By Doris Schroeder
I do remember many things I had to learn during my days of living these many years as I’m sure you do also. . Our English Dictionary today states the definition of a veteran as “an experienced person” or to go further “an expert.” If there is any advantage to being experienced it is the knowledge that “ the more we know, the less we know” as things keep changing on a daily basis.
There was once a time when I learned to drive a car. When my Dad learned, he started the car by a quick twirl of a crank in the front of the motor. When I learned, I turned the key in the ignition. Nowadays some cars start with the press of a button. This happens in so many instances in life. Everything seems to be fast forward!
Now if you take the exercise of walking. When I was a little girl in Hutch, my mom took me along to town when she paid the bills. We walked from the 300 block of West 14th to the downtown area in Hutch to pay all the utility bills or to the Library. This was easily 24 blocks one way and I was only four! Now I get in the car to drive a mile.
When we lived on the farm between Buhler and Medora, I did as any child of that age did…what I enjoyed. I liked to write stories on my Big Chief pencil tablet with whatever pencil I could find. I suppose that is why I made my bedroom upstairs and I could look outside and dream and visualize as I wrote.
When I learned to write with a scratchy ink pen I had to dip in ink. I practiced my penmanship patiently, dipping the ink pen in in the ink bottle in the hole in my desk located in the country school of Sunrise.
In high school, I took a typing class and clicked away “All good men should come to the aid of their country!” This, of course, being a true definition of a veteran. I took short hand so I could take dictation. After a couple months, the teacher decided to drop the class…I never did know why.
After John and I were married a few years, I got a real typewriter and thought I was the top of the writing world…but a few mistakes here and there make it obvious I was not. I took some writing classes at Juco and made some sense (not cents!)
Finally our world was introduced to computers…they were huge at first, and expensive. I wished for one with all my heart but was afraid I wouldn’t understand it. My walking partner Ruth had one for awhile and then wanted to sell it to me for only $50. Still I was afraid I wouldn’t understand it so I didn’t buy it.
The years kept flying by and I kept typing my columns on my typewriter and mailing it out every week… a very arduous labor of love. That is, until one day, our youngest grandson Mike rang the doorbell. He was carrying his old computer. “I’m going to teach you to use the computer!” he declared, and sure enough he did. Hubby had it hooked up to the inner net and I was on my way!
The day after New Year’s that year I took Mike along and we drove to Wichita. He helped me pick out what I needed and I was really set to be a writing vet. It was an exciting experience to be able to type my columns at a fairly fast rate of speed.
I guess the trouble is they keep making changes in the rules of writing. There never comes a time when you know it all and you always have to relearn things you had down pat at one time. But that should be only in the physical world..
Isn’t that the way it is with our definition of a true veteran? It used to mean “All good men should come to the aid of their country!” We are proud we still have many who feel that way, being willing to risk being made fun of because of the way they believe in what’s right.
It does seem to me that to many Americans that definition has changed. We are no longer challenged to do what is right but according to many politicians “what we can get away with!” They say that “right” is whatever you want it to be!
Does it really make sense to believe that we “just happened” to exist for no special reason and whatever we do is not important? Is it hard to believe there is no God who created us with different things He wants each of us to do? The fact that He is a loving God so He doesn’t force his will on anyone make Him less of a God? Do you want to enjoy being a vet? Think about it!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]