Saturday, February 22, 2014


I want to be able to pour my first cup of coffee, add my skim milk and walk into the den, plop down into my chair, grab one remote and press one button.  We are so past sending men to the moon and yet, with all of the wonders of our computer age, using any new device is more complicated and requires a laptop. 
This picture, 1988, represents the hope of tomorrow.  A toddler being held in place by her Daddy so her mother can take a picture of their brand new, beautiful television set, a gift from her generous great-grandmother.  Top of the line with beautiful color.  A true pleasure to possess, anticipating years of entertainment and information.

Our first t.v. was black and white and had such a small screen that one of us had to jump up and go read any pertinent words in the story we were watching.  A true story.  But all we had to do was plug it into an outlet in our first apartment on the first day of moving in and ta da.   Modern television.  No waiting for an appointed, accredited, officially sanctified employee with the secret handshake of knowledge bestowed in an old underground former fallout shelter owned by a large conglomerate where everyone sits around laughing about Mrs. Taylor while they dine on cheese and crackers.  (All apologies to anyone resembling this description who is a friend or friend of a friend of mine.  Or relative of a relative.)

We moved up in the world on this day in 1988.  Of course, we had really moved up in the world the year before when this little model arrived in our lives.  But maybe not quite, concerning the t.v.  We still did not have a magical remote, just easily accessible buttons. 

Cate and Finn have been making fun of this t.v. for years.  Other family members once insulted the color of a football field a few years ago, while enjoying a weekend at our house.  In the last few months, the sound started having just the slightest hint of a buzz but we were used to it like you get used to a button being off of your favorite old run around jacket.  Still works.  Truly, the skin tones were still good and all of the tornado warning maps were still the proper color, maybe a little bit brighter.

The history and culture of our world in the last twenty six years has lit up our home because of this set.  The fall of the Berlin Wall.  The first bombs of Desert Storm. Peter Jennings delivering the news.  Maya Angelou reading the inaugural poem "On the Pulse of Morning" while fellow Arkansan President Clinton looks on.  "There's no place like home" played over and over during the little model's bout with a lingering pneumonia.  Barney.  Kris Allen winning "American Idol."  "China Beach."  Survivors being pulled from the destruction of the Northridge earthquake while I sat watching in my living room.  My first NASCAR race, the Daytona 500 and seeing Dale Earnhardt hit the wall.  Sometimes the unfolding minute by minute into days not allowing me to look away from the screen such as The Sago Mine Disaster when a poem started inside of me and was written while waiting.  The Friday night snare of my always favorite "Dallas."  The funeral of my beloved Princess Diana.    A living Pope riding away from the Vatican while a new Pope steps up to the balcony.

As the years have passed, the sidewalk cellphones have been filming history almost before the professionals can get a camera set up.  September 11, 2001.    

The new NASCAR seasons starts tomorrow, Daytona 500.  Sunday night is big around this house.  Doc Martin.  And as declared, the best show ever, while I was jumping up and down last Sunday, Downton Abbey.  Now we have over 200(?) stations but we don't watch much television.  Tastes change. 

But who can watch a television in the comfort of their favorite chair tomorrow?  Not me.  Nice big brand new television in place.  Your welcome C & F.  The sound problems really became unbearable
this past week.  The BB place helped me pick out a good one, the one they said was made in the U.S.A.  I always ask, even though we know the odds of a technical item being American made is like me not eating an entire box of newly delivered Thin Mints, with restraint, over the weekend.  My BB helper obviously doesn't know about an American/ Mexican border.  He also told me it would be easy to install as did the nice lady working for the big conglomerate where I had to trade in boxes. And pick up the ONLY acceptable remote.  Why just one remote?

Oh, well.  Cookies in hand and ensconced in my bedroom, where there is a lovely t.v. that was properly installed a couple of years ago, I'll be watching Jr. and Danica race around the Florida track and Countess Violet and Isobel exchange pithy repartee.  On Monday, I will try to find a human to talk to and schedule reinforcements.

**By the way, the little model was too fashionable to ever wear plain diapers out of the house.  Only when relaxing at home.  Kind of like curlers in your hair.  See.  I date myself even there!

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