In search of story



My son claims he brings his children to my house to de-tech. What does he mean by that? I have a radio! As a matter of fact, I have FIVE radios, and four of them work! Plus a laptop! And a cellphone — never mind that my grandchildren view it with contempt because it doesn’t have apps. (When they get uppity about such things, I tell them about my single-phone childhood. They can imagine worlds with multiple moons, but not a home with only one phone; their eyes glaze over and I hear no more about my primitive ways.)

However, I do not have television, and the closest thing I have to any kind of digital game is an old Fisher-Price gizmo with a crank on the side that makes Dumbo fly. The closest thing to a big screen is an Ansel Adams print. Apparently, then, there are cultural gaps at Grandma’s House.

I do not apologize.

It is good that I don’t have television; television plays to my prodigiously lazy side and makes me contentedly numb. It costs more than it’s worth to me. So my grandchildren have books, paper, pencils. Seems enough.

It is good that I don’t have push-button games. My grandchildren build cities out of cardboard boxes and tents out of chairs and blankets. They race paper airplanes and labor over origami. They jump flowerpots and mine for silver in the back yard.

It is good that I have other technologies: ice cream scoop, knife sharpener, jar opener, for instance. They appeal to my grandchildren’s fascination with archaeology.

This is the place where their tomorrows meet my yesterdays, their time intersects with mine. It’s life. Technology is just along for the ride.

Grandma tech

Grandma tech

11 thoughts on “@Grandma’s

  1. This is awesome! I would love to just have a grandmother, especially one where I could just listen to stories on how things used to be… I am someone in my early 20s and I do not have a TV. Some people call me “amish”.. Too funny.

  2. Thank you! And I find it awesome that the musings of an old lady are of interest to someone so young!

    It is too bad that you don’t have a grandmother to tell you her stories; I’m sure they’d be good ones.

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how many people do not have a grandparent in their lives. They are missing out on not only stories, but also family recipes, special moments, and other generational goodies. I love your line about “their tomorrows meet my yesterdays.” Very poetic.

    • Thank you! We grandmas know that meeting.

      I hadn’t realized that so many didn’t have grandparents. It is hard to imagine growing up without them. Indeed, the “generational goodies” are what keep us going sometimes.

  4. You are so right to provide your grandchildren with an alternate universe. This is why I disconnect from emails and tv and even the phone one day a week. It reminds one of what is possible.

    • What a great discipline: disconnecting one day a week. It’s amazing sometimes how restricting ourselves in one way frees us in another.

      “Alternative universe.” I like that. I do hope that is what they have here and will remember.

      Thanks, Shirah!

  5. I have seen those glorious cities of cardboard and can testify that it takes someone special to leave them standing until the next time the grandchildren visit. You are one of those special grandmothers, Maureen, and the children are lucky, indeed.

  6. Thanks, Tamara! Indeed, you can testify to the obstacle course.

    I’m uncertain about which comes across more clearly from the cardboard sprawl: that I’m a good grandma (which I hope) or less than fastidious housekeeper (which I suspect).

  7. Pingback: Connections: January 5 | Oddments

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