This week I’ve learned that it is way cool to open windows in our truck, using a crank to do the job. One of my granddaughters had never seen such a thing. The window on the passenger side made several ups and downs as we drove home from church. While my generation has experienced both ways to open car windows, we also recall that open window as the only source of cool air when we were traveling. I wouldn’t want to go back to those hot trips in a car full of people and dogs and open windows.

The other cool thing in this grandma’s house is a dial phone that actually makes phone calls. The girls were calling each other from that phone to a cell phone. I told them stories about 2 and 3 digit phone numbers, operators who were necessary for connections, party lines with a distinctive ring for each family. The stuff of story books, hardly to be imagined by this technically savvy generation whose lives seem to depend on their connections to friends, was part of my childhood.

Somehow I think it’s important to share my memories of growing up in a small town where we were safe, knew almost everyone, and could wander through the day without supervision. We played “Kick the Can” or some other game that kept us outside and on the run. Some days we decorated wagons and bikes to have a parade, or we wrote plays that we performed in our garage.

That dial phone, now a relic of that long-ago time, was in in the kitchen of the home where I was a child. It rings now when the other phones ring in our house. If I’m near it when it rings, I am transported to a happy kitchen, full of wonderful smells and memories.