Cell phones and texting have ruined a great American tradition. I'm alone in the house this morning, and it's very quiet. The birds outside (and the one inside) are the only disturbance to that quiet. The dog isn't even chasing any squirrels up the tree. In my mind I expected to hear any minute a mother standing in her driveway calling her children home for lunch. Then I realized that I haven't heard a Mom do that in a very long time! All the kids have cell phones now. Moms just call or text the kids when lunch is ready, or when they've worn out their welcome at a neighbor's home! A great sadness came over me. Yet another American tradition is wiped out in an instant.
I remember my mother yelling for me when I was out riding my bicycle. Oh, and the cow bell! When we were at the family cabin, the kids would hike all over the hillside. Mom knew that her voice would not carry as far as we could hike, so she instituted the cow bell rule. When Mom wanted us to come back to the cabin, she would ring the cow bell. No matter where we were or what we were doing, when the cow bell rang we were to drop everything and get back to the cabin. My sister (not the best hiker) wanted to see this beautiful meadow that my grandfather talked about. One day she decided that she would attempt to hike that far. She was almost there. As I recall, she just had one little ridge to get over -- and the cow bell rang through the air. I don't believe Cheri ever saw the meadow. She gave up after that.
These are memories that our grandchildren won't have. They may not even remember the sound of their mother's voice at all -- they'll only have a mind's eye of a text message. How sad!