I'm sure you will agree that things change over time. History shows changes occurred much slower in times past and have speeded up as time goes by.

For example, there were hundreds of years between the time men walked and began riding camels and horses.

The time shortened between the time of camels and the use of railroads. It shortened again when the automobile came along. And then came the airplane, and look at the changes in them in our lifetime from the Wright brothers to jets and space.

Changes over time are not limited to modes of travel. When we were in high school, our biology classes used microscopes of 20 or 30 power -- today the microscope enlarges by the thousands of times. Consider that such new equipment has made tremendous changes in our lifetimes in medicine and pharmacy.

So, is it surprising things also change in our society? I have an article I cut out of a magazine. I cannot give you the name of either the author because none was listed.

It is titled "How Old Is Grandma?" Since a recent Sunday was Grandparents Day, it seems appropriate to consider how things might just be different with our grandchildren than it was in our young days. I hope you enjoy.

* * *

One evening, a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current trends, The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age and just things in general.

The grandma replied, "Well let me think a minute. I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ballpoint pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.

Your grandfather and I got married first and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother. Until I was 26, I called every man older than I "Sir" and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title "Sir."

We were before gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, day-care centers and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. Time sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends, not purchasing condominiums. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt or guys wearing earrings,

We listened to the big bands, Jack Benny and the president's speeches on our radios. I don't ever remember anyone blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey. If you saw anything with "Made in Japan" on it, it was junk. The term "making out" referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5- and 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

If you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. You bought a new Chevy coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon. In my day "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in and "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby. "Aids" were helpers in the principal's office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store and "software" wasn't even a word.

We were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap. How old do you think I am? Can you remember?

* * *

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Things really have changed, haven't they?

Arris Johnson, Hays, is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.