Monday, June 9, 2014

The Way We Were



Helllloooooo..
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  Going to the bank. Back in the day, I'd race over there, every Friday, with my such-as-it-was paycheck. Some weeks, it was literally beat-the-bank to make sure I got that money deposited before the bank debited my checks. Now? I hardly ever walk inside a bank--it's all electronic, with an occasional stop at the ATM. When I do go inside, it's weirdly empty, a vast marble room, with vaults and teller cages. Mostly empty. The banking ritual is history.

Like so many other things that used to be central to our lives, it's vanishing.

When was the last time you made frozen orange juice? You know, that you'd have to kind of thaw, before would goosh out into the pitcher? I thought about that the other day. Things we simply
don't do anymore, and happy to see that one go.

 I hardly ever watch TV shows when they're actually on. It used to be a ritual--Ed Sullivan on Sunday!  LA Law! Dallas.  Now its The Good Wife and Game of Thrones--but they're available whenever we want to watch them. The TV ritual is history.

But some rituals, although on the verge of being outmoded, are still valuable to me. How about reading the paper? The actual paper? Is still am so happy, especially Sunday mornings, when we can spread out with three newspapers and bagels and coffee and luxuriate for an hour or so. I would miss that, if it were all on a tablet. It's not the same. Reading the paper is a good ritual.

And getting the mail. I LOVE to get the mail. I look forward to it, almost as if there was going to be something other than bills (now mostly on line) and ads and weird coupon fliers and fifteen catalogs from Levenger. The "real mail" ritual is still a good one.

I still take notes on a legal pad instead of in a Word doc. Why? My producer teases me about being old-fashioned. But it works for me.

What vanishing rituals do you have? Which are you holding on to?


LUCY BURDETTE: Me too on the paper, Hank. We get the New York Times and the Key West Citizen every day. Online is just not the same...And the mail too, although it's less exciting than it used to be. (I mean, not so much good stuff comes in:). Too funny about Levenger! I bought one thing from them and it's been a deluge ever since.

Things that have gone by the wayside: Easter dinner. After the eggs were hunted and the Easter baskets were found, we'd put on our new dresses and hats and go off to church. Then my mother would cook a big dinner--often lamb roast, which I don't like anyway. These days I might make Easter brunch, but never dinner in the middle of the day.


HALLIE EPHRON: I go to my bank all the time, and you're right it's pretty empty. So how come does it seem like every time there's a new business being built on a corner somewhere, it's a bank?


Vanishing rituals, some I miss, some not so much...
- Going to the dry cleaner. I don't buy it if I can't wash it. Not something I miss.
- Going to the movies
- Going to the video store
- Going to the dump (it is no more)
- Making my own pie crust - I confess the ready made Pillsbury is pretty darned good
- Picking up the poop my neighbors' dogs deposit on the sidewalk

RHYS BOWEN: I still go to the bank. I think it's a good idea to have a relationship with a bank manager, just in case...

But how about getting shoes heeled? haven't done that in years. Dry cleaners occasionally, but I no longer buy things like slacks that need cleaning almost every time.


And dinner parties--who gives dinner parties these days. We do occasionally but we're sort of the only ones. Other couples invite us to meet them in restaurants. I still enjoy having friends and family around the table at home.

Writing thank you notes, on real cards? I try to for the big events. My grandkids phone to thank me, but don't write real letters the way I made my children.


And one thing I really regret--letting kids run wild all summer, out all day just playing, exploring,
making up their own games. Now it's play dates and camps and scheduled activities. I still treasure my free running summers.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, Rhys, that is so true about the kids' freedom. Summer was one long ritual when I was a child. You got up in the morning, you went outside and you played all day.  You just had to be in for supper. Where is there room for imagination in all those scheduled activities? But I suspect that's a subject for another day...

My vanishing rituals... Easter, certainly, as there are no little ones to do eggs and baskets for. And even when my daughter was growing up we'd pretty much abandoned the "new Easter dress and patent leather shoes" that were so essential in my childhood. This year my daughter and I decided we'd all go to Mi Cocina for our favorite Mexican food and sit on the patio. Suits me.

I have mixed feeling about the newspapers. I gave up print all together for about a year, and I really missed it. Lucy's right, it's just not the same online. So now I take the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday (the food section) and Sunday, and the New York Times Friday through Sunday. The problem is, I hardly ever have time to read a fraction of the things I want to read, so the unread piles of newspaper accumulate and make me feel both cluttered and nagged.

We've never been a family for Sunday dinners, but for years I've made Sunday brunch. Something we don't have during the week, like French toast or whole grain pancakes. But the last year or so even that seems to have fallen by the wayside. I always seem to have too much to catch up on to cook. We have kept up with our Sunday night homemade pizza ritual, however, something we've done for years.


Which brings me to TV.  I know it's great to be able to time-shift everything, but I do sort of miss the ritual TV nights. For us, it was The X-Files on Sunday (that was what started the Sunday-night pizza) and for me, ER on Thursday, without fail.

Now the DVRd TV shows are a bit like the piled up newspapers... more than I can manage.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I've pretty much well and truly given up watching TV shows when they air.Why stay up and sit through ten minutes of commercials when I can watch when I want for the price of four 30-second ads? Also given up - not due to technology, but to age - dancing in clubs. I cannot remember the past time I went somewhere just to dance. Which is why I love weddings. I think more Bouchercons should have dances, like the one in Alaska did! 

Almost gone but not quite yet: my children's bedtime rituals. Overseeing tooth-brushing, saying prayers and singing a lullaby, coming back for one more drink of water... I still comb and braid Youngest's long hair before bedtime, and tuck her in and give her a blessing, but she'll be fourteen this August, and I know those moments will be over soon. Sigh.

HANK: Dear Julia, you always make me cry. Should we all dance at Bouchercon?
So Reds, when was the last time you...used rollers in your hair? Sat under a hair dryer? Made frozen OJ? Watched a show when it was actually on? What rituals and activities are vanishing from your life?
And one ritual we LOVE and face with crossed fingers--the arrival of a new book! I'll send an arc of TRUTH BE TOLD to one lucky commenter.

REDS THIS WEEK! 

Debsis back from three weeks in London, recovering from jetlag, putting the finishing edits on To Dwell in Darkness, and plotting her next book.
Rhys: is vacationing on the continent
Hank: is celebrating, in week six on the Globe bestseller list for THE WRONG GIRL! and just won two Emmys for investigative reporting
Hallie: will be at the Milton Library tonight talking about summer reads for lovers of crime fiction
Julia: is splitting her time between working on the next Clare and Russ book, HID FROM OUR EYES, and hacking back several years of overgrowth in the forsythia border
Lucy: is sitting tight, writing 1000 word a day challenge with good pals S.W. Hubbard and Mike Cooper aka Mike Wiecek. More on what's coming next soon
Susan is coughing and watching Orange Is the New Black.  (She's under the weather..send good wishes!)

TOMORROW ON JUNGLE RED: Linda Fairstein!

90 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Oh, sometimes changes are hard. I enjoy the ease of my eReader, but I cannot give up “real” books in my hand. [Now if I only had another bookcase . . . or two . . . .]
Hot rollers in my hair most Sunday mornings, but not otherwise unless something really special is happening . . . can you still get a home hair dryer that you sit under???
We watch television mostly when the shows air rather than taping them for later . . . occasionally I watch something on the computer, but it’s just not the same . . . .
Sadly, writing notes and sending cards seems to be a long-gone practice, but I try to do it anyway. I agree with Hank: mail time is good!
We generally bank online or at the ATM, mostly because the bank is a significant drive and I usually end up there at some off-hour before the lobby is open . . . .
Even though it is just the two of us most of the time, we haven’t given up those fancy family dinners, or special holiday meals. We always eat together at the table, with china and glasses and cloth napkins . . . some things are simply too sacred . . . .
When the grandbabies are here, the bedtime ritual arises once more . . . there’s nothing sweeter than listening to a Little One’s prayers . . . .

Kathy Lynn Emerson said...

Our bank is a trailer-size branch in our small (around 4000 people) town and I either go Inside or to the drive up window to cash checks and make deposits about once a week. I have never used an ATM and still write checks to pay most bills. No long lines, but usually there are one or two other customers. Three tellers. A visit to the post office is part of my daily routine and, yes, we still have a town dump, although now it's called a transfer station and we have no-sort recycling. I'd miss all those things if they were gone. They provide my main opportunity to socialize! One thing I miss? When I was a kid we always dressed up in our Sunday best for church . . . complete with hats. Loved the hats!

Kathy/Kaitlyn

Karen B said...

I'm a single senior so most family traditions are long gone but I get a newspaper daily, bank at the bank, watch TV when it's on. What I miss are the 2-3 times a month phone calls with my mother. We lived in MN and FL so didn't see each other often but we'd dial each other up at the same time to talk about the same things! Books were often discussed. She would have loved the internet had it been around 50 years earlier.
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

h,I tried to get my mother to use email, but she wouldn't. ANd SO often we'd call each other at the same time--I;d forgotten about that..

And KAthy, hats! That's lovely--I don't think we ever wore hats.One of my first jobs was at a GC MUrphy's store-did anyone have those? And for a while I worked n the millinery department. Can you picture THAT?

And we ALWAYS use cloth napkins. I'm so glad about that!

ANd watching TV on the commuter? That's--still weird to me.

Anonymous said...

Talk about nostalgia! This was a wonderful blog with the opening of so many doors in life I for one had almost forgotten about! You jungle reds are simply wonderful! Thelma in manhattan

Bethany K. Warner said...

My grandmother loved email but when she had to move into assisted living, its been too much of a hassle to get the computer connected. We write notes in the mail and that's always special to get real mail from her.

Steve Ulfelder said...

Hank, I haven't thought about frozen OJ in 30 years - that's a good one! How about answering the home phone? When I was growing up we had one (and only one), in the front hall of our home; each time it rang, there was a mad scramble of kids hoping it was for us (especially when we hit our teens). Now, there's a 90% chance it's telemarketing spam.

Denise Ann said...

I write letters and thank you notes, but I send out more than I receive.

Loved this post. And the question about new banks in new buildings -- what is that about? New banks with new names. There has to be a bank building for an old-fashioned bank robbery (we have had two recently in Falmouth).

I miss my old neighborhood and the years when I was raising the kids and we would gather at one house or another. While the kids played, we got to know one another and enjoyed iced tea (or gin and tonic) in the summer.

Cyndi Pauwels said...

Such memories! I made lemonade from the frozen stuff last week - does that count?

I miss our family board game nights: Trivial Pursuit in all its many forms, Monopoly, Scrabble, Uno...

Once in a while when the now-adult children visit we'll break out the Euchre deck (or Cards Against Humanity - yikes!), but it's far to rare.

Ramona said...

Interesting. I try not to go into the bank because, where I live, they are always getting robbed. Or so it appears ever since I Liked the state police FB feed. There is a constant stream of robbery alerts.

Speaking of FB, I MUST watch Downton Abbey when it airs, so I can comment on FB and spoil the fun for the West Coast crowd. :-)

I still read the paper-paper. In good weather, on my deck with a cup of coffee on Sunday.

I invented a new ritual a while ago--writing thank you notes using note cards crafted by local artists. I buy them from the arts alliance in town. Some are by photographers, some drawings, but all promote Delaware. My new thing.

My housekeeping ritual is to change all of the bedsheets on Mondays, and tablecloths, too, though I do that a couple of times a week. I do it on Monday because my mother did it on Monday, and my grandmothers, too.

Kristopher said...

I LOVE going to get the mail. Now of course, this has more to do with the fact that every day tends to bring another book or two (some expected, some surprises) rather than the bills and junk mail within.

I do miss appointment television, but at the same time, I like to be able to watch the shows I love when I have the time. I do still make it a point to watch Game of Thrones on Sunday night, even though spoilers are not an issue for me (having read the books multiple times). It just seems like a good way to end the weekend and move forward into another week. (Will likely continue that with True Blood and The Leftovers) this summer.

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

CONGRATULATIONS, HANK on your two Emmys! Woo-hoo!

I don't miss can openers and much prefer the pop-off tops. But what's funny is the difference in our cats. Our older shelter cat Xander (Lou Grant in a fur suit) definitely remembers the sound of can openers, and will run to the kitchen if I use one--even though all the cat food is pop-top. Younger cat Lola (Georgette in a fur suit) is oblivious—the can opener means nothing to her!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Well, yes, Kristopher, you get a very high class level of mail!

Steve! You are so right about land lines! My producer --who's 40 or so--doesn't even have one. And so many people are giving them up. (I can't even imagine it..although I hardly even answer ours! It's never anyone.)

ANd Steve will be here Thursday talking about...well, watch this space! We know you'll want to chime in!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Seriously--would you give up your land line?

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

P.S. Hi Kristopher!

(Kristopher and I were able to Actually Meet In Person at BEA -- and it was so much fun to actually connect a human being -- as opposed to a thumbnail photo! I hope we can all meet in person someday.)

Cyndi Pauwels said...

We haven't had a land-line in seven (?) years...don't miss it at all - especially during political/robo-call season!

Karen in Ohio said...

If you are getting buried in catalogs, I suggest joining Catalog Choice and asking to be removed from mailing lists. We no longer get five catalogs a week, it's a free service, and I'm thrilled that we are not responsible for so much waste. catalogchoice.org

We have always used cloth napkins. For me it's easier to just throw a couple in the laundry than it is to remember to buy--and then store--a big package of paper ones. My father-in-law used to ask for a paper napkin because cloth was "too good" for him. I replied once that I was not going to go buy them, just for him, and he finally got the message.

I do not miss waiting and waiting for dial-up, or trying to call people prior to answering machines/voice mail/texting.

I do miss real butcher counters, and buying good meat that was actually butchered on premises from whole animals. Recently, I wanted some Amish chicken and asked the "butcher" at Krogers if they still had whole, not prepackaged chickens in the meat case, since I didn't see any. He showed me the wrapped chickens, and said those were the same ones they always had in recent years, but they'd just stopped unwrapping them and putting them in the case. I was flabbergasted. Thank goodness for the farmers market.

Lynette Ott said...

Still go to the bank, get a paper delivered every day. Back in the 50's and 60's (so dating myself) we would go outside in the summer after breakfast, come in for lunch, dinner, and when the streetlights came on you knew you had to go home! With all the predators out there today I was afraid to let my children out of my sight!

Karen in Ohio said...

We have been thinking about getting rid of our landline, but it's tied to our Internet and to our email addresses, so we're not quite ready. But I did add a feature that requires anonymous robocallers to enter a phone number or they can't get through.

And Hank, honey, you are having a well-deserved fabulous year. So happy for you!!

Mary Sutton said...

Hank, many congrats on week 6 and the Emmys. And Susan - feel better!

My husband still reads the paper. I don't, except for the sports section (mostly because the news depresses me and I don't want to be depressed on Sunday morning).

We still have Sunday dinners as a family, real get-togethers with our friends (usually including dinner and a board game), I write real thank you cards (and make my kids to the same), and Christmas cards. We still go to the movies and I still buy print books, especially from people I love (although I do have to cut back - I'm running out of physical space, seriously).

But dry cleaner? No way. Go to the bank? Rarely (especially now that I can bank from my phone for deposits and transfers). Most of our TV is DVR because we are rarely home at show time, and we're early-to-bed people most nights. We gave up the landline years ago - the only people who called were telemarketers and politicians - and don't miss it at all.

And I haven't made frozen OJ since I was a kid. =)

yellowrose said...

I go to the bank...but I must confess I use the drive-thru a lot. We have a lineline but when it was out-of-service for 6 days we didn't miss all the extra solisters calling. I haven't given up my "real" books. I do have a lot on my e-reader, too.

Anonymous said...

I still read the daily paper and go to the bank. We have to pick up our mail at the post office since our town is so small but I'm a mail junkie, so I'm there every day. I don't TiVO or DVR any shows, like to watch them 'live' when they air.

The biggest ritual I miss is Easter breakfast. My aunt raised chickens and every Saturday before Easter, my parents would get eggs the hens had laid on Good Friday and Mom would cook them (eating them on Easter is supposed to bring good luck and health) along with hash browns, bacon, and toast on Easter morning. We - my wife and kids and parents - would have breakfast then go to church. My parents have both died and my aunt no longer has chickens, so sadly this ritual has fallen by the wayside.

Kristopher said...

Hi Susan! Hope you are feeling better. ;)

I have had the pleasure of now meeting all of the JRW, along with a fair number of the commentors here at one convention or other over the years.

It is always nice to put a face to a name. There are still quite a few folks I would love to meet from JRW. (That's a subtle hint to get yourselves to Bouchercon).

Ellen Kozak said...

I usually drive through the bank if I am depositing a client's check (I still get paid-- quite often-- by check). Sometimes I go inside, especially on Fridays when they have free cookies (there is always coffee).

I haven't made frozen orange juice in years (but I used to roll my hair around the cans to straighten it-- nobody cares if it is frizzy nowadays).

I was just thinking the other day about how many of my clothes used to require dry cleaning. I had an account at the dry cleaner-- I would drop off stuff on Saturday, and they would deliver it to my office in mid week. When I lived in NYC, I'd send all my stuff to a dry cleaner for summer storage, and would get it back cleaned and pressed in the fall (usually delivered). The last time I went near a dry cleaner was five or six years ago, to the "all natural" dry cleaner, who washed my queen-sized quilt for me (too big for my washer).

I do tend to watch some programs when they come on (I'm impatient). And ABC makes you wait 8 days to see a program you've missed, although other networks don't. (This is because I don't have cable or any similar services like Netflix. My belief is that if God had intended us to pay to watch TV, she would never have invented commercials).

I do love paper newspapers, but they tend to accumulate, so I only indulge on holiday weekends. Otherwise, it is on-line only.

But as for the mail? Too much incoming (snail mail, e-mail, voice mail, PM, IM-- thank God no one uses fax machines anymore!) I sometimes put my own lyrics to an old song from the Creedence Clearwater Revival-- "Who'll stop the mail?" (SOMEBODY, PLEASE!)

Becky Muth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky Muth said...

The list of rituals we still have is so much shorter than the ones that no longer exist. Here are some of the things we've given up for whatever reason.

- Buying gifts in a store and mailing them to friends who live out-of-town. (Thanks, Amazon!)

- Phone calls, because we can text or Skype.

- Shopping brick-and-mortar locations period. I once spent 20 hours out shopping various retail centers on Black Friday, on purpose! Now, if I can't find it online, then I send he hubby after it. (He's retired. What else is he doing?)

- Talking to neighbors. I have no idea who moved in next door, and they've been there for just over a year. I primarily know our other three closest neighbors through our respective kids getting to know each other.

- Boiling or microwaving water to use in recipes. Yes, you read correctly. It takes so long, and dirties up a pan. Now if we need hot water for a recipe, we use the Keurig.

But there's one that really kills me, even though I'm not willing to do anything to change it. Most family gatherings. Due to things like deaths and falling outs, I really don't communicate much with the bulk of my biological family members. (And I'm okay with this.)

Last year on Christmas Day, which was until a few years ago always reserved for spending time with them, the husband and I along with our teenage sons opened gifts, went to brunch at a restaurant, dropped some gift baskets of cookies at places people were working, and came home to play Xbox together. The boys said it was one of their favorite Christmas days, due to the lack of stress and travelling to so many family members' homes in one day.

And although they've given up bedtime stories in favor of things like pre-bedtime Doctor Who episodes, they still voluntarily give hugs goodnight, which I wouldn't trade for anything.

(Edited to fix a typo. Time to hit up the Keurig!)

judy hoyt said...

I go to the libary to get a selection of books, plus my kindle!!both worlds there. I go to the bank, so are busier than others.I still send real cards and notes out!We still watch tv on tv not streaming yet.. Phone calls over emails!!!

Kaye Barley said...

Ah, traditions. I am such a sucker for tradition.

We do still do dinner parties, although much more casual than what they once were. We live in a very rural neighborhood and we all (there aren't very many of us) have dinner get-togethers fairly often.

Hats. Man, I love hats. I will plop a hat on my head for any occasion, or for no occasion, just 'cause. In the meantime, they're hanging all over the house on nails, the curtain rods, the corner of a mirror. And on Harley's head from time to time for a photo - just 'cause.

Phones. We will always have a landline. Once again, the "living on the edge of the wilderness" thing. We cannot get cell phone service in our house. There is no cable run up our road. Internet service was dial-up until about 2 years ago and it's now a satellite dish for TV and another one for internet service (neither of which are what you could call great).

And oh my yes, I do love the mail! Especially when there's a new book, or a favorite catalog from Sundance, or such. And I have friends who still send cards just to say hi. We all are avid amateur (VERY amateur) photographers and have discovered the cards that you can slip a photo in for an instant personalized card and a way to say "Remember This?!!). And we always exchange real cards for our birthdays. (we are, I think, a group of old souls).

I tried taking notes on my iPad and it just didn't work for me. I am a dedicated list maker and note writer and that just feeds my excuse to load up on neat notebooks and journals and fun pens.



Becky Muth said...

And I forgot to mention -- we did give up our land line, back in 2006!

Last Monday we gave up Cable TV.

And I've given up buying flowers for the yard. The deer just eat them, and I'm tired of spending so much money on "deer salad". If it doesn't grow wild, I don't plant it. Fortunately where I live, there are more than enough wild, flowering plants that bloom from early spring to late fall.

Geesh, with all this stuff I've given up, you'd think I'd have more time to write.

Jackie Jones said...

Hank, I love that you mentioned the frozen orange juice! That was my job almost every Sunday to thaw out a can of orange juice and make a pitcher for the week. we also made the frozen pink lemonade.
I love getting mail, but mostly I like to send it. I make my own cards and am happy to send it out into the world.:)
The one ritual I miss from childhood is playing outside with the whole neighborhood and being able to run in and out of each others homes. Everyone was welcomed to come on in!

Great topic ladies!

Jackie Jones

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Ramona, that's so weird about your many bank robberies. John was once in a bank that was robbed right after he left. He will never forget the uneasy feeling that *something* was wrong. (Pay attention to that!)

Right now we're using an app to scan and deposit checks.

But we still have a landline and I can't imagine giving it up! Karen, what a nice memory about talking with your mother...

Deborah Crombie said...

I still watch some TV shows when they air--this year it was Call the Midwife, and I love The Voice. But they are also recorded so that it's okay if I miss an episode. Best of both worlds:-)

Congrats, Hank!! Woo hoo!

Feel better, Susan!!

CindyD from AZ said...

My husband insists on frozen orange juice, so I still make it every few days. And we still get the newspaper and I read it with my first cup of coffee, but if we had to cut back it would be the first thing to go - not the same since now half of it is USA Today not local content. And even though we recently got an Ipad, I still prefer my books in print!

Ken Sullivan said...

My biggest change is that I never carry cash or my checkbook any more. It's all credit or debit card and, with my Charlie Card for Boston's subway system, I don't even have to remember to put some money in a separate pocket for carfare.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Congrats on yet more Emmys, Hank! Susan, I hope you're feeling better soon.

We just gave up our landline. Realized everyone called on the cells so the only use it got was irritating sales and political calls. When we got Google Fiber (love it!) for our internet, we dumped Ma Bell.

I've given up lots of the things everyone else mentioned. I still write in notebooks, though. Note-taking and early, inchoate thinking on paper always needs pen and paper, I feel, even though the laptop begins to feel like an extension of my body.

And I spin, weave,knit, quilt, and lots of things few to no people do today because I feel we shouldn't allow those survival skills to completely disappear. But I don't do them much at all anymore because it seems I never have any time. *sigh*

Linda Rodriguez said...

Oh, and Kristopher, I'll be at Bouchercon, so perhaps we'll be able to meet in person.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Talking to neighbors! Ofcourse. I have no idea who lives to the right of us, or across the street. I think about it all the time. SO silly.

And yet I am terrified to go knock on the door.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Cash! True. SO easy to use a debit card.

And think about it--we used to think the two-way wrist radio the Dick Tracy had was so impossibly impossible. And now...

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, thank you, Karen in Ohio! xoo (And I think I am coming to Ohio for TRUTH BE TOLD! They are figuring that out right now...)

Karen in Ohio said...

Linda, your Ma Bell reference reminded me of a conversation I had the other night with a friend whose last name is Bell. I asked him if people asked how to spell even his name, and he said all the time. So he always says, "Bell, like the telephone."

Which, as I pointed out to him, is a frame of reference completely lost on young people who have Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile.

Karen in Ohio said...

To Cincinnati? I hope so! We have two Joseph Beths here, you know.

Let me know, and I'll be happy to show you as much of the town as you would like to see.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Bell, like the telephone is HILARIOUS. Talk about vanishing..

ANd yes, Karen, I am crossing fingers for CIncinnati! xoo

Diane Vallere said...

I'm like Becky: gave up land line back in 2006, and gave up cable earlier this year. Nights are still for movies or old TV shows from Netflix!

One thing I still love despite the way the world has changed is going to a library and trolling the shelves, looking for whatever strikes me. I do read ebooks too, but there's something about finding a treasure in the stacks that can't be compared. And it's free!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Bell, like the telephone is HILARIOUS. Talk about vanishing..

ANd yes, Karen, I am crossing fingers for CIncinnati! xoo

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

SO fascinated about the no land line people! Interesting! (You DO know about 911, right? How do you handle that?)

Judy in Owego said...

What I miss in the move to give up landlines is speaking to the person who happened to pick up the phone. Now we call our daughter’s cell phone and seem never to chat with our son-in-law. I miss the serendipity calling “the family phone.”

Mary Sutton said...

Oh yes, cash. How could I forget?

We know some of our neighbors. However, and this is something we couldn' have predicted, there are no good kids for mine to hang out with (as has been demonstrated to us recently).

Hank, what about 911? When I toured the 911 call center here last year they said 911 calls from cell phones are no problem, although it makes callbacks and locations tricky sometimes.

Pat D said...

We have a landline too. I can't see we'd give it up even tho a lot of calls are "junk" calls. I subscribe to the local newspaper. I just can't see reading one online. My husband reads all of his online. I run to the bank once a month to deposit a royalty check. Otherwise I use ATMs and do my billpaying online. I try not to write checks. I've had 2 incidents of people manufacturing fraudulent checks using my info.
Bleah. Do not miss rollers or hair driers or curling irons at all! Or typewriters for finishing college papers on. Or standing in line to register for classes. ( we were at a HS graduation party last night). I prefer to watch my TV live, but I will set up shows to record on the DVR just in case.
We get DirecTV and I'm hoping ATT doesn't screw it up if they buy it. Haven't done the Netflix thing and I'm not sure how the streaming works. On computer or TV? And to really date myself. . . when I was a girl scout, taking orders for cookies or selling over the phone was strictly verboten. You had to go door to door and use your considerable charm to sell those cookies IN PERSON for 50 cents a box. I do not miss that at all!

Hallie Ephron said...

I forgot about Girl Scout cookies -- now they sell them in the supermarket parking lot. Girls going door to door to sell cookies is a product of kinder gentler times.

Though in my neighborhood kids still play street hockey out in front of the house, and it's not a dead end. I love that.

Anonymous said...

We cut the cable cord a couple of years ago, except for wifi, therefore don't have the ability to record anything, no loss. Roku lets us watch what we want when we want, and we have an ANTENNA for anything else. I haven't looked at a bank statement in years, much less been to the bank, pay all bills per online. And before you throw eggs at me for buying e books exclusively, please understand that I read far more that I would if I had to go to the bookstore, not to mention that I can make the print as big as my eyes ask for, praise be to the Kindle gods. When the post lawsuit rebates got paid out, my credit was for almost $170, more than anyone I know or have heard about. I write no letters and send no cards per snail mail unless I'm enclosing a check. I am older than most of you, and I purely love not having to beat the checks to the bank on Friday. I do still go to a movie now and again, go for a walk every morning before seven, at least in clement weather, take a daily paper which I rarely read and get the NYT on Sunday. I do do dinner parties if not as elaborate as those in my younger days. Haven't danced in years, not since I got bionic knees. Old rituals have been replaced by new ones. It's all good. Ann in Rochester

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

Oh, I've called 911 from my cell phone -- no problem. Don't miss the land line, especially paying for it.

Edith Maxwell said...

I still read two paper newspapers every day. And, Hank, frozen juice is alive and well! It's especially good to have a couple of cans of lemonade and limeade around in the summer. Just in case you happen to have some alcohol around that might just go well with it.

I go to the bank down the street and know the manager's name. I make my own pie crusts. I do miss the major holidays with little kids, but we still do Christmas stockings. I even still iron things once in a while! And when my 25-year old son was sick with a fever at my house last fall, I sat by his bedside and cooled his forehead. A rare and sweet treat.

Edith Maxwell said...

Oh, and I got a handwritten note from my Maryland son today!

Grandma Cootie said...

If I wasn't in such good company I might feel old about all the things we no longer have or do! And even though we are no longer living the memories I have tried to pass on the "in the olden days" stories to my children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.

Great to hear what all the Reds are up to. Feel better, Susan and congrats again, Hank. It is as if you have two (very busy, very successful) lives going on.

Bonnie said...

I miss flipping through the new albums at the record store. I loved the album cover art and bringing the LP home and the sound of the needle on the disc. I miss reading the lyrics while listening to the music.

Speaking of Call the Midwife - I'm feeling nostalgic for a society where it's usual to leave your baby in a pram outside a shop or outside your flat for its daily airing. (What a terrific show).

On the other hand - I love having the technology to be able to BINGE-WATCH Call the Midwife! Couldn't do that not so long ago! And how I would have loved to have Shazam available to me when I was younger - it would have sent me straight to the record store for more loot!

Kathy Reel said...

Hank, we had a G.C. Murphy's store in my hometown, and it was where I bought my first record, a 45 of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand." It was also where, as a kid, I bought the first Christmas gift for my parents, a ceramic ash tray with a snowy scene. Neither of my parents smoked, but I thought it was pretty, and I still have it.

My morning ritual of reading our local paper with a cup or two of coffee is something I really enjoy. I dearly hope that the printed paper never goes away.

Oh, the frozen OJ, Hank. I do remember that and wasn't sorry to see it go. But, I still lament the passing of the milkman coming to the house. When I was growing up, it was a big deal when my mother would put in an order that included chocolate milk. She wrote the order on a slip of paper and put it on the milk box on the front porch. How I wish I still had that box.

I am deeply sorry to the written letter and notes go out of style. I continually complain that there will be no wonderful letters to tell the inner thoughts of historical figures, no personal connection to them. Maybe we can have access to their emails. Not.

Oh, Hank, if you get to Cincinnati, I might be able to catch you there. It's about 3 1/2 hours from where I live now. It is only an hour from where I grew up, in Maysville, KY, home of Rosemary Clooney and George from Augusta, just down the river. I used to go to the pediatrician in Cincinnati, and we'd always stop at a deli downtown for my father to get cheese. Shillitos was a large department store where the Christmas window displays were fascinating to me as a child. Purchased my wedding dress in Cincy, too. Last trip there as an adult was with the grandkids to the zoo and the Newport, KY aquarium. Oh, and the Botanical Garden there, went as a child. The best, though, was Coney Island Amusement Park right outside of Cincinnati. Now, there's a new one called King's Island. Karen, are you old enough to remember Coney Island?

Land line. Gave it up several years ago, as everyone I know or would want to hear from calls my cell. I do my banking online, but I still visit my branch bank occasionally, as it's nice to know someone there. Growing up, my father had his real estate office in a bank downtown, and I knew most everyone in the building. The mail is still something I look forward to everyday. Like Kristopher, I often am receiving books, so that makes the mailbox a happy place indeed.

Kristopher, I, too, have had the pleasure of meeting the Jungle Reds in person, except for Susan, which I hope to remedy at some point. Bouchercon 2013 was one of the most exciting events ever for me, and I still would like to work it out to attend this year's. Also, it was great meeting you there, too, Kristopher. At least we should be able to count on book events to continue.

Congratulations to Hank on your two Emmy Awards and the continued success of Wrong Girl. As I mentioned in a FB post to you, I am fairly chomping/champing at the bit to read Truth Be Told. Susan, I hope you feel better. Somehow being sick in the summer always seemed more frustrating to me than it was in colder weather.

Kathy Reel said...

Hank, we had a G.C. Murphy's store in my hometown, and it was where I bought my first record, a 45 of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand." It was also where, as a kid, I bought the first Christmas gift for my parents, a ceramic ash tray with a snowy scene. Neither of my parents smoked, but I thought it was pretty, and I still have it.

My morning ritual of reading our local paper with a cup or two of coffee is something I really enjoy. I dearly hope that the printed paper never goes away.

Oh, the frozen OJ, Hank. I do remember that and wasn't sorry to see it go. But, I still lament the passing of the milkman coming to the house. When I was growing up, it was a big deal when my mother would put in an order that included chocolate milk. She wrote the order on a slip of paper and put it on the milk box on the front porch. How I wish I still had that box.

I am deeply sorry to the written letter and notes go out of style. I continually complain that there will be no wonderful letters to tell the inner thoughts of historical figures, no personal connection to them. Maybe we can have access to their emails. Not.

Oh, Hank, if you get to Cincinnati, I might be able to catch you there. It's about 3 1/2 hours from where I live now. It is only an hour from where I grew up, in Maysville, KY, home of Rosemary Clooney and George from Augusta, just down the river. I used to go to the pediatrician in Cincinnati, and we'd always stop at a deli downtown for my father to get cheese. Shillitos was a large department store where the Christmas window displays were fascinating to me as a child. Purchased my wedding dress in Cincy, too. Last trip there as an adult was with the grandkids to the zoo and the Newport, KY aquarium. Oh, and the Botanical Garden there, went as a child. The best, though, was Coney Island Amusement Park right outside of Cincinnati. Now, there's a new one called King's Island. Karen, are you old enough to remember Coney Island?

Land line. Gave it up several years ago, as everyone I know or would want to hear from calls my cell. I do my banking online, but I still visit my branch bank occasionally, as it's nice to know someone there. Growing up, my father had his real estate office in a bank downtown, and I knew most everyone in the building. The mail is still something I look forward to everyday. Like Kristopher, I often am receiving books, so that makes the mailbox a happy place indeed.

Kristopher, I, too, have had the pleasure of meeting the Jungle Reds in person, except for Susan, which I hope to remedy at some point. Bouchercon 2013 was one of the most exciting events ever for me, and I still would like to work it out to attend this year's. Also, it was great meeting you there, too, Kristopher. At least we should be able to count on book events to continue.

Congratulations to Hank on your two Emmy Awards and the continued success of Wrong Girl. As I mentioned in a FB post to you, I am fairly chomping/champing at the bit to read Truth Be Told. Susan, I hope you feel better. Somehow being sick in the summer always seemed more frustrating to me than it was in colder weather.

Karen in OH said...

Kathy, I am not only old enough, but it is still there. And I happen to live a mile and a half from Old Coney, for the last 32 years! My oldest daughter got married there, at the Moonlight Pavilion, in 2000; their fourteenth wedding anniversary is two weeks from today.

My husband grew up in this area, and he spent many happy summer days swimming at Coney, as did all three of our daughters. My husband does laps there a couple times a week in the summer.

Now there is quite the entertainment complex along the river, with Coney, Riverbend Music Center, and the new Belterra racino, which replaced River Downs racetrack. Time for us to move. Traffic is getting terrible.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Yes, but when you call 911 from a cell phone, there's no enhanced system that knows where you are. SO you have to instantly instantly say that.

Also, unlike a land line, they have to transfer you to the agency you need. SO (in Massachusetts at least) if you call 911 from your cell you'll be connected to the state police. If you say -"there's a fire!" they'll ask where, and THEN connect you with the local fire department.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Flipping through albums! LOVED that!

Gerald So said...

Two rituals I'm glad to have kept: 1) Writing with a pen/pencil on paper. It all eventually goes into the computer, but it starts with pen and memo pad.

2) Shaving with a disposable razor. It's closer than any electric, and that energy-savings can go into the necessity of computer time.

Deb Romano said...

Congratulations again, Hank! (I'm going to save that sentence on my computer for reuse:-)

Susan, I'm so sorry you're still sick. Get well soon and STAY well!

I still have a land line, and I have never had a cordless phone. I don't want one!

Banking: my credit union is in the same building where I work, which is very convenient for me. I have an account at a bank that's a few blocks from work, and they also have a branch in my neighborhood, if I'm doing banking on the weekend. I do pay some bills on the phone, but not on line.

Most of the time I read newspapers on line, for a few reasons. One is that I don't read the entire newspaper and don't want to pay for sections I'm not reading. (Um, I guess I'm a miserly New Englander...) Another is that in my condo complex we cannot recycle just one newspaper at a time. We are required to recycle in bundles, the recycling bin is just far enough away from my unit that it can be difficult for me to carry bundled newspapers (and I'd also be carrying cans, bottles, cardboard boxes broken down, etc), so on-line newspapers are the way to go for ME!

For physical (and financial) reasons I do about half my reading on a Kindle and about half on "real" books. If I like an author I buy the "real" book. If I'm trying out a new author, I'll either borrow the books from the library, or I'll get one of their books on sale as an e-book. Some of them have turned into authors whose "real" books I now purchase!

I write real notes and real cards, and take pleasure in doing it. I do feel sorry for the recipients who need to try to decipher my scrawl. Sometimes I type out a message, print it out, and stick it inside a card in which I write a sentence or two to go along with my typewritten message.

Mary Sutton said...

Ah. Enhanced 911. Depending on your carrier, it's still available, although perhaps not as precised as a landline. Verizon Wireless provides E911 service as soon as the 911 call is connected (although it is still recommended you provide a location). And if your phone as GPS (which most do), location information for 911 is transmitted that way.

Can't speak for other carriers.

Deb Romano said...

Oh, yes; I had a problem calling 911 from my cell phone when my disabled sister fell after I dropped her off at home one night a few years ago. I didn't know I would not get the local 911 people, and was startled when I was asked what city I was calling from. Then, somehow, the call got dropped! I grabbed my sister's keys and ran up to her unit to call 911 from her land line. The dispatcher was familiar with the building where my sister lived at the time, and was very kind. The EMTs arrived immediately.

I'm not on line at home right now and my TV is not currently connected to anything. I borrow DVDs or videos from the library. If I particularly like a program, I may treat myself to their DVDs as a gift to myself, and do some "binge" watching. One sibling likes the same sort of TV programs I like, and lets me borrow DVDs of any that she has. I don't miss traditional TV at all.

Kathy Reel said...

Karen, I'm so happy to hear that Coney Island has areas still in use. I haven't been by there in so, so many years. I have so many happy childhood memories from there. It's also lovely to know that you live nearby, although from all the activity you've mentioned, it might be a little too busy now. I'd almost forgotten about River Downs. I always loved the drive from Maysville to that area, with the Ohio River running parallel to the road. I know that there are new roads now, but I haven't been on them. Something to do one of these days. If Hank visits Cincinnati on her book tour, I hope I can meet you, too, Karen.

Deborah Wall McGraw said...

On Saturday morning, my father usually mad several loaves of bread which we could smell baking while doing our chores. In the summer, after the bread had cooled, we would gather a few tomatoes, ripe and still warm from the garden, to make the most delicious tomato sandwiches. Only the mayonnaise was store bought. I can almost smell those tomatoes and the fresh bread.

Bev Fontaine said...

Banks - well we still go to one. Or rather a credit union. But I do most of my banking online. And I do still love to read the paper in print. Much more satisfying!

Hank, two Emmys?! You are amazing. Congratulations. And Julia, I envy you the forsythia. We discovered forsythia when visiting our daughter and son-in-law in Maine and I came back to Wyoming and planted some. The two poor little plants are barely staying alive. I keep hoping for scads of beautiful blooms like you guys have, but after two seasons, they're still just barely blooming in the spring. I probably won't even get to Maine to see them again as our daughter and her husband have moved to Wyoming.

I guess we just need to count our blessings. We have other beautiful things in Wyoming that can't be found in other places. We had snow this week!

Ellen Kozak said...

I always know all my neighbors because I walk a dog (formerly two dogs) twice a day. Our village still has sidewalks, and block parties.

I like my landline (the business line) much better than the Uverse home phone (both are in my house and use the same two-line piece of equipment) because it connects much more quickly. There can be as much as a 12 second wait for a dial tone on Uverse. I never remember to charge my cell phone unless I'm embarking on a road trip; it is for emergencies only, as far as I'm concerned. I love that there are large chunks of time when nobody can reach me.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, my goodness, Deborah, that is the NICEST story..and very tasty, too.

And Kathy, you are making me more and more intent on Cincinnati!

Thank you, Bev! Yes, I am still floating! xoo

Joan Emerson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan Emerson said...

Congratulations, Hank!

Like several others who have commented today, we also have a landline . . . and a rotary dial phone to go with it. [Naturally, the half-a-century-plus model seems to work much better than our Colorado daughter's cell phone --- I think she's on her third one, with no obvious improvement over the previous two.]
The Princess is fascinated with the rotary phone and loves to dial my calls whenever she is here . . . .

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

A rotary dial phone???

Sometimes I dream that I have to call someone on a rotary dial phone--and of course, it;s incredibly frustrating and never works..

Sandi Lewis said...

Two of you mentioned the summers we had as children: Oh, Rhys, that is so true about the kids' freedom. Summer was one long ritual when I was a child. You got up in the morning, you went outside and you played all day. You just had to be in for supper. Where is there room for imagination in all those scheduled activities?

That's what I loved about summer! After my "chores" were done in the morning, the day was mine!!

Sandi L

Reine said...

I miss the walk down the driveway to get the paper. Once a week a local throwaway appears, and Kendall rushes down to pick it up and bring it to me. That's a reminder and the shadow of ritual.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Ah, Reine. Better take THE SHADOW OF RITUAL for a title before someone else (me) swipes it..

Reine said...

Oh... oh... thank you, Hank. Why didn't I think of that? Oh I did. Yes. Just what I looking for, and I didn't even see it! THE SHADOW OF RITUAL — taken for my WIP!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

xoxoooo And yes,indeed, you did.

Reine said...

I love you, Hank. xoxoxoxooxoxoxxxo

Leslie Budewitz said...

Write those notes by hand! Turns out people who take notes on their computer don't learn or recall as much -- their notes are transcriptions rather than an actual reflection of learning and understanding. (Says NPR. But of course, I didn't take notes...)

Kim said...

This is a fascinating topic, and I love coming in late today so I can read everyone's comments.

I love going to the bank. I know all my tellers by name and they know me - and my bank is often busy because it's very much a neighborhood bank.

I also love thank you notes. I write them regularly, and I also try to write 2-3 notes a month to a friend of family member just to have the pleasure of writing, putting a stamp on an envelope and knowing the person on the other end will receive mail.

Susan, I SO remember our cat running into the kitchen whenever we opened his can with the opener.

What I miss most is empty time. It's kind of like the adult equivalent of what Rhys said: letting kids run wild all summer. That freedom of time without emails, texts, a phone right next to me, a TV show that I can't watch until its scheduled time, and so forth. But at the same time I love how I can email friends around the globe, Facetime friends in Vietnam and Macedonia, research nearly anything to my heart's content and and and ... being able to communicate with Jungle Reds and Redettes over my morning coffee :)

AUTHOR Rebecca Jean Downey said...

I miss front porches. My grandmother held court there with the neighborhood children, who loved her because she listened.

Mo said...

My Mom and Grandmother would change curtains with the seasons. Heavy drapes in the winter to keep the New England winter chill from sneaking I. through drafty windows and light airy curtains in the summer to allow the breeze to enter the house to cool it. Not a ritual I picked up but I loved the changes.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Rebecca, what is it about front porches? I love sitting on them, too...and just watching the world go by. We have lots of robins on our lawn this year.and it is fun to watch them bob bob bobbing along.

And MO, so nice! We change the slipcovers in the sun room..from taupe suede to white duck. It's a lovely ritual!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

And my cat Lola would DASH into the kitchen if you rattled the Tender Vittles package. SO funny!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

And my cat Lola would DASH into the kitchen if you rattled the Tender Vittles package. SO funny!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

May I just say--you all are amazing. It just brings tears to my eyes to see you all here...

What a group, huh?

xoxo

C. C. Harrison said...

I miss the pockets on the inside back over of library books where the due date card goes.

C. C. Harrison said...

Yes, I meant inside back cover.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

CC, that is wonderful. Perfect. I used to love to look at those--what did they call them? Takeout cards? You could see who took out the books, ad how long they kept them, and who renewed. A little personal history of each book.

storytellermary said...

I still carry cash because small local businesses get to keep more of the proceeds that way . . . which means I sometimes need to get more, and sometimes I have to cash a real check, usually from storytelling. My Credit Union is pleasant and close. Land line, antenna in the attic, St. Louis Post-Dispatch delivered every day (reminds me of my parents ;-)
I guess I'm a bit of a Luddite, but some things are worth keeping.