Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Vanishing VCR

It’s warm enough again—which isn’t to say that it’s warm—that I’m walking to the train station in the morning again, and home in the evening. I’d been missing that daily or near-daily exercise of mind and body. My route is more or less the same as in November, though a little more road work has been done in one spot, and a couple of houses are for sale. One, in unincorporated Cook County, has a brick-paved driveway, not something you see much.

Closer to home, at home in fact, Ann’s development continues apace. You’d think I’d never seen a toddler’s development before, but after five years, you forget things. Anyway, she moved a small chair in front of the VCR last night, climbed on it (tape in hand), and promptly changed the tape to something else she wanted to see. The subtleties of rewinding, and niceties like not dropping the tapes to the floor after removing them, are still beyond her ken, but the basics of insert and play aren’t.

At sometime or other at roughly the same age, Lilly did the same, but there's a difference now. VCRs are on their way out. Someday, our tapes might be as much of a curiosity as the vinyl records I showed to Lilly a few weeks ago in a thrift-shop bin. “These are records,” I said, holding up an obscure LP that had no cover. "That's what people had before CDs."

It had probably languished in someone’s basement for 30 years, and now was languishing here. Lilly feigned a moment’s interest to please her old man, and then went off looking for dolls.

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