Before my Time

I was born the December of 1980 and as far back as I can remember we had a computer in our house. My dad worked in the computer room at Hon. He was the guy they called when the computers crashed. I have seen photos of him in the first computer room they had at the Hon here in town, the room was filled with machines taller than my dad and they seemed to fill the entire room. I remember visiting him at work and how incredibly loud it was. Dad travelled around the country to help with the computers in the other Hon buildings. When I was in grade school we had a computer in the mudroom. I was one of the only kids who typed my essays. When faster computers came they were brought into our home.


However, I enjoyed digging out things that my parents had around the house. The typewriter and 8 track player went into my room. While my older brother was in his room listening to his cds I was in mine listening to old 8 tracks I had swiped from my parents. My brother often told me I had been born in the wrong decade enjoyed turning out my lights so I could read by the flickering light of the kerosene lantern.


Social interactions happened in the neighborhood. We had the biggest yard in Southend so our house was where most everyone seemed to gather. Baseball games seemed to be happening all the time. In middle school and high school my friends were a little more spread out. The telephone was used a lot. The one in the kitchen had a long cord so I could get comfortable while my friends and I chatted trying to figure out what to do. While some people had call waiting, we didn’t so I often heard “Time to get off the phone.” When I went out I always had 35 cents with me for a payphone just in case I needed to call home for a ride.

The library was my favorite place to be. I loved looking through books. I enjoy the smell of books. I spent hours there while my younger brother was playing video games. I played those games too but I perfered books and the peacefulness I could find at the local library.


I did get my first cell phone when I was 19. I only used it if I had car trouble. I had a baby and another on the way with travelling 4 hours one way to take my daughter to meet her uncle I wanted to be sure I could reach someone if I needed to

While I do enjoy technology and all the conviences that it brings I do not feel lost without it. Right now my computer is dead and it will probably be a few weeks before I get a new one. My phone gives me access to Facebook and email. I write in a notebook and then go type it up on my dad’s computer for work. Not having my computer constantly telling me when someone emails me or messages me via Facebook has freed up a lot of time.


My kids are growing up without being plugged in. Jessica is 15 and still does not have a cell phone. She does have a tablet but is only allowed to check FB for thirty minutes a day. My 13 year old has the same rule for his tablet. My youngest is 6 and asked why he can’t have a phone or tablet like all the kids at his school. I told him he doesn’t need one. He can use my phone to call a friend and he is too young to have a tablet.He was not very happy with that answer but he enjoys spending time outside, playing board games, reading books (especially popup books), and talking to people. I love that dinner time is filled with conversation and not electronics, that when family time rolls around I don’t have to wrestle away screens from my kids to get them to spend time with each other.

While I grew up with technology always there I have enjoyed life without being plugged in. I still love the old lanterns.I would rather have a conversation with someone instead of texting or messaging. Stationary often gets used so I can write a real letter and send it through the mail.


Is there anything from days gone by that you prefer to modern ways?

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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9 Responses to Before my Time

  1. jeff7salter says:

    what is HON?
    I think it’s great that you have reasonable restrictions of the time your kids are “plugged-in”.
    The kids growing up without those controls are missing out on a lot of real life.
    As a kid in the 50s & 60s, I spent most of my time outside playing. Don’t recall ever being bored.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I kept radios and TVs out of my sons’ rooms when they were young and the computer, which we didn’t get until the mid 1990s, is still situated in the main traffic area of the house. If it were up to me, my grandson wouldn’t have a cell phone, but his mother sets him up once in a while.He can message me on the tablet at her house, and even Skype.
    I wouldn’t even have digital clocks when my kids were little so they would learn to tell time on a clock face, but few of the kids can read one now.
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joselyn says:

      When I worked at the library, it drove me nuts how many kids couldn’t not read an analog clock. We had one right by the reference desk, but they would always lean across the desk to see the digital one on my computer. Many of them also couldn’t add 20 minutes to the current time to know when the next computer would be available.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I had to look up Hon, too. Unlike Jeff, I know how to use Google.
    Sounds like your kids have a nice balance in their lives. Hope they appreciate it someday!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Joselyn says:

    We got the kids kindles for Christmas and they are obsessed with them. I require them to do a list of chores and read before they can use them for a limited time each day. They aren’t even old enough for FB or anything like that.


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