Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Times...they are a'changing.

Who sang that? Bob Dylan? The phrase keeps running through my head. Oh, I know…times change on a regular basis, but recently I feel the changes are zooming by at warp speed.

I saw a tiny little girl, not long out of diapers, sitting on a stool in the library clicking away on a computer. Her eyes rarely left the screen, as she looked…surely she couldn't read…clicked, watched, and clicked again. Why wasn't she in the children's book area, where hundreds, if not thousands of colorful books are lined on shelves or propped open? The low tables and child-sized chairs were all empty, but a child occupied each and every one of the ten children's computers.

Wal-Mart has introduced a line of cosmetics for little girls. The display is right there, next to the L'Oreal and Cover Girl make-up for adults. Unbelievable. Why would any mother think her five-year-old needed lipstick and blush?

At church Sunday, the pastor called the little ones forward for the Children's Sermon. One small girl toddled down the aisle in high heels. I kid you not. Backless, high-heeled sandals with her pretty little dress.

Why must every university student own a new vehicle, often a huge pickup with extended cab? We have 30,000 students here in town, and every one of them owns something to drive, and most are brand new and not cheap, either. They drive from their apartments to the University bus stops, park along the streets illegally, and ride the bus the last six blocks.

Aren't we in an economic slump? Read the paper, read MSN on-line, or watch the news and you will repeatedly see and hear stories of hard times for our citizens. I simply do not understand.

Have you gone car/vehicle shopping lately? Where eight years ago each line had two choices—the base model and the upscale model, now, each line has from four to six models to choose from, and with each step up, the buyer is offered more gadgets. And thousand of dollars additional charge. I want a power driver's seat. I have a six-way power seat on my base model Chevy minivan (which I want to get rid of), but to get this handy gadget, I must go up to the next to highest-priced level on almost any brand of vehicle. This level offers several useless things I do not need. But a salesman whispered to me, "Oh, we don't NEED them, but we WANT them." Hmmm, so there's the sales pitch. Baby, if you want one thing, you will need to buy four others you simply don't need…and most likely, don't want.

Ah, well, such is life.

Oh, by the way.

The little girl who wore high heels to church? When the service was over she kicked them off so she could run outside barefoot and play in the front yard of the church with the other children.

Oh, and the tiny girl at the computer in the library? Before I left, she had dragged her mommy to the book area and her little arms were loaded with pretty books.

Yes, and the students who clog our streets and take our parking spaces? They turn out in force on Clean the River Day and work all day long. Also, they keep our big Food Bank booked with volunteers. I know, because I tried to sign myself and my husband up to volunteer, but were told…"we don't need any more volunteers. The University students keep the roster filled."

So far, I haven't seen any mother buying Wal-Mart cosmetics for her little daughter, so maybe there's hope….

Do I have a new vehicle yet? No, but I'm closer to making a decision. I think I found the "one," but we'll see. Buying a new one takes me a long time. Have to figure out all those gadgets, first.

All is not lost. We’re all okay. We're doing just fine.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. Hi Celia:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. The more they stay the same, the faster they change.

    I remember reading this book in 1962:
    “The Vanishing Adolescent”, by
    Edgar Z. Friedenberg.

    And then there was the book that said change was happening so fast that man would not be able to cope with it. “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler, 1984.

    And college kids all with new cars. Have you seen what college tuition is these days? If you can afford to send your kids to college, what’s the price of a new car?

    We are living in the time of the Shadowlands. The future will not believe these times were real.


  2. Well, I have to say that we did buy our kids cars when they were juniors in high school--not NEW cars, but dependable ones, because we live in a big city and there is not much in the way of bus service. They had to work and earn part of the payment when they were in school, but we quickly learned that was not the way to go, either, and here's why. There is so much pressure on kids anymore to keep their grade point up, and the programs in high schools now are beyond (in many cases) what my classes were in high school. So the work load for those classes is tremendous, if you are planning to have any kind of social life. Going to college has changed completely from the time I went. The pressure is unbelievable. The student loan process is unbelievable, too. LOL It's a shame that kids have to worry so much about things from the time they are little-too bad they can't just relax and be kids. My niece was telling me about having to get her son on a good ball team (when he was 4) because if you didn't get on a "good team" there wouldn't be room for you by the time first grade rolled around. BTW, I love Bob Dylan--love this song--so true and so ageless. Great blog, Celia.

  3. Dear Vince--forgive me for not answering right away. My life has not been normal for a few days, but will soon settle down.
    I need to "study" your're always a little over my head! But I promise--I'll be back in full force very soon...I sure hope so, anyway. Thanks so much for your special thoughts...Need to Google Shadowland...unless you want to go ahead and tell me what that is? What have I missed?? Celia

  4. Great blog, Celia. I share your astonishment at the direction we seem to be going. And then, as you say, you see a few things that bring hope for the generations ahead after all. Linda

  5. Cheryl--with our kids, we believed a car came with a driver's license. We bought a small used Ford sedan for our daughter when she was a Junior, but the deal was she had to take her little brother to school, too. Well, that caused a lot of stories over the next two years. They did fine, though, and although we did not spoil them, they did get college educations and turned into wonderful adults.
    I'm talking about college kids here and now, in our town. There's no reason on God's Green Earth that a 19 year old boy needs a Ford F-150 with an extended cab and double back tires and a V-6 engine to drive 8 blocks to the university...or to cruise around in. Uh-uh, no way.
    But I hear you on needing your adult child to have a vehicle....but you didn't turn the keys to your fortune over to them, did you? They did have to work and pay part of their way, at least.
    Yes, I understand the pressure on kids, too. They have to learn to cope of go under. Lots of stress. Love you, Celia

  6. LINDA--as long as I see our young people doing something for others, I'm not disheartened. Really, they'll be fine. Thanks for coming by...I'll get to my mail in a day or two. Last leg of our journey....almost home. Celia

  7. Good post Celia--My kids received their first car when I received their high school diplomas. My son got a second-hand Datsun he was thrilled with. My daughter got a brand new Prelude because she made it to the six-year medical program straight out of high school. We were so proud and wanted her safe with a new dependable car that she could use for a four-hour drive to come and visit Mom and Dad often.

    But yes things are changing. My grandson, only four, spends two hours in a row on a computer. He can't read but knows how to use the mouse and what letters to type to get his games. C'est la vie!

  8. MONA--we did what we had to, didn't we...with our kids. Ours had to have a car for high school because there was no bus and both my husband and I worked and went in different directions. I felt safe getting the car for our daughter. If our son had been the older one, I would have had to think long and hard about that.
    You did the right thing with yours, too. If my daughter did what yours did, I buy her a new car, too. We kept ours supplied in used ones until they had a job and bought their own.
    Ahhh, little kids these days. Amazing, isn't it? Our children were smarter than we were, and now our grandsons know things I never dreamed of at their young age.
    See? Time...they are a'changing. Celia

  9. Celia, good blog. I can share this: When I was young, I did something stupid, like run through my neighbor's garden, and that neighbor screamed bloody murder at me. I got angry and told my father that the neighbor yelled at me. My father said to me: "Why? What'd you do?" Today, the parent would scream at the neighbor for having the nerve to scream at their kid. And there you have it: It's not the times that've changed, it's the parents.

  10. Steven...ahhh, a man after my own heart. I have witnessed the very thing you speak of. Blame someone else. My failure is someone else's fault. My child would do nothing must be the accuser.
    I know exactly what you're saying. It's the parents. And I ask you...why?