Posted on July 21, 2008
Dispatches From The Transient Programmer #4: Stuff I Took For Granted: Then And Now
Now that I have moved out of my single-family house, and I have been back visiting my parents often at their house where I grew-up, I realize that I will probably never be able to provide my kids with the same type of house that I grew-up in. Yes, I can get them a bigger house with more stuff, but I don’t think I can ever provide them the comforting nuances of in a 70’s/80’s suburban neighborhood. Given that, here is a list of “Things I took For Granted As a Kid Growing Up In A Single Family House In Middle-Class Neighborhood In The 70’s and 80’s”
- A Front Yard that could be played-in
- A Tree that could be climbed
- A long drive-way that could be used for multiple games and to park cars
- Visiting friends houses on the street and not having my parents worry about were I was going.
- A garage that balls could be kicked against, thrown against, etc.
- Room for a basketball hoop and game of one-on-one
- The freedom to ride my bike any where wanted
- My safe feeling of having my dad coming home from work
- Mom coming back from the supermarket with bags filled with food
- A street filled with single-family homes each with a front and back yard.
- A House with a regular address with only numbers (i.e. with no #A, 1/2. Unit 1, etc).
- Coming home when the street lights turned-on
- All kids sent outside to play instead of inside to play video games
- Available parking…on both sides of the street
- Walking places
- Marathon candy bars and Bubble-Up soda in a returnable bottle
- Big Wheels.
- Playing guns, ditch ’em, etc. at the local school and not having the SWAT Team called-in.
- > Zero Tolerance
- Paperboys with bad aim
- Playing Atari 2600 games and wishing I had one.
On the same note, now that I’ve been living in a hotel, I’ve realized that there are tons of things I simply took for granted when I owned my own place. Many of these are things that I never knew I wanted until I did not have them any longer. Now I can’t wait to get them back.
Things I Took for Granted When Living In a House And Not a Hotel
- My own parking space
- More than 13 TV channels
- Secure, encrypted Internet access
- A wired phone that did not charge 50 cents a minute.
- Light switches that turned on lights that they logically should turn on
- A temperature Control system that could be turned off
- My own artwork/photos on the walls.
- A place to have mail sent.
- My own garbage can.
- A place to wash clothes that did not cost $3.00 per load (including drying).
- A refrigerator that did not freeze everything.
- An oven
- A lock on my door I trusted
- A printer (I didn’t take mine)
- An answering machine
- A doorbell
- A modicum of privacy
- A junk drawer
- An array of readily available tools
- An unlimited supply of filtered drinking water
- A bed that did not hurt my back
- Multi-ply toilet paper
- Removable coat hangers
- More than two chairs for 5 people
- The option to let the cat go outside
- The option to let the cat crap outside
- The sounds and smells of home
- Space to have people visit
- Being able to relax
- Fences and gates
- A sense of control
We still have 10 days on this Transient sojourn. It will be 10 days too many. I thought I would have a demo of the “Free Beer” game today, but that will have to wait until next time.