Friday, January 23, 2009

Familiar Things Are Disappearing

First, I must thank Kenju at Imagine for giving me the material for this post. I just plain stole it from her. I hope she doesn't mind. Today she wrote a great post on things that they say will soon be extinct in America. Oh, I hope "they" are wrong! I just have to expand on the comment I left on that post.

The number one item on the list was the family farm. I think this is most likely to happen, and I think that it is the most tragic. We need our farms! Today's farms, more and more, are the huge corporate managed farms. The smaller family farm is, indeed, disappearing. I happen to live in Cape May County, NJ, where there are three major sources of income: the tourist trade, and the two things that have been on-going since the beginning - fishing and farming. I know some of the families who have farmed this land for generations. They are good, hard working people who love what they are doing. In some cases, the present generation has just sold off their land to developers, and are enjoying the profits. But most are still struggling on, praying that they will not lose what they hold so precious. And the rest of us, who enjoy the fruits of their labors, are praying with them. We mourn the loss of the beautiful fields and forests that have been replaced by rows of houses and garages and swimming pools. We miss the wildlife which has had to find new habitat. And we miss the many farmstands which offered us fresh, delicious produce, sending us to the supermarket to pay higher prices for inferior veggies. Thank heaven, we do still have a number of wonderful family farms nearby.

Another item on the list was hand written letters. Well, they at least will never be truly extinct so long as I'm around. I cannot imagine not sending a hand written note of thanks for a gift or deed from a kind and loving friend or family member. And what a wonderful reward it is when there is a reaction from that person. It's a bit sad though, because their surprise at receiving such a note would not be there if they received them routinely. The doctor who cared for me during one pregnancy was so very kind and caring for both me and my baby that I sent him a thank you note. Never saw anyone so grateful for a simple note. He said it was the first time anyone had ever sent him one, and he had been in practice for many years. I know that I was always very grateful during the years I worked for our municipality, whenever someone took the trouble to send me a note of thanks for my help. This sort of thing gives you quite a lift, and makes you feel it is all worthwhile. It doesn't take much time or effort, and can mean so much.

I cannot imagine not sending a letter of consolation to someone who has experienced the loss of a family member. I do understand how difficult some people find this. They can't find words. If it is someone you know casually, a card can suffice. But for someone close to you, surely you can find something to say, even if it's only a sentence or two. Just "I'm so sorry". The fact that you take the trouble to send it means everything sometimes. I know. I've been on the receiving end.

And what about love letters? Do people write love letters any more? Love letters between lovers, of course. But I consider them love letters if they are from Mother to Child, or vice versa, or between any two people who truly care for one another. I don't believe I could ever be so happy or satisfied with such things done by email, or (God forbid) by text messaging.

There were many other items on the list. The only one that I would be happy to see go would be the TV news. If that means what they continue to call "news" today, I say good riddance. It isn't news at all. It's geared to either entertainment, or is slanted to favor the opinions of whoever owns the station, or is simply an attempt to stir up fear or horror in their viewing public in the belief that this is what brings them back to watch or listen. If something is really news, the public deserves to hear it NOW, not having to tune in at 11: o'clock.

Well, thank you, Kenju. I think I've got it out of my system now. There were many other items on the list, but none that touched me to this extent. VCR's - I haven't used mine for a long, long time. But I have no idea what to do with all these tapes. Drive-In Theaters - I thought they were gone long ago, and I am sorry because I really enjoyed them. Checks - I wouldn't like to see them go. I hate putting my fnancial business on line, but I suppose I could live with it. There were other things that would make me a bit unhappy, but change is inevitable. Just don't ask me to stop writing letters now and then. We have to keep the Post Office in business for something other than catalogs and circulars.


Anonymous said...

Well, you either inspired me or maybe shamed me (not that I don't have it coming-lol!) with this one. I received a hand-written note from an old firend at Christmas. I had tried to email her a few times last year, but she never replied, nor did her email bounce, but... Now she has written me, and there it sits, starring at me. I know if I could email her, I would have replied a long time ago, but now I'm going to get off my duff and WRITE her, finally! Honest!

Sylvia K said...

I think there are a lot of us that would hate to see some of these things go. It has become a very impersonal world in many ways. In spite of loving my computer and the internet, there are still things that I enjoyed that have already disappeared. Thanks for your post. Have a lovely weekend, Bobbie.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

It is sad to see all the farmland and open space lost to development. I for one am happy when the County purchases property for open space. Even if it means I must pay higher taxes.

I don't send hand written letters and I should. But I know what you mean about receiving a letter at work about being helpful. You know that the powers that be aren't going to tell you you did a good job.

I wouldn't be sad if the news became a thing of the past, but I don't think this will ever happen. there are way too many news channels. A lot of people are news junkies.

I can tell you something that I would love to see gone. The phones systems of today. when I call, I want to talk to someone. Not press this number for...
Another thing that wouldn't hurt my feeling if gone would be cell phones. I hate driving down the road and seeing someone gabbing on the cell. Or worse yet, while shopping. GRRRR.

Okay. I'm done down. Lisa

kenju said...

Bobbie, you can steal anything from me and I won't mind! Thanks for the link. I need to make a small correction, though. I didn't write that post, I got it in email. I should have said that (as I usually do).

Mare said...

Very thought provoking post. Technology has changed so many things so fast and made kife less personal at the same time. I'm not so sure this is progress.

Christine Gram said...

I agree with you that it would be tragic if either family farming or hand written letters were to become "extinct" and I'd be happy to see the current form of the TV news disappear... it has from my life and I don't miss it AT ALL.

I don't think the family farm will go extinct. I see more an more people seeking out produce from small operation farms and eating locally grown. Here in Italy it is the standard and the supermarket produce just doesn't compare to what you can get from the farmers, both in price and quality. I think the US is too good at making crappy food appear healthy.

Anyway, thanks for the post... now I might go write a few letters ;)

KG said...

My husband and I wrote each other when he was in Iraq. He used to send me cards in the mail with handwritten messages and it was fantastic.

As for what is disappearing that I'll miss? Newspapers!

But I LOATHE those morning news shows. They're so STUPID and always have some dumb animal footage or some cooking segments. It's not news at all!