Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let me Google that.

I have accepted the fact that I am kind of a spoiled brat. I often joke that I never did have the pioneer spirit. I could not in good conscience say that I could farm and grow my own food, travel by horseback, or go who knows long without bathing. Even if I had to. I take things for granted. I have a nice warm home. I have a car that will take to school, to work, or on vacation. I have a soft bed to sleep in. I am grateful I have a bathroom and working toilet even though I complain all the time about cleaning said bathroom. I even take my phone and computer for granted. I often stand in awe of my parents who had to go through college doing research without google, Wikipedia, or online libraries. I can’t even imagine typing term papers on a type writer. Editing would be a nightmare. Instead of just deleting a sentence, or replacing a word/pharse here or there, you would probably end up retyping the whole paper with each draft you wrote. I am just so grateful I live in a time with so many conveniences. I don’t have to rely on the mail to talk to my sister in Missouri. I can vide chat on the computer and actually see my sister and her kids easily. That gratitude was driven even further into my head after my uncle posted this story about my grandpa on Facebook this week.

While sitting tonight mildly cursing the speed of sending an electronic message from this 2 x 5 inch device in my hand, my mind drifted back to a conversation with my father several weeks ago as he showed me the telegram he wired to his parents informing them of his discharge from the Navy at the end of World War II. The telegram, received via Western Union in Central Utah, then traveled two more days by mail to the small Post Office in the mountains for receipt by my grandparents. My father, discharged a couple of days after his ship docked in San Francisco, then traveled by bus across the Sierra Nevada to Salt Lake City, another leg to somewhere south of Provo where the bus line ended, to begin the final 150 miles on foot with his sea bag and as much luck as hitchhiking would bring him. It was very common for travelers on the lonely two-lanes to pick up returning service men as they made their journeys home. Suddenly, the speed of my Wi-Fi seems unimportant, and aren’t we a spoiled lot?

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