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From the Publisher's Desk – Somehow I survived my deprived life (Dec. 30, 2015 issue)

We are down to the last few hours of completing our 2015 goals. Somehow I don’t think mere hours will be sufficient for me to shed 30 pounds, take a grand vacation, get physically fit or save money from every paycheck of the year, which has already spent.
I really consider myself lucky to have even gotten to this point in life. After all, I grew up when life wasn’t childproof.
I remember when Tylenol was tampered with in a store. After that, the nation started making everything safer. Since then, it has been a method of having to crack the security code on everything. Open the box, peel of the plastic outer seal, align the arrows, squeeze the lid while turning, peel off the foil top, pull out the cotton, and there is your headache medicine. If you didn’t have a headache before, you certainly will afterwards from the stress of getting the bottle open.
If this security method had only been available when I was a small toddler, it would have prevented me from going to the hospital to have my stomach pumped. Those baby aspirin tasted like candy. How was I to know not to eat a handful?
I have also been fortunate to make it to the end of 2015 considering I started life with no seat belt, car seat or passenger air bag. There was the extension of a mother’s arm in front of me, when needed. I don’t think that method has been proven safe with crash-test dummies.
My mom drove an aqua colored Ford Falcon when I was in grammar school. We would head down the curvy roads of Spivey Mountain with no power steering or power brakes. They weren’t available. I can still hear her hands thumping on the steering wheel as she grabbed for a new grip to make each curve.
The car’s heater was broken one winter. Of course there were no seat heaters to turn on. Yet, I survived. You had to make sure the crank windows were “rolled” up tightly and carry a blanket along. Again, I survived.
Those car doors didn’t automatically lock after the car started forward. Gee, someone could have opened the door and grabbed me out while we were traveling 50 mph down the road. I survived.
We didn’t even feel the need to lock the house doors when we left home. Actually, I don’t think we knew where the key was. The security system called the “Family Dog” was in place. Watch out, his lick is ferocious.
We had to make sure we had completed all of our telephone calls before leaving home since cell technology wasn’t available. The only phone in the house was attached to the wall with a long, tangled cord reaching the receiver.
While driving down the road we didn’t get to call everyone we knew to tell them our location, what we saw along the way, what color of underwear we were wearing, how our socks didn’t match, how a bug hit the windshield and all of those other very important tidbits that must be shared immediately in today’s world. Yet, I still survived.
I didn’t have the technology of a computer or the whole World Wide Web at my fingertips. I couldn’t check my bank statement until it came in the mail. I couldn’t look up random facts. But, worse yet, I couldn’t keep up with what everyone else was doing or sharing through Facebook since it didn’t exist. Yet, I survived without all of that knowledge.
I didn’t know the memory testing skills I could develop by having 25 user names and passwords just to allow me to access my life on the computer.
I must say that not having a computer did give me more free time to watch TV, all two, snowy channels worth. Sometimes I could get an additional channel by moving the outside antenna from high to low and left to right. There was no real logic in what spot would pick up a better signal. Often the best signal came after getting frustrated and tossing the antenna on the ground.
I always had to have someone inside watching the channel and giving instruction from an open window. “That’s good. Oh, you moved it too far. There, there, stop. No, it’s snowy again.”
There were no local fast food restaurants when I was young. That generation knew that coffee is hot. They didn’t have to be warned on the cup.
Logic told us most of the things that companies have to print on products now to avoid lawsuits. They try to name everything imaginable that could possibly happen so that users can’t come back with “I didn’t know” lawsuits. To include all of the warning information, print is usually extremely tiny and would take an hour to read in its entirety.
How many actually read the user agreements on computer shared programs before clicking “Yes, I read and agree?” I haven’t read the first one yet and I have made it to the end of 2015. Who knows, I may have signed over a kidney, my right arm, my first born or any number of things because I didn’t take time to read the numerous pages of fine print.
Going forward I better be more careful. The world is getting extremely complicated by all of the things I lived without up until now.
Warning: the writer of this column takes no responsibility for eyesight strain in reading, paper cuts from the edge, newsprint smear on clothing or hands, bodily harm to the liver, lungs or other organs due to ink allergies, rashes, tripping if walking and reading or any other conditions imaginable.