where the writers are

As I was driving down the road towards home today, I saw a dinosaur sitting on the curb.
Not, a literal dinosaur, but something that has become a dinosaur in our lifetime, a big console television.

Looking at that giant monster waiting patiently for the special truck that would take it away, I was suddenly filled with memories of our family's first color t.v.

When I was a child, it was a major event when your parents bought something new. A new car brought all the neighbors out to admire it. A new washing machine or an indoor dryer (!) was talked about over the fence in the morning as the housewives gathered to watch us walk to school.  We were the first in the neighborhood to install central air conditioning. Every kid who ever rode past our house on their bikes, knocked on our door and asked if they could come feel the "cool air."

When our new color t.v. arrived, my brothers and sisters and I were thrilled. Most of our neighbors had already switched to color t.v. and we had felt left out. Now our new Magnavox color console, in a walnut casing had arrived. It sat directly on the floor where our old t.v. had stood on legs. The screen was wider and the sound clearer. Best of all, all our favorite shows were in living color.

I remember going to school the next day and talking about our new t.v. during sharing time. If I remember correctly, another kid talked about his family's new deep freeze. My news was more exciting by far.

Nowadays, a new appliance is met with only a passing interest. We replace our things so much more often than in the past. Partly because those appliances lasted much longer, but we also valued them more. My parent's didn't go out and charge a new t.v. at the drop of a hat. They saved up and used part of their yearly income tax return for a major purchase.

I wonder if now that the economy is in dire straits and our incomes are shrinking, that we will hold onto our things longer. Perhaps the next time we purchase a new car or appliance, it will be a big event.