Bring Back the Cord!

I had a moment yesterday.  A friend of mine called and we chatted on the phone for 25 minutes.  Twenty five.  Minutes.  Just her and I.  Who has 25 minutes to JUST chat on the phone??  And neither one of us was running errands or driving a child somewhere or talking to three other people at the same time.  It was just me and her.  Chatting.  Catching up and laughing and actually hearing what the other was saying.

Remember those days?

The days when there was ONE phone on the wall in the kitchen, attached to a cord.  Remember when they came out with the idea of a super long cord?  Then you could talk on the phone and walk ALL AROUND the kitchen.  And in our case, even outside to the front porch or into the dining room too. I remember our kitchen was spic and span!  Every weekday morning, my mom would get everyone out the door to work or the bus stop and call her best friend.  They would talk for hours at a time.

Being the youngest, I was still home, sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast, while my mom started her day.  The phone call and then she would position herself at the table, by the window, until the bus came and she knew her “charges” were off and safe for the day. Then I was dismissed to go get dressed, brush my teeth, and sit down to watch Sesame Street in the living room.  If it was a day that there was a lot of gossip to report, I might even get to watch Mr. Rogers too.  🙂

Anyway, the kitchen was always the cleanest room in the house.  Those morning phone calls, with the super long cord, would allow my mom to accomplish much of her day’s work.  Our washer and dryer also happened to be in the kitchen and I remember she would put the phone down for a quick minute, dash down the hall to gather the day’s laundry and then dash back to the kitchen and continue with her conversation.

In those one, sometimes two hour phone calls,  Mom managed to wash, dry, and put away the dishes; pull the dinner meat from the freezer and prepare most of the meal; wash, dry, and fold a load or two of laundry; wipe down the appliances; sweep the floor; and write out a grocery list.  Some days she even got the windows sparkling and the front porch swept, in addition to setting the dinner table.  All that while getting caught up on “which neighbor just bought a new car and which parent was recently appointed as president of the PTA.”

Those twenty five minutes on the phone with my friend brought back all those memories.

Oh how I wish I could bring back the days of the phones with super long cords.  I want the days when people actually talked AND LISTENED on the phone.  I want time to slow down and people to matter to people.  I want all this rushing and running and noise to just go away!

Or maybe . . . I just really want a clean kitchen and my front porch swept daily!

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3 Responses to Bring Back the Cord!

  1. Kris TX says:

    Hi Mo,
    I received this email from a friend today. It reminded me of this blog and how important it is to slow down, listen, talk and make time for each other. These simple things can have a huge impact on someone’s life, sometimes without you even knowing it. Love this story and wanted to share it with you, my beautiful friend. : -)

    THE GUY NEXT DOOR…

    A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.

    Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

    “Jack, did you hear me?”

    “Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said…

    “Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

    “I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

    “You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

    “He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

    As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

    The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

    Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture. Jack stopped suddenly…

    “What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

    “The box is gone,” he said

    “What box?” Mom asked.

    “There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

    It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

    “Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

    It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox: “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

    “Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

    Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

    “Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

    “The thing he valued most was.. my time”

    Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

    “I need some time to spend with a friend,” he said.

    “Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

  2. mo22tivation says:

    Have read and reread this same story so many times over the years . . . .LOVE. IT!!! And it’s so true! It’s what I value most so thanks, Girl, for your time!!! It’s priceless to me!!! Love you!

  3. Kris TX says:

    Love you too!

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