Yesterday the phone rang and I got a laugh.It was my sweet sweet Alexis.I love it now that she can call me.It reminds me of when I would call Grandma Jahr about important stuff.You know like what a jerk my stepdad at the time was or make her laugh with a story.These phone calls went on until she went in the nursing home with dementia and are so precious to me now.She had a fast little-hello- when she answered and I can still hear her voice in my head.I wonder if my Lexie will remember my voice over the phone like that.I hope so.
Phone calls aren’t what they used to be now with everyone having a phone in their hip pocket and being able to call from anywhere that your body is.Back then you had to sit in one place,make sure you had your coffee and ash tray and a long hooker of some kind to keep the kids out of trouble.The person you were talking to sounded like themselves and not in a tin can and it was a tool to relax after a long day of cleaning or yard work.Your kids were always brats when you were on the phone because you couldn’t just go over to them and correct because you were ON THE PHONE.I don’t know why Linda and I would try to talk to each other because the kids were always breaking the sound barrier in the background.They tried more stuff and tattled constantly I don’t why we even dialed anybody up.And dial you did.I knew everybody’s number by heart and now I have them programed into my phone and I couldn’t tell you most of the numbers that I call on a weekly basis.So sad.
Along came the long cord and that was handy.I could make supper and talk and grab a kid if they were in the kitchen and still talk.Even that poor cord got abused at twelve feet long and all stretched out.Those kids just kept out of reach.Sometimes we would have to replace the cord because our connection got bad from all the pulling.
Long Distance was the Holy Grail of phone calls.You could expect total silence from everyone with that the announcement.It was because you had to pay for it special and you know money was tight back then.We had a little trouble with that because of some love sick boys one time.When we were teenagers some boys would call our house on Canboro Road to talk to us all the time.They lived in a small town just a few miles over and we would laugh and flirt on the phone.It was so much fun and very innocent until one day the phone company called and had a long talk with my mother reporting that the boys were putting those calls on someone else’s phone number.I was scared to death.It was a big deal and thank God we didn’t have to pay any of that bill because we never had any spare money especially for foolishness like that.I swore off long distance for a long time after that.
The ring was just that –a ring- like a phone should.Now you can get everything from Taylor Swift to Hello Moto announcing a call.Sometimes I don’t know if a radio is playing or if somebodies pacemaker is going off with all the beeping and what not.
We also had the use of a real live operator if you needed one that talked not some computer that you could go into orbit trying to get to talk to a real person.If you couldn’t find a number she would help you and you weren’t charged for it.My sister-in-law Mary was an operator at Michigan Bell in Bay City but they had to fire her because she couldn’t talk loud enough.I still smile when I think of it.
I miss the days my Aunt Loll would call after a family get together and we would laugh and reminisce over the days fun.It was love on a cord.She was about the best phone talker I know and could have me in stitches for hours.Thank God we weren’t on the party line anymore because we would have had some mad neighbors slamming down the phone in disgust hoping we would get off.
I am not crazy about talking on the phone like I used to and sometimes I don’t even answer it when it rings.Gone are the days when the kids were home running to get to the ringing phone first or arguing about who gets to use it next.There is no element of surprise because of caller ID.
Now when the phone rings it is always for me or Al.We have talked about getting rid of the house phone but I can’t quite do it yet.It is still my favorite way to talk and I need to keep it for the grandkids because it is going to be a thing of the past soon.Al and I laughed because the last time Alexis was here she answered the phone and when she was done talking she hung it up—backwards.They don’t have a house phone at home so it was a new experience for her.
I am thankful that I can talk to my kids and family any time I want but I do miss the old days of land line phones.There was nothing like picking up the phone and hearing my niece Jami in her croaky little voice saying AAAAuunt Liz.You can’t buy feelings like that and believe me when I tell you I have every one of them tucked right in my heart.