Wired Up!

18 Mar


In the long corridor of my memory, I revisit a white frame house on Miller Avenue, the exact floor plan of the modest structure,  two windows next to my bed in the little room added on to the back of the house, and the decals that I had stuck to the glass at the bottom of the windows.  Each decal was the logo and name of a Southwest Conference football team: Rice Owls, Baylor Bears, SMU Mustangs…there used to be a Southwest Conference.  The walk down the corridor took me to about 1950.  A long walk, but a good one because lots of wonderful memories were made in that house.

For instance, when the sun set behind the china berry tree and darkness quietly swallowed up the white stone barbecue pit near the purple irises, I anticipated the the sound of my mother’s voice: “Roger, about time for bed.”   Those words set into motion a certain routine that had developed in my childhood.  Did I mention that I lived with my mother and my maternal grandparents?   Hearing the first call to bedtime, I knew there was no purpose protesting.  It never worked.  So I took step one of the familiar routine.  Slip into my pajamas decorated with the Texas A&M logo and lots of footballs, find my blue toothbrush and the tube of Ipana toothpaste, take care of any other physical necessities, kiss my mother and my grandmother, try to kiss my grandfather who would usually bear hug me and tousle my hair, then disappear into the warm and welcoming little room at the back of the house.

I walked down that memory path recently, and intentionally, when I was getting ready for bed right here in the 21st century.    Is it necessary to say that “times have changed” and “they aren’t like they used to be.”  Of course not.  But bedtime preparation the other evening shocked me, like dropping a rock on my big toe.  I was jarred when I realized that while some elements of the routine have remained the same as in the innocence of childhood…toothbrush…necessities…hugs and kisses, etc., there is an element that would have seemed like Flash Gordon come true to that nine year old in the little house on Miller Avenue.

It is now absolutely necessary to gather all the charging wires and all the electronic devices, sort out all the fittings and find enough wall sockets to put them all to bed.  I mean, who wants to wake up to a 14% charge in the morning…it would ruin the day.  There is a rule somewhere that says:  “Thou must charge thy electronic devices nightly without fail.”  In my case that means wires and sockets for two phones, an ipad, two e-readers, and my little Shuffle music gadget…oh, and the Fitbit.   I certainly have to charge that one so I can tell if my heart is still beating in the morning and how many steps it takes me to go from the bedroom to the coffee pot.  Life’s essential information.  I am wired up every night, and it’s not from too much caffeine.

Don’t get me started on all the LED lights glowing in the nighttime darkness.  It’s like we live in a blue haze.  It’s like…never mind, I just noticed that my iphone is down to 23%.

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