Saturday, January 10, 2009

Then and Now

Okay, so I didn't have to walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways (although I did walk to school every day), but a couple of things I've done this weekend remind me of how things have changed.

Last night I was cleaning out a cabinet and found bank statements from 1989. That year my children were 4, 6, and 8. I worked (as I do now) for my husband. In a typical week this is what I spent:

Food: $75
Pizza: $15
Laundry: $20
Babysitter: $12-15 (We went out every Wednesday night for at least three hours!!)

We had an account at Avery Upchurch Exxon and the monthly gas bill was $150. This was, I'm sure, not self-service but full service for two cars.

Quite different now. Our grocery bill, with just the two of us, will run in the $75 range. Cleaning has doubled as has pizza. And gas? It could vary from week to week, but full service at the Exxon would be at least four times the '89 prices. If we could justify it!

The second thing I discovered is how far the internet has come. For over ten years I have led a discussion group at Quail Ridge Books (except for a year when someone else took over). In 1999 we discussed a book called, Celestial Omnibus: Short Fiction on Faith. It is an excellent collection of short stories by well-known authors. Next week we will begin discussing this book again. In 1999, what I found on the internet about the authors was mostly biographical information, lists of publications, and book reviews. This morning I re-read the first section (feeling that thrill over the writing once more). On the internet I found discussion questions for every one of the stories! Boy, my job just got easier!

And now I'm wondering what will seem outdated and inexpensive when I look back on 2009 in 2019. 2019. Wow.

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