows usually had one sponsor, there were commercials at the beginning and end of the show, and maybe one in the middle, and there was ONE commercial at those breaks.  I remember how horrified I was when they started doing two and three commercials for different products, all in a row.


I remember when, especially in larger communities, you didn't ride the school bus if you lived within a mile of the school.  Even in elementary school.  You were expected to walk or ride your bike.  In cities, they didn't even have dedicated school buses.  If you qualified, you were issued tickets for the city public buses, and rode with the general public.

Sheesh.  Now, the school bus drivers around here won't pick up or drop off a child under 12 years old unless there's an "approved" adult to "release" and "receive" at the bus stop.  Think about that a minute -- if a 7-year-old, known to the driver as a regular rider, is standing there alone in the morning, the driver won't pick the kid up, will drive off leaving the kid standing there.  Is that supposed to be safer for the kid?  Or does it have more to do with liability insurance?


I remember when a woman couldn't get a job beyond clerical, secretarial, or service if there was even one man who applied, regardless of comparative qualifications.  (I lived that one.)  And a woman couldn't get a loan unless her male keeper (father or husband) cosigned.

I remember when when a woman's husband could walk into a bank and drain her personal in-her-own-name-only accounts, and could sell anything she owned in her own name, including a business, without her permission.  (I lived that one, too.  It's how Ex#1 tried to prevent me from leaving him.)

Women were kept "in their place", by law.


I remember life before air conditioning.  I remember outhouses.  I remember woodstoves -- not the fancy ones for supplimental heat, I mean like in the kitchen, for cooking.  When I was in high school, most of my friends had outhouses and woodstoves.

For a short period in my early years, Gramma had a real honest-to-goodness ice box.  The iceman delivered blocks of ice for it.

I remember coal bins in the basement, the roar of coal being delivered down a chute, and shoveling coal into the furnace and carrying ashes out.  As the eldest kid, that was my job.


I remember when Yale, Harvard, MIT and other highly selective technical schools did not accept female undergraduate applicants.  Period.  Women could go to one of the associated women's colleges, which were more liberal arts oriented.  It may have been separate, but not exactly equal.


I remember the civil rights movement, but it seemed remote because it wasn't reported on or discussed much in the north.  Things were so very separate that we northern white folks didn't much see segregation.  It was invisible.  The closest I came was when the high school class ahead of mine couldn't go on the traditional senior class trip because the one black student in the school was in their class, and the usual trip hotels and restaurants wouldn't allow her in.


I remember when girls had to wear skirts to school, including college classes and the library, and if the hem was above your knees you were sent home to change.


I remember when long-distance calls were expensive, and were made only for emergencies and special occasions.  I remember party lines.  I remember the onionskin paper of airmail letters and envelopes.


I remember life before cell phones and the internet, back when it was possible to relax, to escape demands, to be "unavailable".  When things weren't so immediate and insistent.  Back when people sent real letters and cards.


I remember when citrus fruit was rare in the winter, and an orange in your Christmas stocking was a true treat.


You know what I find absolutely amazing about today?  That apparently a girl STILL can't, either because of the rules or because of social pressure, go to her prom without an escort. 


Sherry Gould said...

Try Bounce dryer sheets in the pockets.


~~Silk said...

has left a new comment on your post "3746 I remember


I also remember all those things. I'm not so sure that life is better now. Somewhere we have lost our moral compas.

Posted by Bella to I Don't Understand

at 6/30/13, 11:11 PM