Adjusting to Change

by David Jarvis

                                             'ADJUSTING TO CHANGE'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Growing up when my siblings and I did, presented us with the opportunity to observe what I call the 'bridging of generations'.

During that time, long before the modern media allowed for what they called the 'fighting of wars' in our living rooms, which is what the Vietnam War has been often called, life was routine and just plain full of common sense.

The first war to be fought in the living rooms of our homes made little difference where we lived world wide. All previous wars were grainy black and white pictures, showing the dead enemy, and fading stories of glory.

Cartoons were new in my time as well as were game shows and countless other new age influences. The simple weekends spent on the beaches, dragging around a bamboo fishing rod, playing road hockey games, and gathering at the local pool halls, were disappearing quickly in the face of this so called ' modern age'.

One event of our time, which was under attack as well, was our regular attendance at church. We went to church Sunday morning and Sunday School in the afternoon. Then there was the evening service known to us as Evensong. If indeed our mother could get us organized, we would have to attend that as well. We did go to Evensong, but not before a long session of complaining and whining about missing a special show or game. Unlike today it could not be taped to be viewed later. If we missed our special show or ball game it was gone forever.

The parents of all children, from all denominations, must have conspired against us in this matter. Soon all our friends of other faiths were comparing notes on the scenarios being carried out to keep our attendance up. But it was not to be as history has shown.

Parents were stoic about this and ever mindful of the virtues of regular church attendance and how worldly influences shouldn't put our meditations at risk. We surely would be lost for all time if prayers and meditations of Public Worship were not regularly attended.

This ongoing battle was long and the world seemed so far from our small community. That is until one rather long service, and sermon, where the best English traditional upbringing could not stop the squirming, or the 25-cent piece dropping, pokes made at siblings and friends, and so on. That particular service comes to mind when I see Mr. Bean do his Church skit.

When my mother leaned towards my father I thought it was going to be a reminder for him to give us that 'Just you wait' stare'.But that wasn't it at all.

She whispered to my father a simple enough question.

"Did you put some water on that roast before we left home? That's going to burn if this carries on much longer."

The trials and tribulations of switching from a wood/oil stove to the new modern electric range had a major influence on them, as did so many other new things. It affected us all, but it was their responsibility to be in control as to how we adjusted our lives to react and accept the onslaught of change.

For the most part I think they all did a darn fine job.

(551 words) David Jarvis

                                                                                                                             Paradise, NL

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