The new year always brings about comparisons between the past and present in our lives. For instance, if you go up a flight of stairs at a semi-fast pace and notice that it's hard to catch your breath, you think back to a time when you could dash up stairs and still be able to talk in complete sentences without panting.
That's the kind of thoughts I'm talking about.
Karen Jochims sent me an e-mail some time back, and I have a great opportunity to use it right now. It is a comparison of 1978 and, let me say, 2012, although her e-mail said 2010.
In 1978: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
In 2012: Trying not to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor. Especially since they are both dead.
1978: Going to a new hip joint.
2012: Receiving a new hip joint.
1978: Rolling Stones.
2012: Kidney stones.
1978: Parents begging you to get your hair cut.
2012: Children begging you to get their heads shaved.
1978: Passing the driver's test.
2012: Passing the vision test.
Just in case you weren't feeling too old yet, this will certainly change things. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try and give the faculty a sense of the mindset of that year's incoming freshmen. This is from Karen, also. Here is the list:
People who will be starting college across the nation for the first time in 2012 were born in 1994.
They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up. Their lifetime has always included AIDS. Bottle caps have always been "screw off" and plastic. The compact disc was introduced four years before they were born. And they have always had an answering machine.
They always had cable, cannot fathom not having a remote control, and Jay Leno has always been a late evening talk show host to them. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave, they never took a swim in the ocean and thought about "Jaws" and can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
They don't know who Mork was or where he was from, never heard of "Where's the beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" or "De plane, Boss, de plane."
They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. even is. McDonald's food never came in Styrofoam containers, and they don't have a clue how to use a typewriter - manual or electric.
Some time ago, I wrote about some products that are a thing of the past and got an e-mail from Pat Logsdon recalling some "bye-gone days memories."
"I remember when my dad got cigarettes from a machine, and they were 25 cents, with 2 cents included at the bottom of the pack, and when bread was two loaves for 25 cents," she wrote.
She also told about the house they lived in, owned by Hanna Coal, being $15 a month for rent and having an outhouse and water that was hand pumped from a pump on top of the sink. Water was heated by her mother for laundry use or baths. Heating oil was 13 cents a gallon, and gas was 10 cents a gallon then.
"When my dad retired in 1965, he made $26 a day. Baseball was a religion, as it was played by all the children in the neighborhood, and we couldn't wait until dark to play kick the can," she said.
"Those were the good old days. You knew 'No' meant just that, and there were moral values to follow. Going to a football game or the drive-in was a treat, and moms stayed home and always knew where their children were. Of course, there were no cell phones, but if you got into trouble in school, your parents always found out and were waiting for you when you got home," Pat remembered.
Another "back in time" experience for me this past week was going to Pesta's Country Store in Mingo Junction for homemade sausage for our New's Year Eve party.
I love to go there. It reminds me of how the Bradley New Co-operative looked in my youth. The difference is that Barb, Pat and Becky decorate in a pleasing way with food and gifts they have for sale.
I even picked up the six plastic champagne glasses Pat used in a party decor for use at my party. This is something I wouldn't have thought of if I had not seen them displayed. The glasses were all stacked together with one glass bottom.
I didn't notice this when I purchased them but before I got home, Pat called Lamont to tell of the problem, as the other five glasses could not stand up without them. And then Barb delivered them to our home when the store closed. How great is that?
I called ahead to order the sausage and when I got there, Barb was grinding pork and making it into sausage. You can't get any fresher than that! And they always offer suggestions on ingredients needed to make great Italian sausage sandwiches.
"You are going to need a red and green bell pepper to make it look colorful," Barb said. And I took her up on the hint and bought the peppers, plus two cans of tomato sauce that she swore was tasty.
Then I threw in a package of Chinese fortune cookies to give out at midnight, a bottle of cranberry juice and some homemade sauerkraut, which was excellent - just like Lamont's mom once made.
When the order was tallied and packaged, Pat held the door for me to leave and even wished me a Happy New Year.
I remember those Co-op days well, and Pesta's Country Store brought back the memories.
As for remembering dates, the Stitch and Hitch 4-H Club in Harrison County is once again selling its "Barns Around the County" calendars, with 12 new barn pictures.
This is the fifth year for the club's fundraiser that has been a great success.
The money earned is used by the club to give Christmas gifts to the needy, Valentines for veterans, Easter baskets for the county home and other community projects.
The calendars have a brief history of each of the pictured barns and a listing of their location.
The cost is $12, with an extra $3 if it is to be mailed. Orders can be placed by calling Loretta Pickens, (740) 946-0964; Sandy Valdinger, (740) 945-9505; or Jill Valdinger, (740) 942-3885.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)