This post has nothing to do with Janis Ian. I just happen to be on Day 17 of my 365 project, so there you go. And this is my Day 17 photo:
Once again, I was considering abandoning the 365 project today, because I keep forgetting to take my camera with me and am tired as hell from the first week of school and generally not in the mood to take photos. I’m also tired from helping out with a relative who is elderly and unwell (although not nearly as tired as my husband, who is the primary caregiver). He lives over an hour away from us, and has just left the hospital after a lengthy stay, so regular visits are necessary even though he has several in-home health care companies stopping by daily. My husband and I are at that age where our elders start to fail, and caring for them is simply what we must do, which we don’t resent it in any way, but the fact is, it’s tiring. I try to be as upbeat and helpful as I can when we make these trips to visit, but today I could barely keep my eyes open, and I had to remind myself that just showing up is sometimes enough and I don’t have to always be the biggest ray of sunshine ever. When caring for older relatives, sometimes you just can’t give 100%, and 85% is OK too. And that’s about all I had in me today.
But at one point I was in the kitchen helping my husband put up the groceries he’d just bought, and for the first time ever I stopped and looked at the old intercom system affixed to the kitchen wall and thought, damn, what a blast from the past that thing is, and right away I knew I’d found my 365 photo for the day – even though it’s another iPhone one because I forgot my camera again. Then I started playing around with it and realized the entire system still worked. I thought that was pretty amazing; I bet that intercom system is well over 30 years old, and with one flip of a switch FM radio was blasting through the entire house, as well as on the front and back porch. My husband dashed upstairs to see if hitting the ‘talk’ button still produced results, and sure enough it did. According to him, his mother loved that intercom and actually used it all the time – to answer the front door, call the kids to dinner, wake them up in the morning by playing the radio, and even to spy on what they were doing in their rooms. It was a trip to try and use it now, given how much more intuitive communicative technology has become – you had to hit not only a ‘talk’ button to speak, but to have a conversation with someone after hitting ‘talk’ and speaking, you had to immediately flip the switch over to ‘listen’ mode, or you wouldn’t hear what the other person said in response. I really never did get it down, and in fact I think that might be a reason why more people back in the day didn’t get into the whole idea. My house growing up had the same system, but we sure never used it. And of course by the eighties, few people chose to install intercoms in their home. But Doug’s mom was an exception, apparently, and we all three spent some of time reminiscing about all the ways she would use theirs, and how much she loved it. I edited the hell out of that photo to give it a 70’s feel; in truth, my memories of childhood are all blurry and scratchy and tinted yellow and orange and avocado green. And for me, this photo captures that time even though I took it in 2014. I don’t know if takes anyone else back the way it does me, but whatever – it’s my 365 anyway.
So let’s close out with some totally depressing Janis Ian, shall we? Side note: I was a little pipsqueak in 1975 when this song was popular, and I always disliked it. I remember thinking it was really whiny and depressing; I’m sure I would have felt differently if I’d been a teen when it came out. But here it is anyway.