News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

April 30, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: Old age is in email of the beholder

TERRE HAUTE — My Best Friend isn’t much for writing letters, so email has opened a new world for him. He can dash off a few words to a high school friend or his college roommate — now living in Florida and Washington State, respectively. A few words come easy and he often gets a quick response.

Jim, from Florida, recently sent a lengthy communique. It didn’t feature his own adventures, but it involved a grandmother responding to her grandson’s questions about her age.

She rattled off a list of all that had not been invented when she was born: Penicillin, television, clothes dryers, credit cards and, of course, all those electronic gadgets which her grandson surely knew more about than she did.

She went on to explain that “making out” in her day had to do with passing the history exam rather than getting a few extra snuggles on a date. She added that “pot” was something her mother used in the kitchen, “grass” had to be mowed (with a hand-push mower!), that “hardware” could be purchased at a hardware store and “software” wasn’t even a word.

The letter from Jim was illustrated by pictures of the hot cars of grandma’s day, and the whole thing went on at considerable length.

I decided that grandma was at least as old as I and maybe old enough to have dated Teddy Roosevelt — although she could not have voted for him. All those inventions and conveniences she spoke of were things I have known all my life and I probably could have added a few for grandma.

But, the punch line was that grandma had been born in 1961! If my math skills are still good, that would make her only 51 or 52 in 2013. By the time I was 52, I was married and had two children of my own. I did not, however, have grandchildren. I was a late starter, although Number Two son once suggested to his third-grade teacher that she ask me to talk to the class about the Civil War, “because Mom was there.”

Age is no distinction. Sooner or later the grandson of Jim’s email, along with the grandchildren of all of us living today, will look back and remember all the conveniences we will never know. I hope their comfort will grow as ours has.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to opinion@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Raw: Stampede in Rio During World Cup Cleveland Picked to Host 2016 GOP Convention Mississippi River Flooding Likely to Slow Down Track Owners Fight to End Greyhound Racing Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Germany Crushes Brazil in 7-1 Win at World Cup Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Man Finds Venomous Snake in Toilet Raw: Panic in Tel Aviv As Siren Warns of Attack Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Raw: Palestinians Clash With Israeli Forces Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City Wisconsin Cop Ready to Roll...On Skateboard Today in History for July 9th Washington State's First Legal Marijuana Sales
NDN Video
Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter Joan Rivers Storms Out of Interview Watch: A turtle and dog play ball Yikes! This Jet is Way Too Close Late-Night Highlight: Ben Falcone Screwed Up His Proposal To Melissa McCarthy Jenny and Sherri Talk "View" Departure
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity