Tim got a new bicycle. This is it above. A handsome devil indeed. It came in the cardboard box behind it and had to be put together. The tools he used are in the turquoise kit on the floor behind the back wheel. A couple of thoughts have run through my head since then.
First of all, can I properly express how impressed I am that Tim can construct a bike from pieces without instructions? Seriously, wow! I had trouble "constructing" our Christmas tree which actually had instructions and only 4 pieces - the base and 3 tree sections.
Second, when it was delivered the other day, my first thought was, "How cool is that? You can order a bicycle online!" Then I laughed at myself realizing that seriously, almost anything can be purchased online nowadays.
Third was to chastise myself about the second thought. Purchased items arriving through the mail (or in this case UPS) is not a new concept. The only thing new about it is the "online" element. Mail order itself is a very old idea.
I don't even remember where I found these, but I've had them for a long time. They aren't originals, they are reproductions, but still very cool. I don't know if you can read it or not but the Sears catalogue is an exact copy of a standard 1908 mail order catalogue, the Montgomery Ward catalogue is from 1894-95.
I have spent many a rainy or snowy afternoon wandering through it's pages, marveling, chuckling, and wondering about the items available for purchase that would delivered directly to the buyers door. Quite an amazing concept at that time. Especially for farmers and other people who lived in rural areas.
If a person decided to buy a bicycle from Montgomery Ward in 1894, the most expensive one they carried cost $49.50 which was a little pricey back then. And there were all sorts of things that might be necessary to go along with that bicycle, like proper bicycle shoes and clothing, tire heaters and bicycle whistles that you might want to buy too. Just like now, except now it might be bike helmets, special bicycle water bottles and cell phone holders. People still do buy bicycle attire. I don't. But I know that other people do.
If we ordered the bike from Sears back then, it would arrive in Tampa, the nearest shipping point to us here, by train and the shipping cost would have been be five dollars and twenty-five cents. We would have had to make arrangements with a "shipping agent" in the trainyard in Tampa to help the bike continue it's journey. It might continue on by a different train (there was a train to Venice at that time) but here it also might have been by water.
I can only imagine the anticipation and excitement of the recipients in those days. It would have been a very big deal to order something through the mail. In this house, it is an unusual week to not receive something that has been ordered online. We grow impatient while we wait and watch the progress of our packages online as they move across the country. Back then, I guess it was more a matter of trust. And the waiting of course, but waiting in those days was just a fact of life.
I'm honestly not sure how much progress has been made. Yes, we have the convenience of on-line ordering and tracking our order and we certainly receive our purchases more quickly. But maybe the trade-off is that we have lost the ability to wait. We don't need to be patient anymore. People start honking within about 5 seconds of a light turning green. I've seen toes tapping impatiently while waiting for a microwave to make popcorn which is less than 3 minutes. Real life conversations are interrupted by cell phone texting because that funny video of the puppy playing with the garden hose has to be viewed and commented upon immediately. It simply cannot wait.
I fear that we are missing something by losing our ability to wait. By always doing 12 things at once are forgetting how to focus. We are losing quality time spent with our nearest and dearest by not prioritizing properly. We are missing out on the delicousness of anticipation and how that heightens the occasion when it finally arrives.
It's just my opinion, but I suspect that we would all benefit by just slowing down our lives down a little bit and paying a little more attention to this. Moment. Right. Now.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.