Monday, July 24, 2017

A Week Without Trump, Cell Phones, My Big Toe, and I Forgot the Other Thing

Folks, I just couldn't write about Trump's continued degradation of America this week. There's just so much going on it makes my head spin. Each day is worse than the last. So many parts of the puzzle, some fit, some don't (yet). White House staffers getting fired, others quitting. So many cover-ups, so much corruption. Trump is playing sleight of hand to distract everyone from his failures and lies. Nobody is governing. Nero is fiddling while Rome is burning. I find myself longing for the days when America was great. Six months, five days ago!

OVER MY life-time these changes have always been for the better. Granted, life was much simpler back in the day, but I wouldn't trade it for our technology and modern conveniences. For instance, take the cell phone. We have become totally dependent on those hand-held devices. Nothing stops me dead in my tracks and causes a wave of anxiety than thinking I have lost my phone. The only comparable thing back in the day was thinking I had lost my child.

CELL PHONES give an all new meaning to the saying, “Bad news travels fast.” On the evening news you will notice at every traffic accident or newsworthy incident, those involved are on their cell phones, undoubtedly calling their friends and family. Back in the day, they would have written a letter. There's something about “old news” that makes it not quite so bad.

CELL PHONES notify us when a child is missing. We don't know the child, but yet we worry. The least they could do is tell us if the missing child was abducted by an aggrieved parent or a stranger, and tell us when the child is found safe.

OUR CELL phones notify us when a bad storm is imminent. When I was growing up, my Daddy forecast the weather by the Farmer's Almanac and his joints. That was before global warming and it was easier to predict. However, he failed to predict a snow storm. Imagine living in deep Southeast Georgia where no one had ever seen snow and never dreamed they would. You are awakened in the middle of the night by your Daddy yelling something incomprehensible. He had gone out on the porch to either get wood for the fire or do whatever it is men do off a porch. Everything was white. His first thought was that he had died.

SINCE CELL phones and advances in technology, we no longer have to think or remember. We are notified when a bill is due, when we have an appointment, when it's someone's birthday, and we never have to memorize a phone number. I have a watch I wear that alarms to tell me I've been sitting too long at my computer so “get moving.” The microwave “beeps” to remind that you cooked something. The dishwasher beeps when it's finished. The clothes dryer buzzes. Our cars remind us when we need to buy gas or get an oil change. As our lives become more and more complicated, we have to remember less and less.

I'VE ALWAYS heard, “use it or lose it.” In today's world, I have noticed that poor memories are not exclusively an older person's problem. We are losing our ability to think and remember because we no longer have to do it. There was something else I was going to write about cell phones but I forgot what it was.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, I stubbed my toe today. My son asked, “Mom, what is it with you and your toes?” Then I toe cured me from being impulsive.

WHERE I grew up in the pines and palmettos in Southeast Georgia, all we had were dirt roads consisting of hard-packed sand. Routinely, my parents would let me ride on the back of my Daddy’s old red truck. I loved to sit on the tailgate and dangle my bare feet. I did this a hundred times and never had a mishap, except for once. I was sitting on the tailgate looking down on the road as Daddy drove. I became mesmerized. The road appeared to be moving, not the truck, and the road looked smooth as glass. I just couldn’t help myself. I had to touch the road! I made sure Mama and Daddy’s heads were straight ahead. I held onto the chain on the tailgate and lowed myself ever so carefully until my big toe touched the road. It dang near ripped it off! Oh no! What am I going to do? They will kill me if they see my toe. I hung my toe off the truck, careful not to leave any blood evidence on the truck. Since the damage was on the underside of my toe, I learned to walk with it sticking up and just kind of hid out until it healed.

MANY YEARS later, I was standing on the corner at Five Points in Atlanta. A Marta bus was turning the corner. The big wheels were moving slow and effortless. I became mesmerized. I had an urge to stick my foot under the tire. Then I thought about my toe and the dirt road.

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