A Nostalgic Moment

While I would not want to live in the past, there are a few things I miss. I would never exchange the advantages of today’s technological advances for yesteryear’s simplicity … most of the time. Some things I miss in simpler times:

Telephone
I really do miss the simplicity of the old telephones that only did one thing … make and receive calls. Since the old phones were not mobile, it didn’t rule my time and life.

Day Timer
Most people reading this post have no idea what a Day Timer was. It was an organization system that included a calendar, scheduler, To-Do list, expense tracker, notebook, mileage tracker, contact directory, international calling codes directory, international holidays, time zone directory and a future planner in a large leather wallet. Basically, it was the predecessor to today’s mobile calendar apps but with more flexibility. It was also easier and faster to use. As a business owner for 32 years, it was the most important tool in my possession.

Connection With Neighbors
In today’s busy world, most people don’t know many of their neighbors. As late as the 1980s I remember that it typically took my wife and I well over an hour to take a 2-block walk. It was common for folks to sit on their porches or decks and everyone wanted to chat for a while. We knew every neighbor on our street for a 3-block area. This is what neighborhood means. All these neighbors were also a support system when anyone was in need.

Television
Before cable and satellite dishes, we only had access to 12 stations … at the most. You didn’t have to go through 200 stations to discover there wasn’t anything on worth watching. Most importantly, when you watched the news, you got the news — not biased commentary.

Shopping
I can remember when there weren’t any “big box” stores. I can remember when ALL the stores in my town of 12,000 were locally owned and I went to school with the children or grandchildren.

I can remember walking into the hardware store and explaining to one of the employees that I needed a spring and what I needed it for. That employee disappeared into the dark shadows of the backroom and returned 10 minutes later with the exact spring I needed. He knew the store’s inventory, and he knew the hardware business. But more importantly, he knew the store’s customers on a first name basis. This long-time employee wasn’t there to sell me something, he was there to help me solve a problem through his expertise, knowledge and experience.

I now live in Ecuador, South America, a developing country. My city has a population of about 570,000 and there are no big box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot here. Rather, there are a hundred or more hardware stores here in the city with at least one in every neighborhood. It’s the same with micro grocery stores. The owner is an active participant in the store, and he or she knows his business inside out. Most of his or her employees have been employed there for a decade or longer. To top it off, the stores provide free delivery of large items.

To say the least, I have become quite spoiled with the level of service that is commonplace here.

Gas Station
I can remember when the attendant at the gas station washed your windows and checked your oil while your car was being filled with gasoline … that he was pumping! He would also check your tire pressure if he noticed a tire appeared to be low on air.

Free Time
More than anything else, I miss the simpler and slower lifestyle. We had time to spend with our families … every day. We had time to have and enjoy a hobby. We had time to read at least a dozen books a year. We had time to enjoy nature and to learn its lessons. In other words, we had to time live.

No, I would not go back in time. But I sure do miss some benefits of a simpler time.


Do you have things that you miss from years gone by? Please share your thoughts with others by using the comment section provided.

If you prefer to contact me directly, please email me at mbrown.ec@mail.com.


My Other Websites

Frugal Plan (Blog)
Spend Less | Save More

Life Under Change
Quotes that inspire, motivate, challenge and comfort us.

Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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