Saturday, March 19, 2011

Times change, or do they?

When Sarah was in middle school one of the projects she had to do involved asking an "older" person about their life and what they had lived through. Since her grandparents had already been hit up for this type of assignment, she asked to talk to her great aunt. We arranged to go to Cleveland and visit, and I would tape the interview so Sarah could concentrate on her questions and later refer back to the tape for detail. My Aunt Dorothy spoke of being raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, remembering the first time street lights went on. She spoke of being sent to a "big city" to find a Jewish husband, of living through World War II and many other things. She spoke of the wonders of technology. Sadly for us, she passed away four years ago, just before she turned 18 for the 64th time (she was always 18, every birthday). I thought about that afternoon the other night when Lou and I were talking to Sarah on google chat. Lillian taught me how to hook up the camera to the laptop (this laptop does not have one built in) and we were chatting with Sarah before she went to bed. She is in London, studying at Sotheby's and had just returned from a class trip to China. How Aunt Dorth would have loved that! Not just the trip, but that we were visually and verbally communicating across thousands of miles. This is such a different world we live in-not just for those of Aunt Dorth's generation, but for me, too. When I went to college, we were allowed to call home once a week, and used the "person to person" collect call signal-usually asking for the dog, good thing they had people names. Now, with cell phones and no extra charge for long distance calling, I talk to Lillian a few times a day while she is in Arizona. The kids stay connected electronically so easily with phones and computers.

And yet, this week I saw a picture of a young boy trying to hit a baseball. I believe this is his first time in organized ball. His family will be going to games, watching the winning and the losing for months and enjoying being outdoors. It made me think of Lillian's years of Y ball in California. Some things don't change, and that's a good thing.

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