Thursday, February 18, 2016

Technology in the Life of a Homemaker

Woman Writing Letter at Bureau

I love things that are familiar. There is comfort in being around the same things and doing each task in the same way. When new technology is introduced to the public, it is hard to add them to our lives. Something about the familiar and the old ways starts to get lost.

 I have a hard time with cell phones, DVD players, computers, and even microwaves, in our modern lives!

Years ago, a microwave was not a common sight in kitchens.  We heated our food in the oven, or on the stove top.  Popcorn was made in a sturdy pot, with a little oil, and shaken over a flame.  Now it is most commonly made in a microwave.  It was not long before the microwave was accepted by many homemakers and brought into their kitchens.  I, on the other hand, hesitated. It was not until I was married for over 20 years before I finally decided to let a microwave into my kitchen. (gentle smiles)  I realized that as my children were becoming adults and had all kinds of work and class schedules, it would be easier for them to reheat their dinner at whatever hour they were home, by using the microwave.  But I will tell you that I never use it myself, unless I am heating up water for a bottle, or using the built- in timer.

The other night I was watching a program on DVD. Somehow the picture froze and I had to get one of the children to help me fix it.  I have no idea how to set up a DVD player, or how to make it work.  Flat screen televisions, which have become very common today, also scare me.  The screens are so large, I have trouble adjusting to the vision before me. It also makes a home look entirely different than it did when television sets were built into pretty furniture.  It is less cozy.

When my older children started buying cell phones, I thought it was a wonderful invention for them.  It was wonderful for me to be able to call them anytime, no matter where they were in their daily activities.  I worried less about them, knowing they had a phone on their person at all times.  But a phone for me? That was unheard of!  I had a house phone.  I remember using a rotary phone only a few years ago. I love the old fashioned feel of those old phones.  We also had those long cords where you could only go so far in the house, perhaps making it to the stove to stir dinner, while talking to a family member on the phone.  Why on earth would I need a cell phone and the high bill that seemed to come with it?  Then an incident happened late last year, a health crisis of a family member in another state, and suddenly I had to travel by airplane.  I thought it would be best to get one of those cell phones since payphones in public are almost non-existent now.  The children taught me to text and make calls and now I understand this need for technology and am very grateful for it!

As for computers, they seem to wear out and need to be replaced. I have two broken down computers (including a second- hand laptop) which I am struggling to use for writing.  I dearly need a new one. I have needed a new one for years, as these computers keep getting worse.  But I cannot understand all the new ones they are currently selling. The price of them is outrageous and so hard to come up with enough to pay for one.  All I want to be able to do is write on this blog and do simple things like that. It is too bad they dont' sell one specifically for homemakers. . .  at a gracefully low price.  (gentle smiles) I would want a pretty, old fashioned design to complement the gentle decor of my old home.  I would want simple software like Microsoft word and Windows to make my life easier.  And it wouldn't hurt if the computer was a pretty shade of pink.

I should also mention cars.  Some of my children can hold their car keys by the window and start their cars from inside the house! It is shocking!  We can now even unlock the car doors by pushing a button on the key chain.  There are digital numbers and words on our dashboards, suggesting that we turn on our headlights, or telling us road conditions. Some vehicles even tell us the temperature outside. This is very helpful in the cold winters here in Vermont.

Technology can be a wonderful thing. It is just hard to let go of the old familiar way of life, and learn how to adapt to modern inventions.  Some will certainly make our lives easier. But, sadly, other things cause life to be less simple - less peaceful.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Please don't become one of these - Ex Housewife.

Such happy days - Cleaning House with Baby.

Financial hard times - When There isn't Much.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



Lori Alexander said...

We use our microwave to heat up our heating pads and that's all. It just doesn't seem healthy to me to heat up our food in them. I always use the stove. I finally got a smart phone a few months ago; it was Ken's old one. It is quite handy but I don't use it much. Things with too many buttons like on cars, TVs and phones make them much more complicated and it seems there are just more things to break. Life keeps getting more complicated but we can still pursue simplicity if we try! Thanks for another wonderful post. The women in my chat room love your writings.

Debbie Slaughter said...

I guess I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love the usefulness of it all, but I know that it has changed the landscape of our lives.

My favorite "can't live without it" item is the cellphone. Not because I talk on it much, but because I have found it invaluable for emergencies and keeping up with my kids.

In fact, just recently my youngest started driving and through the use of a special app on our phones, I can track whether he has reached his destination (church and Chick-fil-A) each week. When you have a directionally challenged kid, this gives us both great peace of mind :)

Anonymous said...

I would encourage you to check out some of the lower priced laptop computers. I spent around 300-400 dollars several years ago for a basic but name brand laptop for my home use (mostly going on line, emails and writing) and, while it is starting to slow down, it has been a good value for me and was inexpensive enough that I will not dread replacing it.

Deanna said...

I carry a trac-phone in my handbag that I use when out and about. I leave it turned off to save on the charge. We have a landline in the house which is billed along with the computer service. Cut corners where I can. I do love the rotary phones of days gone by. Enjoyed your post today.

Laura Lane said...

I must agree that I miss many of the old ways.

JES said...

So true! We gave up our microwave 10 years ago and I thought that meant our popcorn days were over. I had no idea you could make it in a pot until a few years ago! How quickly we forget the old ways if not taught! Although some modern creations are a blessing, I do prefer to moderate what comes into our home... Sometimes easier becomes more complicated.

Lana said...

Yes! Those super huge TV's make me motion sick. When we go to someone's home where they just leave it on I have to be careful to position myself so that I cannot see it.

We have been quite happy with Lenovo laptops. They can be bought for between 300-400 on Amazon. At that price it is not the latest and greatest but it is enough.

Mrs. Sarah Coller said...

I'm just like this! I threw our microwave out several years ago and we don't miss it at all. I just bought a rotary phone at an antique shop and am having Jamie rewire and install it for me. I'm just like that with the DVD player...even 4 year old Kynthia can run it...but not me! :) I don't want to learn! ha! As for a simple, inexpensive computer. Check into the Cloudbooks and Chromebooks at Walmart. We bought one for Lynzie for her 16th birthday for less than $200 a few weeks ago. They don't have a lot of storage on them but she just wanted it for blogging, Pinterest...just the basic things we homemakers do online. :) It's the size of my laptop and is lightweight and nice. She's really enjoying it. Hope you have a beautiful weekend!


Sharon said...

I and my family, feel the same way.
We do not have a tv. Our daughter has one of those TV/VCR combo's about 20" in size,so we can watch old movies, and we have a very inexpensive dvd player connected to it for homeschool resources. We have a track phone for emergencies only, and I have free 60 min a month and use about 10 of them, if I don't have a flat tire, or break down in my 10 year old car, which has way too many bells and whistles for me! Our microwave, which we inherited when my mother died, broke about 4 years ago and we never replaced it and finally, everyone is okay without it. I have a desktop computer and would definitely prefer it in pink!
Sadly, I think our generation is the last of the last that will able to sneak by without being technology saavy. The kids of the next generation will not be able to make do with what we have, or lack of, even if they want to; technology is progressing too fast. Yuk!

Cheryl said...

This post hit a nerve with me, too...oh, I do miss the old ways! We strive to live as simply as we possibly can. Our modern times force us to adapt to some of the new technology, but I cannot say that I like a bit of it!! LOL! Thanks for this wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

I've been known to frequently say, "I no longer recognize the world I live in." But I think I say that more in regard to what is considered acceptable behaviors more than new technology. When it comes to new technology, I accept and use a lot of it, but I try to think through how it will impact my life. We hang our clothes out as much as possible, and when not possible hang them on a drying rack in the living room. They will dry overnight with the ceiling fan on. And we wash dishes by hand. All that even though we have a clothes dryer and a dish washer. We save used water from the kitchen and haul it out to the yard or garden to "recycle" it. We purchased a cell phone only after I was driving 90 miles to see my parents and the car broke down on the turnpike. Luckily I was only four miles from their home. I do have an old flip phone that I take with me when I go out of town, but generally it is not turned on. I do not think it is wrong to use the newest inventions, but for me, I use them only when they prove to be useful. Thank you for your blog. It gives the readers much to ponder.

Kathy said...

I completely agree with you, Mrs. White. Our first microwave oven was gifted to us 20 years ago and I made sure we kept it out in the garage, which wasn't even attached to the house. LOL Now, we do have a built-in microwave that I use for the timer, the light (over the stove) and to let my bread dough rise. :)

The only way I've found to make my computer feel at all homey is to have a pretty mouse pad, and I have seen a lavender mouse that would be nice. As for the television, I've got a lace runner hanging slightly over the cabinet, with family photos on top, but still it is an eyesore to me. I have a very difficult time if I ever need to turn it on for videos or dvds- we don't have any broadcast tv or cable here, for which I'm grateful.

I've exchanged our cordless phones for vintage princess style phones I purchased on ebay- not rotary, but that would be wonderful! I have had a simple cell phone for years in order to easily keep in contact with family members, which has been a blessing for the most part.

Another thing I've done is to replace all the fluorescent lighting that was in our house with more familiar incandescent lighting. There was something very stressful about the fluorescent. The lighting in our home is much softer now.

Thank you for another great post! You've really got me thinking as to what else I can do... :)

Blessings and love,
Kathy M in California

Yolanda DelightsoftheHeart said...

It's interesting that you wrote about this technology situation...because my husband , daughter, and I have been thinking up ways to really simplify our lives.

We have been creating and building our very on furniture with our own little hands, we have even given away most of the excess "stuff" we had laying around, especially crowding our garage. We even emptied our dresser drawers and closets making room for only those totally necessary items. Our daughter has been looking up info on being minimalists and we have found some great informational articles as well as blogs, that have helped us tremendously.

As Christians we want to live by God's biblical command of not storing riches here on earth, but seeking to store treasures in Heaven. We also are aware that "things" and "stuff" does not define us as human beings, people, or as Christians.

Needless to say, how we miss the long gone old days of living free, happy, and simple lives full of peace, joy and laughter!

I'd like to share this poem with you Mrs. White and your readers:

The Simple Joys

They miss so much who do not know
The simple joys of long ago
When life was lived with easy pace,
And thankful hearts said table grace.
When folks took time to be a friend,
A helping hand, so quick to lend.

When houses had a front porch swing,
(Oh, how we loved that creaky thing!)
On summer evenings friends would call
And they were welcome, one and all,
And mom would serve homemade ice cream
As laughter from the porch would stream.

And vendors came to sell their wares;
The fun-filled trips to county fairs.
The concerts at the old bandstand
When music was so very grand!
They miss so much who never knew
Old-fashioned joys, such as I do.

The village church so gleaming white,
It'steeple bells that rang each night,
The solace that we all found there
As we met for a time of prayer.
Our values were quite different then,
Oh, time, can't I go back again!

We were not rich in days of yore,
But we had blessings by the score;
Our wealth was found in many things
From which the soul's contentment springs.
Our homes were filled with so much love,
Deep faith was ours in God above.

How much they miss who do not know
The lovely joys found long ago.
I wish that they could share with me
My pleasant trip in memory
Back to the good old-fashioned days
When life was lived in simple ways!

By Beverly J. Anderson

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Good (late) Morning Mrs.White,

I can completely relate to this post :-)


Myhomeofmanyblessings said...

Techy stuff amazes me! We have come so far I guess one could say...but I have an old soul and love old fashioned ways.I love to cook from scratch WITH my children. We go for walks everyday TOGETHER. Obviously I have a laptop and I have a phone.But my children don't.(Not yet anyway....)Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I would love it if you would share them at my Monday of Many Blessings Link Up!

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Technology has indeed ushered in some good things, but unfortunately, much worse things have become apparent because our lives are now so much easier, and we have more time to engage in activities that don't involve working. I am convinced that a good day of work is good for the soul, and keeps our hearts, minds and spirits in better health! So thankful for your wonderful posts, your posts are always so inspirational to me! :)

jackie said...

sometimes technology overwhelms me too, and I am only 33! :)

just wanted to add's not safe to warm water for a bottle in the microwave, I have read over the years. It can create a 'pocket' of hot water in the middle that can burn the baby, even if it doesn't feel too hot to you, when you test it.

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