how the world has changed

by | Apr 5, 2019 | a slice of life | 87 comments

Today, I turned 41 and I found myself thinking about how the world has changed since I came into it in 1978…

I saw my first VCR at the age of four.  I watched Dumbo and thought it was the most magical thing ever.

My brother and I played Frogger on Atari, hooked up to a boxy, wood-encased TV with a turn dial.

It was a major crisis when my tape player ran out of batteries and I couldn’t listen to my Annie tape as I fell asleep.

Cabbage Patch dolls were the thing.

ET was the first movie I remember seeing in the theatre.

$2 bills were still in circulation.

We loved The Muppet Show, Little House on the Prairie, and The Greatest American Hero.

When we went on road trips, we didn’t go through a drive-through, but we found a pretty spot on the side of the road, sat on the hood of the car, and ate sandwiches and chips that my mom packed that morning.

Jams shorts and jelly shoes were at the top of my coolest-clothing wish list.

My friends and I would put a coin in the music video jukebox to watch Michael Jacksons’ Bad music video.  And we felt very naughty doing it.

I saw my first CD when I was 10.  It was Les Miserable and a family friend was playing Castle on a Cloud for me to hear and consider for my next audition.

(I’m the child on the far right.  This was the curtain call during the European Broadway Tour of Evita.)

When I was a kid, every grown-up was an authority and would tell my mom if I was misbehaving with my friends in the neighborhood.

I worked on school papers that were bluish from the carbon used to make copies.

I remember seeing the Challenger space shuttle blow up while watching it live in our classroom.

We didn’t have to wear seatbelts, so we would fold down the seats in the back of our Ford Fairmont station wagon and spread out our sleeping bags on long road trips.

We lived on a military base overseas, so our phone number was only three digits.

Eating a TV dinner on a folding tray table while watching a movie was a novelty.

(Oh, the laser backgrounds…)

My first computer was an Apple IIe and I only knew how to play Space Invaders and print up birthday cards and banners (on that connected printer paper with the edges you had to rip off.)

I actually used encyclopedias to do research for school papers.

The year I got a boom box and jean jacket for Christmas was the coolest Christmas ever.  And yes, I wore the jacket with the collar flipped up, put the boom box on my shoulder, and posed for a picture.

When I was in high school, I had one of those brick-sized cell phones that only held a charge for 30 minutes.  My parents got it for me, so I could call them when I was driving home at 1:00 am from my job dancing in the night-time parades at Disney.

(I was a butterfly in the Spectro Magic parade, which involved wearing a sequins spandex outfit, gluing sequins to my face, wearing false eyelashes, and dancing a one-mile parade route with 50lb wings on my back.  It was a blast and I was in great shape!)

Gas was less than $1.00/gallon when I started driving and I would put $5.00 in my tank at a time, feeling like I was somehow being economical by not filling the entire thing up.

I used 10-10 numbers to save money on long distance calls in college.

Jeff and I knew each other when we were younger, but we started “dating” years later over AOL Instant Messenger.  I had to pay $.25 every time I dialed up on my 56k modem, which resulted in a lot of outrageous phone bills.

(We did selfies before they were even called selfies!  Of course, we had to wait an hour to have the film developed!) 

I didn’t know what a URL was or how to use a search engine until I was 20.

I downloaded songs illegally off of Napster.

We subscribed to Netflix, received three discs at a time, watched them, and mail them back.

That’s just a smattering of things I could think of off the top of my head, but it’s amazing how much things have changed in 41 years, especially in the area of technology.

What are some things you remember from your younger years?

87 Comments

  1. beverlee lyons

    Such a cute post.
    My daughter would be older than you, so many things I know, people wouldn’t even know what the ‘remember’ was. Like rotary phones. And, the satisfaction of slamming one down. We didn’t have a t.v. until I was 16!!! Still an avid reader.
    Thank you for the journey, I remember those things, too.
    Happy Birthday and many more blessings on your coming year.

    Reply
    • beverlee lyons

      and, you each have a mini-me. Uncannily so!

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        Yes! Marshall looks so much like me and Calvin looks a lot like Jeff and his mom.

        Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I remember rotary phones, too. And busy signals!

      Reply
      • Cathy

        And party lines….we had to always be careful what we said on the phone because whoever was on your party one might be listening in. And the TV stations went off the air at midnight. We played 45’s and 78LP’s until 8 track cassettes came out. Gas was 36 cents a gallon and the attendant pumped it for you and washed your windshield and checked your oil. I’m old.

        Reply
  2. angela

    i turn 41 in June. played Oregon trail.

    Reply
    • Nicole Davis

      Yes, Oregon Trail was the best during that time. Had to comment bc that was one I was going to mention. 😂

      Reply
  3. Heather

    Thank you for the memories! I was born in September 1977.

    Reply
  4. Meredith MacRitchie

    Have you watched videos of teenagers using the rotary phones we grew up with? Or using dial-up internet? My kids needed me to explain the other day how cassette and VHS tapes work…

    Also, remember how you talked to your friends face to face instead of by texting across the table?!

    How about going to Blockbuster, hoping the New Release you wanted was available, but needing a backup in case there wasn’t a copy waiting for you, and nothing in the return bin either…

    This was a great post!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! Blockbuster almost made it on my list, but I picked the early days of Netflix instead. We did a lot of note-passing instead of texting. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Amy

    Love this! Saturday morning cartoons (Jem was my favorite), playing my pink Barbie cassette tape in the boom box, Strawberry Shortcake records on my record player, scrunchie socks over stirrup pants with my high tops, talking on the phone while walking back and forth because the cord could only stretch so far…..so many great memories!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I had a Raggedy Ann exercise record!

      Reply
  6. Terry A.

    Cute pictures.

    I remember the first time I ever saw a color TV. The neighbor down the street invited all of us over to watch a baseball game. That grass on TV was sure green! 🙂

    Happy birthday! I’m sorry the Minnesota weather wasn’t a bit more cooperative. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Cindy

    I recently shared with my G’s about my family buying the 1st colored tv in our town, population 270. It was mostly green but we thought we’d won the lottery( we didn’t know what a lottery was at the time either) Friends & Neighbors would stop by to watch it. MY mother would set up a row of folding chairs in the living room behind our sofa, they would view it for 10-15 minutes & then another group would rotate in. My G’s also didn’t understand how I could possibly take a phone that was mounted on the wall with me when I went out.

    Reply
  8. Sherry

    I love this! And you were so cute and still are!

    Reply
  9. Debbie Hibbert

    Such cute pictures of you!

    My aunt and uncle were the first people, that I knew, to get a microwave. I’d never heard of such a thing! We’d think up things to cook, then gather around to watch through the glass on the door.

    For YEARS our phone was on a party line … so you’d, often, pick up the phone and be able to listen in on one of your neighbors talking on the phone. My dad used to get furious, when he needed to use the phone, and one of the neighbor kids were talking to a boyfriend or girlfriend, LOL!

    I was just shy of 21 when you were born, Marian. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Reply
  10. Karen A Harper

    Happy Birthday Marian! I remember driving to college classes and playing my 8 track tape player , Earth Wind and Fire on blast!! Watching I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched in black and white. Metal roller skates that you attached to your shoes with a key,hula hoops, knee socks, crinoline slips under poofy dresses, portable record players and vinyl records. Watching the Supremes and the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. The black rotary phone that was so heavy you could have used it as a deadly weapon.

    Reply
  11. Helena Dias

    Happy birthday. I’m a little older and remember those days fondly.

    Reply
  12. Gayle

    Happy birthday to you. I’m 21 years older than you but I loved reading that, brings back lots of memories. I’m in Australia & we didn’t have a phone when I was a child & TV was black & white with 4 channels, I remember when the 4th channel started, it was a big deal. We got our first colour television when I was 16. I remember the shooting of JFK & John Lennon. I remember the Beatles coming here when I was 7. We had a half day off school to go home & watch the landing on the moon & I remember watching when the space shuttle exploded.
    It’s funny isn’t it, reading what you wrote was so interesting & made me realise I should be writing about these things too.

    Reply
  13. Goedele François

    I was born in dec 1979. I came to the US for the first time at Easter 1992, wearing a sweater with the US flag on it haha. I was amazed by the giant music and video stores. I picked my first cd because the cover had a baby on it, though a bit shocking because it was naked, I had no idea what the music was like. Cd’s was a big thing and I just wanted one. It was Smells like teen spirit by Nirvana. I had no idea they were about to influence the grunge music scene and my teenage years.

    Reply
  14. amy mogish

    I love to visit my memories! Happy Birthday! ….I am 10 years older than you ~ but I remember the boom-box Christmas and I was so upset because I received the boom-box with the tape deck buttons on the side and not the top…I never told anyone because in those days you said Thank You and were grateful for everything…..I still wear my collar up on my denim jacket lol!

    Reply
  15. Linda

    Happy Birthday Marian! I thoroughly enjoyed walking down memory lane with you. 🙂 I was born in 1959 so my memories certainly go farther back but reading your post really did bring back things that I hadn’t thought about in years! I remember when your TV only had 7 channels and at a certain time late at night, there would be a station sign off with the Star Spangle banner before shutting down for the night! My favorite TV was I Love Lucy and I enjoyed listening to my parents Mitch Miller albums on our hi-fi stereo! I remember girls could only wear dresses to school in our town until around 1970. Times were definitely simpler back then. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Peggy

    Happy Birthday Marian. I have so many fond memories. We had a rotary dial phone that hung on the kitchen wall. We would stretch the cord out trying to take it into the bathroom so our parents couldn’t listen to our conversations.

    Reply
  17. Jo Nelson

    I remember when I wanted to make a phone call I’d pick up the receiver and wait for the operator to ask what number I wanted. I remember having no TV and listening to shows on the radio. I remember buying 45s and then playing them over and over while writing down the lyrics so I could memorize them to sing along. I remember putting $.25 in a VW Beetle and driving up and down main street for hours on Friday and Saturday nights. I remember getting into the movie theatre for $.05, buying a very small bag of popcorn for $.05 and a Slo-Poke sucker for $.05. If I was lucky my mom sometimes gave me enough to also buy an ice cream bar for, you guessed it, $.05. I remember playing outside constantly, going ice skating all day, running home for supper and going back out. Same with swimming. It was a great life.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth St

      Happy Birthday, Marian. I hope it’s a great one.

      What a wonderful list of reminiscences. I love your adventures as a child entertainer.

      I remember using a small, reel-to-reel tape deck for us five kids to record “comedy” (or so we thought) sketches on the spur of the moment.

      They tasted marginal, but I remember the excitement of eating Space Food Sticks, snack of the astronauts.

      When my mom needed to call my dad at work, it was long-distance. She would first dial a number that connected her with a telephone operator (actually a friend’s mom with a switchboard in her house). Mom would tell her a word plus numbers (“Swift 7,000”), and the operator would connect her, All of this was to call someone 20 miles away.

      Living in the Adirondack Mountains, we couldn’t imagine why anyone would pay for a Xmas tree. We kids just trotted up the dirt road with a sled and an ax, “shopping” in one of many pine forests for just the right shape and height.

      Reply
  18. Deborah

    In reference to your first picture, remember when it was OK to lay your baby on their stomach? Heaven forbid if I lay a grandchild in that position today!

    One other memory I have is of air conditioning-or the lack of it. I was a senior in high school, born and raised along the Gulf Coast of Florida, before we had air conditioning. Lord, thank you for air conditioning!!!

    Reply
  19. Jill

    Great memories! I remember wearing dresses to school until my high school girl classmates revolted and most of us wore slacks one day (never jeans!). I remember 45s and LPs, my parents making sure they were home when the Dick Van Dyke show was on, and staying out all day in the summertime with the only rule being “be home by dinner!” My mother is 92 and loves coming up with her own childhood memories that hardly anyone remembers anymore, like the car her dad had that you had to crank in the front to get the engine running, and having a big ironer/mangle in the laundry room that wrung out sheets and tablecloths, and always taking a short stroll or sitting on the front porch on a summer evening to wave and chat with other neighbors who were doing the same. The 20th century was 100 years of fascinating changes, for sure.

    Reply
  20. Teresa

    Happy 41 Marian! I turned 60 this past November so I go back a little further than you in my memories. I grew up with vinyl records and 8 track players! Some of my most memorable toys were a Chatty Cathy doll, Suzy homemaker oven, and a purple String-ray bike with a banana seat. The 60’s in my opinion were the greatest for toy inventions so I feel lucky to have grown up in that era.

    I am thankful we didn’t have cell phones or computers like todays kids. We learned socialization skills by going outside and playing with other children and getting exercise. If I think back there were very few over weight kids in my generation.

    Reply
  21. Lori Howard

    This post brought back so many memories! Lovely ones at that! I still have an old VCR and I get laughed at by my family…it still works great! Life gets so busy and we have just tolerated the changes at times but looking back brings things into perspective. Love the photos! How sweet! Thank you for sharing them!

    Reply
  22. Tracie

    Well, we won’t go into how OLD I am, but I remember all this things you talked about, plus, – my sons, 25 & 27, asked me when they were little, what VHS tapes I had went I was younger…….ummm none! I remember when we got our 1st TV that had a remote control-my mother hated it; she could not see the purpose of it – until she learned to channel surf all, what, 7 channel-hahaha! thanks for the stroll down memory lane – it took me back a few years further than 1978 as well. 😀

    Reply
  23. Lori W.

    In no particular order: full-service gas stations, rotary phones, when FM radio was an upgrade in a truck, mix tapes made by listening to the radio for HOURS at a time, Hee-Haw, watching the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion on TV in 8th grade English class, “the bigger the hair, the nearer to God,” my family’s first VCR when I was 16, sharing one bathroom for all four of us, our Easter best for church on Easter morning followed by white shorts for my brother and a sundress for me to hunt eggs with my cousins, pop bottle rockets and cherry bombs on the 4th of July, Saturday morning cartoons (not the crap that has replaced it today), leg warmers scrunched above your shoes and worn over jeans, oversize shirts worn untucked and loosely belted with a wide belt slung diagonally across the hips, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, going up to the “Video Shack” and renting movies that were due back the next day, high school lunches at the corner drugstore with a fountain, parachute pants, MTV, and Exclamation! perfume.

    Reply
  24. Jenn

    Too funny and we are the same age so I can relate. I remember watching Clueless sophomore year and so wanting to be Alicia (or at least dress like her). I also remember my first clear pager and having to rush to a pay phone to call my friends back, lol.

    Reply
  25. Deborah Raney

    Believe it or not, that’s still how we do Netflix. Yes, we have streaming too, but the TV in our workout room doesn’t stream, so we still watch the old-fashioned way with DVDs that we mail back in their SASEs. 🙂

    Reply
  26. Wendy Sundt

    What wonderful memories and pictures! I’m 10 years older than you so the technology changes have really been amazing. My aunt played BJ Thomas on an 8 track in her car and I really thought that was cool at the time! My first purchased music was two 45rpm records… “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” Pat Benatar and “I Wish That I Had Jessie’s Girl” Rick Springfield. I loved Little House on the Prairie and The Greatest American Hero… Star Trek and Quantum Leap… Frogger was the best game ever! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

    Reply
  27. Jane Allen

    Happy Birthday, I hope you have a very blessed year.

    Reply
  28. Dee Van Ingen

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Marian!!!!!! I remember all that stuff (or at least part of it) since my daughter is a year older than you! Soooooo that puts me in the OLD category since I’m over 70! Thank you for all those memories and then some. The rotary phone………I remember we had a “party line” with our next door neighbors when I was growing up and neither household knew when the other was on the phone unless you picked up the receiver and either heard voices or a dial tone…… I married a service man who spent 20 years in the U.S. Army. Moving is still in my blood……..shortest time we lived anywhere in our soon-to-be 50 years of marriage (June) was 6 mos and the longest we lived anywhere was 11 years!!!!!!! You have many, many more wonderful years ahead of you to share your talents with the rest of us!!!!!!!!! Keep sharing!

    Reply
  29. Cheryl

    Fun post! Born in ’58, I remember life without cell phones, computers, GPS, Netflix…even cable TV or VCRs. But lots and lots of playing outside, making up our own fun…building forts, creating and acting out stories, skipping rope and singing the songs. Ice skating at the local rink, walking blocks home trying not to freeze. Walking to the little corner store for penny candy (sometimes pulling our radio flyer so we could bring home a loaf of bread, gallon of milk, and 6-pack of Pepsi – in glass bottles! – for mom). Libraries being our main source of information. Archie comic books read by a hanging light bulb in my best friend’s attic on a rainy day. During summer vacation I remember leaving the house after breakfast to run & play all over the neighborhood, coming home for lunch, and supper, which we knew by our mothers calling our names from our back stoops. Then back outside until the 9:00 whistle. I miss those days.

    Reply
  30. SusanC

    My daughter just turned 38. She loved Wheel of Fortune and would yell “Big Money, Big Money”. I realized she could read when she was 3. We had a big VCR, when they first came out, as we new we would not be able to go out much, after she was born. My husband had a big computer, we were one of the first, but there were no windows yet. It had an operating system DAS. I could not catch on to it, I mistakenly erased the hard drive, I was worried he would be upset with me, it he had everything backed up on floppy disc’s. I just know time goes by faster all the time. I now have 2 grandsons, the older one thinks I am old!

    Reply
  31. Eileen

    Happy birthday. Such pretty photos. Well, I might break the record here, 32 years older than you. I remember that in our tiny town, we were the first to have tv, black and white, up on a shelf near the ceiling(no idea why) and every kid in town seated in our livingroom, except in the summertime, my father would put it at the screen door and everyone would bring blankets on the lawn and watch what must have looked like the size of a flashlight.

    Reply
  32. Donna T.

    I am older than anyone here but we just cancelled our DVD account from Netflix and I still listen to my favorite CD’s on my boombox in my art room. We have Spotify, a gift from our son, but it is easier to hit play on the boombox to hear a favorite. I have a flip phone and people laugh when they see it and a camera for photos. I still have art videos on tape and a VCR in addition to our DVD player. I am computer literate and additcted to my iPad. That is why I don’t have a fancy phone. I see my kids staring at theirs and distracted. I am making fine art by hand and that makes less time for technology. I’m so happy you have started painting as well as using all your craft talent. I have enjoyed your art journey so far and wish you many more happy years.

    Reply
  33. Debbie W

    Happy Birthday! I am from a generation before you and could list many things no longer around. However, am curious to know if anyone out there remembers wearing full skirted, knee length dresses as a very young child requiring a heavily layered, lace-edged slip underneath? To make it even fuller, I had one that had a plastic tube around the edge you blew up like an intertube. It was pliable enough to be able to sit down and not have the skirt fly up in your face. Thank goodness!

    Reply
    • Dianne

      Yes, I remember and that my Mom had to spend hours ironing all of those ruffles!

      Reply
  34. Cindy in Oklahoma

    I was born in 1953 so my memories go back even further…. to party lines and attic fans and Midge dolls – Barbie’s best friend, and slamming screen doors, the Supremes, and the Dave Clark 5, the Monkees, and no organized school sports for girls, to Little Joe on “Bonanza”, …… to my mom having to pile us in the car each morning and evening to take and pick up my dad from work because we only had one car. I even remember the first dishwasher I ever saw – at a babysitting job I had one summer, I think about 1966. It had to be rolled over to the sink and a hose attached to the kitchen faucet…. ha! I never used it but I assume at some point in the cycle the hose was removed and placed in the sink to drain.

    Thanks for creating a little reminiscing over here. Life really was so very different…. and Happy Birthday!

    Reply
    • Teresa

      Hey Cindy,
      My best friends Mom had one of those portable dishwashers and they would pull it over to the sink with a hose attached. I hadn’t thought about that for years! I was born in ’58 so I remember many of the things you did especially the Monkees! Every girl I knew was in love with Davey Jones.

      Reply
      • Cheryl

        I was born in ’58 also, but my heartthrob was David Cassidy. Remember when they called them heartthrobs?

        Reply
  35. Erin Prohaska

    Oh the good ol’ days (I’m 43 and oh so relate)! I’ll never forget the year I got an actual ‘raspberry beret!’ 😂 Love this flashback post!

    Reply
    • Cheryl

      I just heard that song on the car radio an hour ago!😉

      Reply
  36. Melissa

    Happy Birthday. I remember my Easy Bake Oven and when Barbie had a best friend Midge,

    Reply
    • Louise

      Happy Birthday, so nice to learn a little more about you! I was born in 1938. So if I shared my early memories I would have to use a page to explain what they were since I suspect most of your followers are the age of my children and grandchildren! I may be one of your oldest followers but I love what you do! Always look forward to your post.

      Reply
  37. Jeanie

    Happy Birthday and many more!!

    Reply
  38. Celia

    Such a fun post! Great walk down memory lane! Happy Happy Birthday & may you have a blessed year!

    Reply
  39. Addie

    Happy Birthday!!!!
    I remember it all. I can’t get over how much your older son takes after you….carbon copy!!! And the younger one takes after Jeff!!! Hope they inherit some of your artistic ability. Your pictures are so cute!!!!
    Enjoy your day!!!! God Bless!!!

    Reply
  40. Wendy

    Happy birthday, Marian. I am 29 years older than you. I remember a lot of the things mentioned. I still remember seeing Sputnik in the sky. My family lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It used to be such a “secret city” which is now its nickname. Black and white tv, watching Captain Kangaroo, Ed Sullivan. We had to get up to change the channel (no remotes). Great memories.

    Reply
  41. Rachelle

    Happy Birthday!
    Compared to now, I grew up in the Dark Ages! 3 channels on TV, Black and white programs, all stations went off at 12 midnight and the national anthem played. Beach boys, the Monkeys and Davy Jones were my music. I could walk to the 5 and dime, by myself and home from school. My mom put white polish and washed the shoe laces for 5 pairs of sandle shoes. Dinner eaten as a family was routine.
    I remember seeing a commercial in the 90s that showed a large screen and families talking with each other and thought, Oh please……. like that’s ever going to happen.

    Reply
  42. Gidget

    I am 66 years old and times have changed so, so much. Kindergarten wasn’t mandatory back then, but I attended at my church. The worst was when our teacher took maternity leave and my mom was the sub! We didn’t watch tv much, but I remember sitting on my dad’s lap and watching Elvis on Ed Sullivan. I also saw the Beatles for the first time on that show. The first time I heard a Beatles song was 5th grade and one of my friends had a little battery operated transistor radio. We all swooned😘. My dad built a “hi-fi” LP record player from a kit so we could play our record. When I graduated high school my dad gave me a Texas Instruments hand held calculator. It did the basic add, subtract etc. I could go on. Life is so different now!

    Reply
  43. Kathie

    Birthdays are often opportunities to reflect on the past but also on your achievements. You should be so proud of your many achievements, Marian! I hope that you’ve had a wonderful birthday and that the year ahead brings you much success and happiness. 🎂

    Reply
  44. Dianne

    Happy Birthday! So fun to read about your memories. Reminding me of the things my kids used to do. Especially playing with cabbage patch dolls. I still have their dolls and all the clothes I made for them.

    I was born in 1947, so my memories are of my first big-time party in 5th grade. Decorating our garage and dancing to Elvis 45s. So fun! I loved my childhood. We roller skated a lot and played games like four square, tag, jacks, tetherball, skip rope. We were very active and so happy. My grandchildren spend so much time in their rooms playing on their devices. When they visit we take them outside on hikes and to lakes and rivers as much as possible. Times have changed……

    Reply
    • Dianne

      P.S. Loved the photo of you and Jeff. You are beautiful!

      Reply
  45. Deb H.

    I so adore this post….. and I am just a tad (lol) older than you! Thanks for the memories my sweet!

    Reply
  46. Dee

    Happy Birthday Marian
    Yes thing have changed and quickly
    I have all the new tec gadget….make my Dad proud. Mind you, I’m old enough to have a party phone line as a kid.

    Dee

    Reply
  47. Lori

    LOL. I can’t stop laughing over your list. I was born in 78 too so I could relate to almost every single thing you said. Happy birthday!

    Reply
  48. Jan Barron

    Happy, Happy Birthday! I have just come from upstairs where I was going through boxes looking for a piece of wallpaper that I had saved years ago. Instead I found in my girls boxes, many of the same type things you just mentioned. Little Hello Kitty stuff; erasers, coin purses, and etc. and a cabbage patch doll that had on a dress that was once one of their own. The neck was too big and the poor doll looked horrible. I remember standing in a line that was hours long just to get a doll for each daughter the year the dolls came out and watching the hysteria on TV where people were shoving and crying to get one. I was reminded how temporal even “the most important” earthly thing is. The treasures become old but the memories never do. Thank you for retelling. It makes them come alive in our own hearts. Wishing you a wonderful birthday weekend!

    Reply
  49. Joan

    wow, all that sure made me smile! my oldest son is exactly your age! ( His first movie at home on vcr was DUMBO!!!!!!!)
    he said he wasn’t crying, he just had watery eyes…. <3
    Did you ever watch HE-Man and Shera….
    and then Star Wars came out….! OH MY….
    so manyyyy good times.
    Happy Birthday Marian!!! Special wishes for a great day!

    Reply
  50. April

    I remember almost all of those things since I am 36 today! I remember buying the Alanis Morrisette CD and then my parent’s finding out it had a few cuss words on it so they took it away. I am still bitter about that. LOL I also remember when gas was that cheap. In the summer of 2001 I went to California on a school trip and we took pictures of their gas signs because gas was over $2.00 out there.

    Reply
  51. Jackie

    Happy 41st Birthday!!!
    I loved this post, all your pictures and all of the great comments too!

    Reply
  52. Elizabeth

    Happy Birthday!! What sweet pictures of you as a little one!

    Thanks for sharing these. I loved jellies…I always remember rocks getting stuck on the bottom side and picking them out!

    Fun times! Hope you had time to relax!

    Reply
  53. Marijean

    Happy Birthday! This took me back to the days when my kids were growing up. Thanks for the memories.

    Reply
  54. Cheryl

    Happy Birthday!! A walk down memory lane!

    Reply
  55. Jo Ann

    I’m twice as old as you so I have to think really hard! We didn’t have seatbelts or consoles so we girls could sit in the middle and be close to our Sweetie! Haha this was in 1956.

    Reply
  56. Michele M

    Happy Birthday, Marian! You share a birthday with my niece, her Sweet 16 this year…and her next door neighbor who turned 15. They’ve shared bday parties since Danny was born.

    Got a big kick out of your list. Did you play the first hand held games like Tetris? Did you dress up as the cute early Madonna for Halloween? Were in complete love with New Kids on the Block?

    Hope you have a fabulous year full of joyful surprises at every turn.

    Reply
  57. Carole

    What a great post with cute pictures. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and thought I would add a few I didn’t see. I was born in ‘53 and remember always eating at home because the only restaurants were located in hotels. We never shopped on Sunday as stores were closed (blue laws). Every Sunday afternoon we went out as a family for a long drive. Milk was delivered to our home in glass bottles. I loved reminiscing. Happy Birthday!

    Reply
  58. Shelia P.

    Hi Marian! Happy belated birthday again! I’m a little late reading this but I already wished you a happy b-day on Instagram, which is under my nickname. What a walk down memory lane! Everyone’s pretty much covered everything I remember, lol! I’m 16 years older than you and my how things have changed! Just the technology advancement alone boggles my mind, and I’m STILL trying to play catch up, lol. What a great post! Thanks for reminding us how far we’ve all come. Hope you had a great birthday! Enjoy your weekend! 😊

    Reply
  59. Axun

    Happy birthday!!
    I’m a bit older, just a bit 🙂 , than you are. I was born in 1964. I remember our first TV, B&W, when I was 6. We used to play on the street because there was one or two cars every hour. A local farmer brought us milk that had to be boiled every morning. It always amazed me how you US people had phones with loooooong lines and could go to another room to talk. Our phone line was only 1 m. long.!! We used to listen to music on casettes and got a walkman when I went to Ireland to improve my English. Later I got a Discman!!!
    Ayyy, memories!!

    Reply
  60. PJ

    I miss the days of house phones. You would call intending to speak to your aunt, for example, but your uncle would answer, and you would have a lovely conversation with him before speaking to your aunt.

    Reply
  61. Tracy

    “Believe it or not I’m walking on air…”🎼Loved that show! Was his name Ralph? Great to reminisce. Happy Birthday! 🎂

    Reply
  62. Tina

    Happy Birthday, Beautiful One! 🦋

    Reply
  63. Beth

    Also a 1978er here! Watching Saturday morning cartoons (Smurfs and Looney Tunes were my faves) while my mom cleaned the linoleum floors with Mop and Glo. Digging the prize out of the bottom of the cereal box. Girbaud jeans. Loves baby soft, Debbie Gibson electric youth and Sunflowers perfume.

    Reply
  64. Deb

    I grew up in the fifties. It was a great era! Kids didn’t have much back then, for the most part, but we always seemed to be able to make our own fun. Jump rope, jacks, hopscotch, roller skating, ice skating, snow forts, sledding down the terrifying hill behind the church, “Starlight, Moonlight,” coming in on hot summer nights when the streetlights came on. We were most often barefoot in the summer, and our feet were as tough as nails. Our beautiful Carnegie public library was a favorite spot to visit. We were happy and free, and no one ever really worried about our safety. I remember Saturday morning cartoons (Bullwinkle for sure), the Lennon Sisters on the Lawrence Welk Show, the Mouseketeers and Howdy Doody. Band-Aids came in little tins with a flip lid, thread was ten cents a spool, and for five cents you could split a banana or root beer popsicle with a sibling or a friend. I often bemoan the fact that my grandchildren seem to be tied to their “devices” and will never experience the same sense of freedom and joy that I had in childhood. I’ve told my own children that theirs was the last generation to really play outside— when it was still safe for them to be outdoors on their own. Sadly, the world is not as it once was.

    Reply
  65. Ramona Thompson

    Happy Birthday! To you and to me! I was so surprised to see that your birthday is April 4, too. Although I turned 72 this year. I remember The Lone Ranger, The Lawrence Welk Show, Howdy Doody and 78 lp records. I remember the city tarring our street and how it burned our feet if we didn’t wait long enough for the tar to cool. It was sprayed over something like gravel. I remember playing hopscotch and jacks on the front porch. And that we would leave at night to drive to Texas to visit relatives because it was cooler at night and there was no A/C in the car. But I do remember when the next car did have A/C that came through big tubes up out of the base of the back window. I also remember what fun it was to run meet the popsickle man as he pushed his cart down the street. All of us kids would swarm around him.

    Any way, I wanted to wish you a very happy birthday!!!

    Reply
  66. Hannah

    I was born in 1979. We had a black rotary phone in our kitchen on the wall. We had one big TV in our living room, also wooden encased, like yours. We used to watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Little House on the Prairie (my favourite!). We got our first computer when I was 9…the type was orange, and yes, I remember tearing off the printed paper edges. Jelly shoes!!! I LOVED them as a kid. And we got one Cabbage Patch Kid to share between me and my 2 sisters. I recently found a red rotary phone second hand and brought it home and plugged it in to show my kids—it still worked! They had a blast calling our phone number and hearing that piercing riiiiinnnngggg! Great post, Marian—brought back a lot of memories…

    Reply
  67. Mary in VA

    Black and white TV. Party lines on our phone. Watching news of the war in Vietnam and feeling terrified because both of my brothers were there. Trying to stop-up the creek so we could swim – it never worked 😉 “Dinner on the Grounds” on Homecoming Sunday at church – the kids sat atop the tombstones as the only place to have outdoor dinner was in the cemetery. Followed by “revival” services each night that week – always in august – there was no air conditioning so we tried to stay cool using funeral home fans. Going to school – grades 1 – 12 – with the same small group of kids. Large colored light bulbs on the cedar tree my Dad always cut from “the fence line.” But then I’m turning 66 this week. Happy Birthday, Marian, April babies rock!

    Reply
  68. S. Fuller

    We had a party line that we shared with my great grandparents and a rotary phone connected to the longest cord. It was perfect for jump rope for my younger sisters and brother. Saturday mornings were for watching cartoons with only 3 channels to chose from and Saturday nights were for Skating and staying up late to watch SNL and then if we didn’t get caught music videos! Solid Gold was something to look forward to on nights I wasn’t allowed to go skating. I grew up with Atari and became quite good at it. I was allowed to drive without a license at the age of 13 down to the the local store where I played Pac Man and a little later Ms. Pac Man. It seemed that we were always out of bread, milk or eggs so those trips were needed. Honestly though, especially when younger, you couldn’t catch me inside on a pretty day watching TV or playing a game. I was outside fishing, catching crawdads, or damming up my great grandpa Up the Hill’s creek and watching how a leaf found its way around the dam. Sure miss those days with precious memories to last a lifetime.

    Reply
  69. Mel Donat

    Phones attached to the wall. No remote for the TV….also no color tv until I was 13. NO cable tv.
    House only had 1 bathroom. No dishwasher. No home computers.
    We had 1 car. Gravel driveway.
    Walking with my girlfriend listening to a transistor radio.

    Reply
  70. B. Folk

    Marian, Happy Birthday! You are so young, but childhood photos always look as if they were taken eons ago;) Good times! That pic of you and Jeff is adorable.
    Even though I’m older than you: Legwarmers and scrunchie sock with hi-tops, check. Huge phone bills because of dial-up, check. Checking out DVD’s, check. Muppet Show, Greatest American Hero, Little House, check. Plus, a lot of what other people said. I didn’t see any mention of: watching movies at school on those white, pull-down screens (played on reel-to-reel!); Tressy dolls with the hair that “grew” Wheel-o’s; life before “brick” toys (you know the copy-righted name that I mean); “freezer meals” before they were fashionable. Naughahyde furniture. Home bread delivery from the bakery truck. Chalkboards in class (no such thing as a whiteboard). Macrame the first time around. Shopping before the days of barcodes!
    Wow, so many things have changed. Thanks for the memories, everyone.

    Reply
  71. Nicole Davis

    I think it’s the amount of things and how drastically everything has changed in such a short period of time. It blows my mind thinking about it. I definitely remember the rotary phones, we had one hanging on the wall in our Kitchen, washing dishes by hand, having foil as our T.V. Antenna, drive-in movies, being able to leave all day and return at dusk and parents not worrying about where we were (at least not my parents…lol), piling into the back of our 1978 or 9 Datsun pickup truck w/camper shell & no seat belts and all of my friends and I taking Dial a Ride (senior citizen public trans) in S California for only $.35 each way. Change is inevitable, but the last 2 decades have gone at record speeds. I enjoyed reading everyones posts…Happy Belated Birthday, as I hope you’ve enjoyed your special day.

    Reply
  72. Lynda

    Happy Birthday Marian! I was born in 1961 so I am a bit older than you. LOL! I do remember the same things. I also remember going to the drive-in theatre which was so much fun. I also remember when our town got our first McDonalds and a hamburger, fries and a milkshake was less than a dollar. When I was in junior high, my mom would drop me and a couple of friends off at the local shopping center (Malls didn’t come for a few more years) and we would shop at Woolworth’s (with babysitting money) and eat lunch at the lunch counter. Such great memories from a much simpler time. 🙂

    Reply
  73. Bonnie Len

    Were you an international performer?
    Ok – I remember gas wars – when the 3 gas stations at the same intersection would lower their prices a few pennies to compete. And gas was under 30 cents a gallon anyway. The first computer I ever saw took up an entire room, was on a raised floor and constant air conditioning. Movies always had double features, and cartoons as well! Playing outside until it got dark – that was the call to come in. Disney’s Wonderful World of Color being the first color show we watched! In junior high if the principal thought our skirt was too short we had to kneel and it had to touch the ground!!! Skate keys and taking the wheels of skates and attaching them to a 2x 4 to make a skateboard!! So many memories. Happy Birthday to you! I love to ready your blogs and look at your creativity. Thanks!!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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