Wednesday, August 27, 2008
What do you think this place was in its day? A gas station? Or, as we used to say back when people actually helped you out, a service station? A grocery store? I vote for a combination service station/supply store myself, but perhaps one of my local readers can tell me for sure what this place really used to be. For all I know, this was once a railroad station.
We all know I won't have the facts straight.
For the record, when I was alternating between standing in the middle of the road and trespassing, a car loaded with people pulled up. I was preparing my "I'm just taking pictures not trespassing and I am really not some lunatic, well, arguably," speech when I realized I knew the driver.
I was safe. This time.
This delightful building is located down Shadow, which is on the way to New Point. Notice how small it is. Assuming this was once a commercial building (and let's just go with that for the sake of argument because I'm trying to make a point, stay tuned, it's coming), you can bet there were no ATM's, no racks loaded with mindless magazines, and no day-old hot dogs swirling in their own grease under a heat lamp. Not that I have anything against all that. In fact I resemble that remark about the hot dog. Or rather, sometimes I feel like I am swirling in my own filth under a heat lamp. Or sometimes I feel like a day-old hot dog. Swirling. In grease.
Let's continue, shall we?
Regardless of what this was, I'm merely trying to say things were different not that long ago....much simpler, much more basic and without all the Stuff. By Stuff I mean too much stuff, too many choices, too much of everything.
Speaking of simpler times (and we were, weren't we?), I often think about the differences between my childhood and how my children live now.
When I was growing up, there were three or four TV channels at most, and none of them were geared towards children. Cartoons aired on Saturday morning, and Walt Disney movies were Sunday night. Other than that, any television we watched was pretty much this: the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, roller derby and Match Game 76.
My kids can't go anywhere without their hand-held electronic games. They watch any number of the multiple channels that air children's shows 24-hours a day. For goodness sakes these days most vehicles come equipped with individual DVD players for each child presumably to provide entertainment. The Chesapeake Bay Family drove cross country and back squashed in a Volkswagen van. All I had was a book and endless hours of daydreaming, staring out the window, and poking Middle Sister. We were gone for a month and didn't see TV the entire time.
Below is something I wrote in my diary when I was 10:
July 14, 1975
Today I had fun. This morning we played the Game of the States. It was fun. Then I went to Neighbor Girl's house. We picked blackberries and grapes. Then we went to the pool, but it was raining. So we played in the rain a little.
-Chesapeake Bay Child
So let's dissect this a moment:
1. I played a board game, which consisted of a cardboard playing surface and pieces shaped like states.
2. The game was (gasp!) educational.
2. I thought that was fun.
3. I then walked to my neighbor's house and we picked ourselves some fresh fruit, right off the vine. (No Yo-Gos, fruit (?) roll-ups or goldfish for us.)
4. We then intended to exercise more, by swimming.
5. Except it was raining, so we just amused ourselves by lollygagging and splashing around in the mud puddles.
6. Things were so much simpler then.
I am starting to sound like my grandmother, but I do wish we could go back to simpler times.
In the meantime, I'm off to Zooms to use the ATM machine, buy a People magazine and eat a hot dog that's been swirling under the heat lamp. Swirling in its own grease.
I don't understand why I like saying that so much.
Time to stop this swirling nonsense of a post right now. You may now wake up.