Thursday, September 29, 2011
Too Many Distractions?
I am the kid in the middle, holding the baby--my sister--and pointing to the picture in the book. My brother is holding the book. I am wearing a lovely dress and my brother is missing a few teeth. :^) My sister is looking at the books on the shelf. We always had plenty of books and since Dad was a journalist, we had lots of newspapers, too.
There were fewer diversions in those days. Maybe that's why more people read books and wrote letters. Yes, we had television, but we did not have 200 channels. Every summer some tubes in the television would burn out and my mother would refuse to get it repaired until September. So we caught lightning bugs and roasted marshmallows on the beach and we read books, and wrote stuff.
When I was several years older than I am in the photo above, my brother and I built a treehouse one summer. There was a tree by the southeast corner of our house with a triple trunk. From scraps of lumber we put together a rather rudimentary structure. My brother did most of the actual construction. He was better at wielding a hammer than I was. My job was to straighten out the bent nails we had gathered to use for our building.
Eventually, the treehouse was finished. There wasn’t much to it—a floor, a simple railing, and a roof. We didn’t have any paint. The wood quickly turned to a weathered gray color.
Once it was done, my brother busied himself with another project. He was more of a doer. I was the dreamer. So the treehouse became my private domain where I would sit, gaze out at the lake, and make up stories without being bothered by distractions--like my younger sisters. :^)
Life was simpler and there seemed to be more time--for everything.
Today, everyone is so busy! There are people who don't read a single book in an entire year. There are people who never write a letter and have given up sending cards. There are so many forms of entertainment vying for their attention that books and writing are altogether forgotten.
I find that very sad.