The difference sixty-two years made

It’s four twenty-nine pm, near the end of the first day after falling back into standard time. Supposedly, I recovered the hour I lost in the spring when we sprang forward into daylight savings time. Funny, I don’t feel like I gained an hour. I still had to take a nap this afternoon. I guess it’s just something we old timers must do, since sleeping a full night is something from long ago. It’s been cloudy all day, with light drizzles of rain off and on. The temperature has been in the low sixties (mid-teens for you Celsius users), perfect conditions for me to rewind my memory to a time sixty-two years ago. I was just thinking about the living conditions for me then compared to now.

During the fall of 1962, I was twelve years old. On an afternoon like this, I would’ve been in the house by now sitting by the fire of our wood-burning stove. The little yellow school bus would’ve delivered me to my home in the country a short while ago. Soon after arriving home, I had chores to do, the main among them would’ve been collecting firewood for the night and toting water from my grandparents’ place a couple of hundred yards behind us. Grandpa had a pump outside from which I would manually use the handle to pump water. We were poor folks, living without indoor plumbing, and any other creature comforts one takes for granted in suburban America today. We did have electricity though, which allowed us to have a 60-watt light hanging from the ceiling in each room, a radio, and a black and white television. We picked up television broadcasts from Memphis, Tennessee forty-five miles away with an antenna affixed to the roof. The antenna had to be positioned just right, or we would find ourselves looking at nothing but snow. If there were wood logs already cut to fit the stove, collecting them, and placing them in the corner behind the stove wasn’t too bad. However, if no logs had been cut for the stove, I had to split the wood blocks taken from the wood pile.

Fast forward to November 7, 2022. I’m sitting at a desk in my home office, pecking away at transferring my thoughts to a screen on my laptop computer. By the way, we have three working computers.  As I survey my surroundings, I’m aware of many items and amenities I have today that we didn’t in 1962. I’ve already mentioned the computers. Other things include living in a house in suburbia with central heat and air, hot and cold running water, a nicely manicured lawn, proximity to stores and shops for all our material needs, automobiles that operate dependably, and collection of other items we could only see in use by white folks on television sixty-two years ago. I’ve been blessed with travel to most of the states that comprise the United States, as well as some international travel.

I’m now experiencing a very satisfying retirement that was made possible by acquiring an education of which my parents couldn’t begin to dream. Chris and I both came from similar backgrounds, with similar opportunities afforded us to find ourselves in the blessed conditions under which we now live.

It may sound like a platitude of sorts; however, I can say without hesitation that life (God) has been good to me in countless ways. There have been no coincidences here.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

6 thoughts on “The difference sixty-two years made

  1. rangewriter November 18, 2022 / 5:08 pm

    It’s important to look back at where we came from and how much easier our lives are today than they were when we were kids. We have luxuries that our parents/grandparents did w/o in their elderly years. The simple act of retiring is a luxury in itself.

    Thanks for sharing this glimpse of your youth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oldandblessed November 18, 2022 / 11:30 am

      I’m always amazed at how common many of our experiences have been, regardless of race or ethnicity, especially in the South. One can’t help but wonder why is it so hard for us to acknowledge our similarities, which are far gretaer than our differences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rangewriter November 18, 2022 / 11:33 am

        So true. As they say, (the wise ones) we all bleed red blood.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. CG November 19, 2022 / 7:09 am

    In 1962 I was 15. You always make me feel comfortable and blessed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. catterel November 22, 2022 / 9:59 am

    It’s so good for us to remember how things used to be, and ow far we have come – so grateful!!


  4. lewbornmann November 29, 2022 / 5:08 pm

    In 1962 I was 26, had served in the Air Force, traveled around the world, and was back in college. I am one of those “White folks” you refer to and from the northeast rather than the south. My dad was in the NJ state police but being born during the depression, finances were limited – though not nearly as much as for you. We had indoor plumbing and a coal furnace (that needed frequent attention). Similar to you, I am greatful for the benefits afforded by a college education – my dad left school to work after the third grade.

    Yes, time has been good to me, and I also am extremely grateful for all I have been given.

    Liked by 1 person

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