Obsolete Skills

My mother-in-law, Faye, and her friend, Jean, stopped by the house on Tuesday. I got my digital camera out to capture Jean’s adorable grandson Whit. I was just shooting away when Jean asked me if I was using a digital camera. I assured her that I was, and because I was, I could snap away as generously as I desired.

Faye then started to tell us about her recent visit to her niece Becky’s house. She had taken her old 35 mm camera and Becky’s children were very disappointed that they couldn’t see themselves in the camera immediately.
I got to thinking that we had that instantaneous luxury when I was a child, it was called Polaroid, and the 3 minutes we had to wait for picture development really did seem immediate back then.
So, on the radio this morning, they were talking about obsoleteskills. And then it occurred to me that even though we have upgraded to digital photography, we really aren’t as advanced as we should be.
Here are some obsolete skills that still have their place at the Gold household:
1- Adjusting rabbit ears on top of a TV.
2- Operating an old-school 70’s air popcorn popper.
3- Letter writing.
4- Rewinding.
5- Programming a VCR to record your favorite show.
6- Blowing the dust out of GameBoy cartridges.
7- Caulking the shower.
8- Grinding wheat.
9- Handwriting and spelling.
10- Using the Dewey Decimal to search for library books.
11- Making your own ice-cream.
12- Baking homemade bread.
13- Ripping the little holes off the sides of computer paper. (my motherinlaw gave the girls a huge box of the stuff to color on)
14- Using WiteOut.
15- Using fountain pens.
16- Mending and hemming your own clothes.
17 – Playing an instrument
18 – Getting off the couch to change channels on the TV (our remotes aren’t the most reliable)
19 – Getting to know your neighbors.
Wow! I guess we aren’t doing too bad when it comes to the counsel from our pioneer ancestors: “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Here are some obsolete skills that we are glad we don’t need:
1- Changing your own oil
2 – Repairing your own small appliances.
3 – Darning socks.
4 – Loading film in a 35 mm camera.
5- Looking for a job in the classifieds.
6- Making an operator assisted phone call.
7- Remembering passwords (this is a sore subject at our house ~ LG will not write his passwords down)
8- Using a punch card (oh yeah, we don’t have to work for the man!)
And here are some that LG or I will gladly hold on to:

1 – Mastering the use of a joystick.
2 – Building your own computer using individual components.
3- Mowing your own lawn.
4- Growing your own vegetables.
5- Cheating at video games using a loader or binary patch.
6- Driving a manual transmission. (everyone needs to learn how to do this)
7- Knowing what part of town a person lives in by their phone exchange. (this is useful)
8- Lighting a kerosene lamp. (when camping of course)
9- Paying with cash (because this would mean that we actually have some)
10- Talking face to face (This one is not so much something LG may want to keep)
11- Tying a tie (oh how dignified)

WHAT are some skills that you are attached to, glad not to have, or need to hang on to?


  1. Being able to walk on my beautiful country road with my wonderful grandchildren to feed the horses where, thank goodness, there are no modern-day SIDEWALKS. (Hee-Hee)AFG

  2. I love making homemade everything! Pie crust, brownies, even pasta sometimes. Oh, and my clothes are from like 15 years ago, does that count?

  3. I LOVE THIS! Do you think kids will ever know how to really tell time??? So many people send e-cards instead of actual greeting cards.Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s