Technology is our friend. I know this because I’m in a tin can hurtling through the sky a few miles above the Earth’s surface. I’m going incredibly fast and will make it from South Carolina to Arizona in just hours rather than the days and days it took to drive the distance from Ohio.

My grandparents had a buckboard wagon to move around in before they married. Their grandchildren routinely drive 75 miles per hour on the highways and byways of the nation. The differences in our houses would be as dramatic.

When Grandma was a young bride, she didn’t have a phone in her house. I’m not sure they had indoor plumbing. Probably not. Her stove was fueled differently than mine, too. My cooking appliances consist of a convection/conventional oven and five-burner cooktop (with two of the burners set to two sizes) and a microwave oven. Grandma probably had a wood burning stove but may have had something else.

And I’m this far above the clouds and typing on my netbook. I’ve had computers for about twenty years now. Our first computer ran Windows 3.1 and I had to get my son to help me save my files to a floppy disk because I couldn’t remember how to get them there. The thing was expensive (thousands of dollars) and heavy. We also had a dot matrix printer to go with it. It did not have a modem or a CD drive.

I got my first laptop in 2000. It ran Windows ME. It was heavy, too. I don’t remember exactly how much it weighed, but it was a lot. It was not exactly petite. But it did have a CD drive. I’ve had a few more laptops since then. They kept coming with more sophisticated programs and equipment.

I got my little netbook about a month ago. It runs Windows 7 Starter. I don’t believe netbooks have the capacity to run the full version – or it would eat up too much battery life too quickly. It also doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive to keep the size small and the weight down. It does have USB ports and can accommodate an external drive easily.

So here I sit, in a tin can, using my 3.1 pound netbook to write. When I land and get to my sister’s house, I will have Internet access and will be able to upload this to my blog. Then, friends from around the world might click on a link I provide and be able to read my words instantaneously.

Family tree (not displaying the few nuts)

I’m sure Grandma would be amazed. This is so much technology in not all that much of a time span. Buckboards to Boeing and all that stuff. I wonder what she would think of this life we take for granted. Instant communication, hundreds of miles per hour movement, everything fast and furious. I hope she would like that I’m doing all this so I can spend time with my sisters. Some things never change. Family is still important.