Looking Out My Back Window #71

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Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Little bit different photo today, as it’s still dark out while I’m writing. 4:24AM. I’ve been up for hours. Daylight savings time ends today, we fell back last night. Just read an article on the effect that technology has on our relationships, more specifically with children. And how so many people prefer texting to talking these days, how our interactions are changing because of our smart phones. Now, I use and own all the techie stuff – iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, digital music subscriptions, Kindle, Netflix, Amazon prime… and I love it. I really do. But, as an obsessive/compulsive person I also try to watch it a little, and certainly have times where the phone is OFF. That article got me thinking back to when I was a kid, though. Trying to remember what life was like back then – for me, being born in 1959, I basically grew up in the sixties. What an awesome time to grow up, so happy to be a kid in the sixties. We had a little ranch house on Doemel Street in Oshkosh. I still drive by that house every once in a while to check out the old neighborhood. Gives me a good feeling. Music was just fantastic. The Beatles, the Monkees, the Royal Guardsmen, I got every album as they came out, and listened to them on an “all in one” stereo system similar to a “close and play”. Not even sure it was stereo, really – I still have most of the albums I got as a kid, and it seems like they’re almost all “monophonic”. Man, I feel good just thinking about those days. In the living room, put on the Royal Guardsmen, read the album cover while listening. I really miss album covers, and liner notes… sometimes the “sleeve” holding the record would have information on it, or you’d get a poster thrown in. What a sweet deal! I took pencils and drummed along with the music, I have albums from back then that still have pencil marks from tapping along with pencils – lead side to album. Those were the days, right? Street lights go on, gotta go in. Hanging with the neighbor kids. Playing baseball, football, building forts, riding our bikes, kick the can… do kids play “kick the can” anymore? Well, why the hell not? Maybe because by the time they’re four years old they know more about how technology works than we do. And plenty of people are willing to just let kids veg out all day, every day on TV and video games. What is this going to do to interpersonal relationships? What has it already done? Can we just play catch anymore? To this day, I love playing catch. Shooting buckets. How often did I do it this year? A couple times. We have a basketball court at our house. I used it maybe two times this year. I threw the football with the Grandkids once for sure, maybe a couple times, but… not that often. We have bike trails all around us – every year I tell myself we’re going to bike more… then we don’t. One thing we do get done on a pretty much daily basis is a two mile walk with our dog Gizmo. It’s certainly the highlight of his day, and one of the great things about owning a dog (there are many). Dogs like to play. They like to walk. They like to cuddle. They love us unconditionally. They fight for their family, no matter what the odds. They’re there no matter what’s going on, how bad you screwed up, and they’re always happy to see you. And when you’re with them, they’re never on their phone. Technology is awesome, I’m as big a fan as anyone, but not at the expense of looking someone in the eye and telling them, “I love you”. Sometimes I think dogs have more to teach us about how to live and be in this world than people do… Play. Walk. Cuddle. Love unconditionally. Protect each other. Visibly express your emotions. Live in the moment… Take care of your kids. Look them in the eye, and tell them you love them. Play catch with them. Listen to their music, sing and dance with them. Let them know they can come to you with anything. Make sure they can have a conversation without having to text it. And, for crying out loud – get them a dog

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