This is one of my favorite photos I’ve taken of my father. It was taken through the window of his office as he worked up a spreadsheet. Which is as close to his natural state as I can get without a hammock and a Sherlock Holmes novel.
We spent the day together at the farm sitting on the front porch talking and sipping lemonade with a light breeze coming in off the rock outcroppings. It was as near as perfect a day as I can recall.
We took a 2 mile walk in the park and saw a beautiful blue bird. We had Vicki’s casserole for dinner with a salad and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
We are very much products of where we’ve come from. My life is strongly colored by my upbringing. I grew up on a farm. I grew up around animals. I had trees and fields. I took bike rides and wrote in notebooks.
I did not have cable television. I did not have the Internet until later in my adolescence, and even then did not have broadband connectivity until college.
I grew up slower.
I wasn’t ignorant. I read voraciously. I wrote and thought. I shared my thoughts in that fledgling collection of wires and computers. I talked to classmates and spent hours on the phone with a friend talking to the wee hours of the morning.
I have no idea what we talked about. Important things™ to our teenage minds.
It was a slower life. A life of Sunday afternoon reading under the sunlight or playing baseball in the yard. A weekend of soccer games and ice cream. The long bike rides and long drives as I got older to enjoy the world surrounding me.
A world I took for granted as the young often do.
As I get older, I yearn to return to that slower life. I am not cut out for the city. I want to watch fields fill with firefly and lightening dance across the sky. I want the wind to blow over the uncut fields and hear the distant mooing.
I am not cut out for the city. I like my quiet far too much. I don’t understand references to most Nickelodeon shows or the piles of other children’s television my wife can recite from memory.
I had 6 channels. (Maybe 8 if the wind was right.)
I watched the Red Green Show and learned about the Handyman’s Secret Weapon. I spent a lot of time fighting with antennas to marginally improve a picture of a basketball game or The X-Files.
It was a slower life and as I ease into the middle of my third decade of life, it’s that slower life I miss.
Have you tried turning it off and on? It may fix some problems, but customer service and tech support is more than learning how computers work. Learning how people work is just as important.
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