Despite the ease of pushing buttons, digitally doing most everything, the little thrills of the past are missing. The spin of a phone dial, the fountain pen, the pop of the percolator, cold water in an aluminum cup, squeezing a flour sifter. All of the sounds and simplicity of another day.
Someone posted a picture asking if anyone knew the use of the pictured item. These things are posted all the time, but this one was my own personal favorite. When I was small, I could not work it. Just did not have the ‘elbow grease.’ The day finally came when I could give it a mighty try. I put all my energy into it, pulled the lever and crackle, crack and I had ice cubes. Yes, we had to wait for the cubes in the tray to freeze. It wasn’t as easy as pushing a button on the frig and getting a glass of ice. It was an experience. Those cubes were waited for and yanked free from their icy bed. Well, that might be a bit dramatic, but I loved it when at last I could pull that lever and make ice cubes.
Relics of the not-so-long-ago past: The rotary egg beater that made egg fly if you cranked it fast enough. Cranking flour from the bin in the cabinet. The insulated Thermos cooler with the nifty little spigot. The sound of those first kernels of corn popping as you turn the handle on top of the popper. Bottle cap trivets made by every female in the community. The fun things that made life a little more interesting.
We didn’t have clothespins that clipped. Ours just pushed down over the clothesline. My grandfather had the clip-type. I could not wait until I was old enough to get married and have clip clothespins. My aspirations evidently were not very high. The ringer washer, the egg washer, even the rabbit ears on the TV were all things that entertained a silly girl back the lane on Neff Road. Those were days when I was a kid.
The next generations said good-bye to ghetto blasters, record players, transistor radios and tape decks. Records gave way to tapes which just gave way. The blender stepped aside for the food processor. Manual typewriters moved over for the electric. The day and age of savoring a process was erased by instant gratification.
The refrigerator now spits ice out into my glass offering cubed or crushed. Even a child can do it. I miss those steps it took to accomplish a task yet must confess that I have given over to the ‘new’ with great gusto. Instant hot water, purified water, baked potatoes in minutes and a phone that does everything but dress me in the morning. I guess we just progress and remember fondly those little things that make our memories so special. Things like ice cube trays.