In our world of constant change, I still find the “old stuff” fun to look at and remember.
Today it only takes a user name, password and a few clicks to pay your bills online, however, less than a hundred years ago writing checks was considered the savvy way of doing business.
One of my first jobs was as the assistant to an accountant. The office was lined with large ledger books which I found totally fascinating. Each book was filled with lovely green and white ledger sheets. My main responsibility was to help keep the accounts receivable and payable balanced. I added numbers on an electric adding machine a large portion of the day comparing the totals with those on the ledger sheets beneath the red line. It was more exciting than going to an amusement park!
Years earlier, some of my fondest memories were created as I spent many happy hours at work with my aunts and grandfather. My aunts kept the books and my grandfather did everything else at a lumber and building supply company in a very small town. If I wasn’t walking through the lumber yard with Gran-Gran (my grandfather), I was up front with my aunts (Barbara and Janie) watching them post to customers accounts as product was sold.
I was always mesmerized as their nimble fingers flew over the adding machine keys producing meaningless numbers on the roll of paper that seemed to endlessly snake over the desk. When the customers were gone, I was allowed to play on the adding machine and mimic my aunts’ every move.
No one realized how much I stared at them and all that my young brain stored away. I’m sure those experiences were the foundation of my love for numbers and accounting.
Some of the little memories that are indelibly etched in my mind…
- Gran-Gran scrunching his face as he bent over to read the numbers on the adding machine tape
- The gnarly wood surface on the corner of the desk where the laminate had chipped off
- The way both aunts smiled a lot at the customers and remembered all their names
- The sweet way Aunt Janie always touched my curls
- Aunt Barbara coloring pictures and darkly tracing all the outer edges of everything
- Gran-Gran’s beautiful penmanship when he wrote in the ledgers
- Fresh lumber and paint smells permeating the air
- Walking with Gran-Gran through the lumber as he counted it in his head and then writing it down on a little piece of paper that he stuck in his pocket
- The endless and comforting love I felt surrounded by my grandfather and aunts
Sentimental and precious memories.
Just because technology increases and improves basic tasks in our every day lives, some things don’t change like parts of our personality.
I have a check book with my name and address printed boldly on the front with a little number in the top right hand corner. The batch of checks were accompanied by a check register with lines and a total column reminiscent of those ledger pages of long ago.
I still like the old stuff.
Anything particularly antiquated that you still cling to instead of moving into the technological generation?