On January 4, 2017

Hanging onto the old

I don’t know when I got so behind the times but I have a feeling that retirement is the culprit!
I am happy in my little world of limited technology but when various items need replacing I am going to have quite the time adjusting.
I am the type who tends to replace things only when something goes wrong. That logic made me keep my previous car for 17 years. My current car is 11 years old and I hope to have it another 11 years! As you might guess, my car starts with a key.
For some reason I had never noticed until recently that there is no key sticking out of the ignition of my friends’ cars. I asked one of them how she starts her car. I got an explanation and learned a new word in the process – “fob.” I could detect some concern that her key fob battery might choose to die at an inopportune time. Her car manual probably gives an alternate start method, but we seniors like to keep things simple. As I listened, my old-fashioned logic kicked in and I knew that my car key would never have that problem. Car keys have served me well for over 50 years!
The same key that starts my car also lets me into it. No keyless entry for me … but that is one feature that I would probably like … maybe in another 11 years when I trade cars!
At this time of year I see cars running and their lights on without people dashing out into the cold to make that happen. Maybe some day I will get more modern and have a car starter installed but until then I “build character” each day when I put on my coat and hustle to the car. Now if there were a robot that could clean the snow and ice off the car roof, hood and trunk I would probably opt for that.
I recently read where downtown Rutland is getting parking kiosks. This will be quite a step up after spending my entire life feeding coins into the old-fashioned silver colored meters, followed by cranking the knob to show the amount of time I get for my money. I checked out the instructional video presented by the Downtown Rutland Partnership. I now know what my friend meant when she told me to be sure to push the green button before taking any option. We seniors tend to balk a little when something changes in our lives.
My computer time is strictly spent on my desktop. However, a discussion with friends in my breakfast group revealed that I am the only one stuck in this ancient mode of communication. It may have started that way for others but they have moved on to iPads, tablets, smart phones and the like. All of these fit into their lives in one way or another. Because I am a freelance writer I spend quite a bit of time doing research on the computer. But when I am done, I walk away from my desktop and move on to something else, preferably the outdoors.
When I show people my cell phone, there is always a look of amazement that such a device is still being used. My Tracfone was purchased in 2003 and looks like an antique compared to what most people use. I add my minutes annually and consider it as my link to the world when I am on the road or out for a hike. It doesn’t take pictures. It can’t do emails or texts. And, of course, it doesn’t let me browse the internet. But, hey, it’s old. It’s familiar. And it works! I tell people to never leave a message on my cell phone because I have no idea how to get it. If anyone has done that, the message could have been there since 2003!
The next change for me to deal with will probably be our TV remote. I have finally figured out all the buttons on the one we currently have. That makes me want to keep it forever! But some buttons are getting worn so it won’t be long until I am faced with a new challenge. My neighbor says he talks into his remote to change channels. Oh dear!
Someone asked me when I planned to switch from my electric stove with the coiled griddles to a cooktop. I bet you know the answer to that: When it dies!
Other appliances that have me in the “dark ages” are my washing machine and dryer. I am not ready to do my laundry using a digital touch pad. That setup “spells” a faster malfunction than the knobs I pull out to start my washer and dryer. Doing that works for me. I will probably keep both of them until parts can no longer be obtained.
My portable radio, perched on the kitchen shelf, is probably not the way the majority of people listen to music these days. But I love the local stations and have no desire to “stream” music on my non-existent devices.
And you have heard it before from me, there is nothing like a book with actual paper pages to turn. The scent of a new book is one I love. Can’t get that on a Kindle!
Let’s face it, all the items I keep hanging onto are “oldies but goodies” …  just like me.

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