From Foxtrot to Technobot


1396493416Calling me names: Someone recently called me a technobot. In my crusty rusty years, I’ve been called worse. I certainly do love to embrace (or downright cuddle and spoon) new technology innovations with the anticipation and thrill of a teenage kiss. You may have read about these developing passions of mine in my 50 Shades of Mac  post. But back to the business at hand.

What’s up? A couple of years ago I learned how to email money to and from my bank account. The thought of my hard-earned dollars whizzing through cyberspace at warp speed, sent me reeling with the sheer magic of it all. Oh the wonders and conveniences of this brave new world. To think that in my early childhood years I actually lived without electricity or telephones. Hell, my first school bus consisted of two horses pulling a boxy cabin on wheels, while we sat on the benches that lined the interior of the windowless walls. But I digress.

old-telephone-clipartvintagefeedsacks-free-vintage-clip-art-vintage-telephone-old-zjobn5vtA school holiday was declared when electricity finally found its way into our town. Life was simple…and then it all changed. The gaslights were turned off one by one, as the telephones started to ring and television sets introduced us to I Love Lucy.

The year was 1952 in small town Ontario.

So what’s the big deal? Well…now I can actually deposit a cheque to my bank account from my home, using my iPhone! I simply take a picture of the front and back of the cheque, and voila! It’s deposited to my account, while I sit at my kitchen table sipping a cup of coffee! I always feel quite light-headed from the dizzying experience. 1368299830917888001apple-iphone-icon-hi

Don’t judge me yet: Okay, I can hear you thinking…this poor woman has no life, to get so excited about such a silly unimportant thing. Whoa…hold on there Nellie! Yes I admit, new technology turns my crank, juices my engines and puts newfound energy into my yoga pants. And at my age, that’s got to be worth something! But it’s much more than that to me.

The meaning of life: This experience means that as I progress into the scary world of aging, I am learning how to embrace change and enjoy it. It means I can stay current and talk about these innovations with my family, and be connected to their world. In a more tangible sense, it means I can stay home to do my banking, instead of venturing out in the cold and snow. And in some small way, it helps me feel relevant in this rapidly changing world.

Stay tuned: So many seniors I meet are computer savvy. But just as many are not, and resist any suggestion of getting on board. As we age, our worlds often become smaller and smaller, due to illness, physical limitations, financial situations or family circumstance. Just think of the endless possibilities of entertainment, education and communication, if we stay tuned-in instead of tuned-out. The wonders of the Internet connects us with the universe, right from the comfort of our recliners.

Luv U2: I’m sure there are thousands of children and grandchildren out there, dying to give their grandparents a tablet (computer not medical) so they can stay in touch through Facebook, email and texting. And it’s never too late to learn. On the contrary, it’s exactly the right time. How can I put a value on the simple texts I get from my granddaughter to say goodnight, or to tell me she loves me? Phone calls are out with these kids…texting is in.

True colours: I’ve come a long way from living with gas-powered washing machines, wood stoves and hand-cranked record players for learning the foxtrot. In my sepia drenched memories, those days seem like they were a part of a kinder, gentler life. But as a child with those memories, I didn’t have to haul the water, chop the wood, or wrestle the frozen sheets off the clothesline. And I also didn’t have to trudge through the snow, all the way to the only telephone in town, when the doctor called my mother from the city about my Dad’s serious condition in hospital. Just imagine the number of changes in my very short lifetime. From sepia to living colour.

She who laughs: So scoff at me if you will, as I languish in my senior moments of pure cyber-bliss. But you might think of me the next time you stand in line at the bank, or walk across an icy parking lot to deposit your cheques at an ATM. I’ll be at home sipping coffee in my jammies doing the same thing…using my I-Phone. Try it…it’s nothing short of amazing! And we cottonheads need to be amazed now and then. Smoothes out the wrinkly bits.

See you between the lines,

Pat Skene


15 responses »

  1. Boy, does this ever resonate with me! I was well past my entry into the ‘elder-world’ when someone introduced me to the joys of blogging, using the very technology you’re talking about.
    Oh wait…..that was you!
    Nice post!


  2. Pat, I can’t believe the similarities in our backgrounds! I was one of those kids in the square box being pulled to school by two horses. And yes, I remember taking frozen sheets off the clothesline and bringing them inside to thaw. Like you, I am banking online now, connecting with everyone I know electronically, and loving it! Thanks for this delicious glimpse into the past!


  3. Hi Foxtrotter!
    Sporty running& skating and climbing ladders to pick fruit in the Okanagan 60+ years ago has made my creaky bod reluctant to foxtrot any more. So I got a long long lens for my camera and visit with the pollinators on our wildflowers from the comfort of my car window. No creakiness except when it’s time to get out and about after the car ride.
    Then I go into technobot mode and share my little adventures with whoever wants to see them. Cool, eh?

    When you get to be an old geezer like me, you’ll learn to simplify your life. So I still use a lot of cash to minimize keeping track of transactions. I get a chance to give tips to folks who give me great service by actually handing them cash and looking them in the eye, instead of fingering the keyboard.

    And I still use the phone: to listen to human voices, to rant and chat, to take pictures, to check on the Blue Jays and Britt Radar and Hydro One outages …. But I don’t have to listen for the proper ring on the party line or even get to a landline. Soooo nice and simple and easy. It gotten to the point that I don’t (have to) remember anyone’s phone number any more. I just have to remember people’s names, an increasing challenge.

    And perhaps the richest thing is the phenomenal access to learning. I just spent 3 hours learning about hoverflies, skippers and Compositae at my own pace instead of the dictates of some curricular learning plan. How nice is that?!

    And I get the chance to read your Boomerrantz from time to time!

    It’s a great time to be alive and kicking!

    PS I just read your Mac Shades.
    Strange: I never thought of my 16 GB, 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 MBPro under OSX 10.9.1 quite THAT way.


    • What a lovely writer you are Tom. You have a way with words…as you most certainly do with a camera. Hope to finally meet you at the Outrams this summer, good Lord willing and all that.
      Thanks for reading.


  4. Hey Pat, I totally get it… though my first school ‘bus’ was a windowless box on the bed of a pickup truck. We sat on benches and no one thought a thing of the bus driver closing the door at the end and leaving us in the dark for the ride, except for stops along the way. I’ve also recently been thinking of how far we’ve come and how much has changed in my 60 years. I’m not one bit nostalgic though, just really thankful for technology. And actual school buses. And air conditioning. Could live without the phone most of the time, but not the internet.


    • I’m totally with you girl re the internet! Don’t know what I’d do without my iPad news feeds, iBooks, and especially online scrabble games. I may not be physically able to go out and see the world anymore, but I can so easily bring the world to me. Thanks for your comment.


  5. As an aging woman with severe mobility issues ……technology has been very helpful to me.
    I can’t line up in a bank, but I can do online banking.
    I don’t shop a lot online, but it has come in handy on occasion.
    I LOVE my iPad and could not live without it. I’m on my third one.
    Most times I prefer to communicate via email and text messages, as people make me nervous….lol
    and I can’t think on my feet.
    I can type really fast and write a great email!
    LOVE playing scrabble online too, and looking up new recipes to test on my sous chef.

    So thank you for reminding me about all the ways technology makes my life more enjoyable.


    • You’ve got it Britt Girl! That’s exactly what it’s all about. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the next generation of virtual reality glasses, where we should be able to travel the world from the comfort of our recliners. The technology software isn’t quite there yet, but I’m hoping it will be soon. Another thing to add to your Xmas list. Thanks for reading.


  6. Because of health issues since 2010, my world has become much smaller, much of the time confined to my home. What would I do without my iPad, iPhone, Spotify and Apple TV! Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for this technology as one of my “five things to be grateful for” today. Cousin Gary believes that in the next 50 years people will be ordering, online, driverless Uber’s to pick them up and drop them off at the destination of their choice. Meet George Jetson………


    • Thanks for your comment Janice…what WOULD we do without our iPads? And for the past 3 years, I have shopped online for about 75% of the things I buy. So much easier to manage and usually great service. Just can’t walk those big shopping malls anymore. Hey…we’ve come a long way since that one telephone in the middle of town at Buck Woods’ place. One ringy dingy, two ringy dingies…📞


  7. Pingback: 20170702 Burwash, Cumulonimbus, skippers | Brtthome's Blog

  8. Very encouraging for those of us who approach this technology with a degree of anxiety. We have to be “with it” if we are going to survive. More and more communication is carried out either on the computer or inputting codes via the telephone. They are not waiting for us oldsters so we must work to meet their requirements. Thanks for an encouraging article.


    • That’s for sure Rumpel…we need to stay in step or get left behind. Embracing technology to help open up our worlds as we age is a good thing for all of us. Thanks for reading.


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