As I was cleaning the screened porch the other day I noticed a small dark blot on the screen. Upon closer inspection I realized, "Yikes, they are back." It was a brown mamorated stink bug, the relatively new invader to our area of the country having initially come from Asia. At first, it was thought to have no natural predators and so has become quite prolific. There has been some evidence that katydids, crickets, ground beetles, earwigs and jumping spiders are eaters of stink bug egg masses. Glad that they are adapting to this new diet but they have a lot of work to do. It took me a while to remember a time when we did not have stink bugs walking on every screen and flat surface of the porch.
It made me think of other things that have changed seemingly quickly in our lives. I started reminiscing what it was like before 9/11 and all the security; walking unattended into a museum, theater or sports game with no handbag check by a tired looking security person and his stick poking into the bottom of one's handbag; sharing a meal with your loved one in the "tickets only" area before an airline departure; being at the end of the jet bridge ready with a hug, kiss and flowers for your family members as they walked out of the plane. In some ways it is hard to remember a time without suspicion and looking at all whom you meet in a crowd as a possible terrorist. Yet I do find that there is a collective "we are in this togetherness" whenever I have had to stand in line for some type of security detail.
Do you remember phone trees? They were especially helpful if you had to impart some information to a collection of people. Everyone in the group was on a specific list. When the first person on the list received the information, he/she was to call the next person in order and relay that message and so on until the end of the list. Group emails vastly changed that tedious work.
Just over a decade ago when I did substitute nursing in the public schools, it seemed like a big time saver to have an automated call system. No longer would an individual have to make multiple back and forth phone calls to find a replacement. The computer made the phone calls and all the substitute would have to do was push a numerical phone button to say "yes". I am sure that by now, the "at the time high-tech" system was short-lived with the advent of universal smart phones and texts.
Or, do you remember having to use email that required that you had to go online to your server, sign on, wait for the dial up connection, usually try again and finally "you got mail" would be heard. The use of texting and automatic email to one's phone has really quickened communication.
Seems to me we do adapt to things whether we like the change or not. I think that we can find positive and negative with any change. And, as in the case of the communication via smart phones, some change is an improvement.
What about you? What do you remember? I won't call them the "good ole days" because I think every day has components of good and bad. There are things that are nice to remember and possibly resurrect or at least try to do every once and awhile (e.g. sending a hand-written note to someone). But as you reflect on the past and changes, what benefits have you experienced due to that change? What situation (s) are you going through now that might require some change? Can you find some type of benefit to the change? Maybe embracing the change will help in embracing the future. My world might now contain annoying stink bugs, but I am sure unforeseen that it was, that if I asked katydids or crickets, they would say that the stink bug diet change is good.