South Shore Breaker

Birthdays are a time to count your blessings

- VERNON OICKLE @Saltwirene­twork Vernon Oickle, the author of 32 books, writes The View From Here column, which appears weekly in the South Shore Breaker.

Seriously though, it doesn’t matter what you can or can’t remember as you get older.

I did a double take a few weeks ago when I received a notice from the Registry of Motor Vehicles telling me it was time to renew my driver's licence.

I couldn't believe that it was time for me to celebrate another trip around the sun, but my 62nd birthday is this coming Sunday, Sept. 3. While some people may cringe when they turn a year older, I am grateful to be celebratin­g another birthday, as it is a time to reflect upon the successes and achievemen­ts of the past year.

And yes, regrettabl­y, it is also a time to put the failures and flops of the past year into their proper perspectiv­es. We all have them.

Instead of bemoaning another birthday, I believe it's a good time to count your blessings and be thankful that you've been given such a wonderful gift. So, to salute my birthday, let's talk about all those things that remind us we're getting older. For instance, you know you're getting older when:

• You start sounding like your parents every time you give advice to your children.

• Songs you were listening to as a teenager are now considered “golden oldies.”

• Movies you enjoyed as a teenager are now called classics and, in fact, are now being remade for a new generation of viewers.

• Television shows you watched in your youth are now considered the golden age of TV and reimagined versions are being launched.

• People you run into on the street look familiar, but you can't remember their names.

• You can remember when the trains ran on the tracks throughout the South Shore.

• You can't get through eight straight hours of sleep without getting up at least once through the night to have a pee.

• Going to bed at 10 p.m. is considered late.

• You can remember cooking without using a microwave oven.

• You know what a Walkman is.

• You can remember when the first fax machine arrived in town.

• You remember that you played car games during long drives with your parents.

• You can remember a world without the internet.

• You can remember a time when there was no such thing as texting, and people talked to each other.

• You can remember that people sent letters through the mail.

• You can remember when calculator­s were considered high-tech equipment.

• You can a remember a world without tweeting or selfies.

• You remember buying your first VCR machine and renting VHS movies from the local corner store.

• Furthermor­e, you can remember when there was a store on just about every corner of town.

• You can remember when it would take an entire room to hold a computer.

• You can remember when cell phones were the size of a shoe.

• You've actually been inside a phone booth.

• You can remember when 25 cents would buy you a bag of potato chips and a chocolate bar. There was even a time when you would have change left to buy a pop.

• You can remember a time when children had to use their imaginatio­ns.

• You remember a time when hanging out with your childhood buddies meant playing outside.

• You remember when bell-bottom jeans, Fry boots and water buffalos were in style.

• You remember using encyclopae­dias to do research.

• You remember when music was available on vinyl LPS, 45 records, 8-track tapes and cassettes.

• You can remember when the Lighthouse Route was considered the main road to Halifax.

• You can remember when every vehicle came equipped with a push-in cigarette lighter.

• You can remember a time when you could smoke inside any building (not a good thing).

• You remember what life was like when you had to make your own coffee or tea at home.

• You can remember when service station attendants pumped your gas, checked your oil and cleaned your windshield.

• You can remember when a clerk would bag your groceries and carry them from the checkout to your car.

• You can remember when pictures were made on film.

• You can remember a time when your television set only had two channels and even when there was no colour.

• You can also remember when you had to get up and walk to the TV to switch the channel and when channel surfing wasn't even a dream.

• You can remember when there were two major league baseball teams in Canada.

• You remember when a phone was a phone and a camera was a camera.

• You can sing all the words to the theme songs from Gilligan's Island and The Beverly Hillbillie­s.

• You remember when you'd call a business and talk to a real live person.

• You can remember when you could listen to your transistor radio on the AM dial.

• You can remember when gas sold for less than $1 per liter.

• You remember when you only had to use five numbers to make a local phone call.

Seriously though, it doesn't matter what you can or can't remember as you get older. The important thing is that we keep our lives in perspectiv­e and be thankful for what we have because every birthday is a gift, or least that's the view from here.

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