Monday, January 31, 2011

Always Learning

Techie stuff can get overwhelming for anyone. But where there's a will there's a way.

My son's college basketball team played a very important game. This was no ordinary game for us. No. It was determining 1st or 3rd in the conference. And it was 12 hours away. The stations here didn't carry his school althetics.

How were 7 people going to watch on this  monitor?
The only way we could watch it was by internet. I knew it could be done, but I wanted to share it with everyone else. My little mac monitor would make it tough for 7 people to see the screen. Other people mentioned hooking up my laptop to the TV. So my daughter-in-law and I scoured the house for various cords. Okay, we pirated old computers in the house, lol. If it wasn't being used, well, it was up for grabs. We managed to get speakers, laptop, and TV all working. Voila! We watched his team win 1st place via an intense battle in the last few minutes. 

This was the second time in my life that technology was astonishing to me while in the presence of an octogenarian. My mother-in-law and I kept looking at each other stymied by the leaps in human knowledge and ability. Just a few weeks before, we'd Skyped with her for the first time too so she could talk to her great-grandson. Wow! Something we'd thought only possible for James Bond is becoming commonplace. 

When I was 5, the astronauts landed on the moon for the very first time too. It was 1969. My grandfather was 86 years old. Our mouths hung open as we heard the famous words, "One big step..." Then we shot to the window to look up and see if we could spot the man on the moon! How was it we could see the astronauts on the moon on television?

Grandpa & Grandma Nelson with their 3 children during the late 1940's. (The little girl is my mom.)
My grandfather lived in the time of covered wagons and he saw the invention of the car, plane, television, telephone, and first men in space. He lived from 1883 to 1982. My mother-in-law's life overlapped my grandfather's as they both lived through the Great Depression, the World Wars (well she lived through WWII), and civil rights. When grandpa used the phone, even into the 1970's, the operator placed the call. My mother-in-law remembers this but she's lived to see the cell phone and all the crazy options on them and Skype.

I like the options technology gives me. I just really like the open admiration I see in people who have lived in a different time. Yes, my kids think that about me too now. ;-) 

Have you talked to older family about what life was like for them?
Have you thought about what older people have watched happen in their lifetimes?


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