Convenience often turns into necessity
Recently, after writing a check for the credit card we use, then balancing the checkbook, I noticed how many other bills were paid automatically through the credit card and bank.
Besides the convenience, I have an aversion to paying 37 cents each for stamps and we get cash back from the credit card, anyways. It's never much, but since it's there, I feel I am saving.
And my husband Hap is gung-ho on using the bank debit card. He also hates to write a check. Last week, he handed me a debit for $7.92. When I asked him why he didn't pay cash, he said it was easier. I know why: that way he kept his cash in his billfold.
On the credit card was the cell phone bill, which we considered an essential buy years ago. That was in case we had an emergency when were driving somewhere.
So far, my use has been to call Hap asking him to check to see if I turned off the curling iron for my hair. I had.
And the phone was used to call family and friends when we have vacationed in our RV.
The only time we couldn't use it was in Nevada. Due to high winds, the RV sucked gasoline so much, its gauge was blinking angrily in a harsh red color.
Although we were a bit worried, we were sure we had that problem covered. All that was left was to call our emergency service.
Unfortunately, we were in a cell phone dead zone.
We managed to get to the next town. When Hap finished filling the tank, he found we had one gallon of gas left.
Besides the cell phone, there is the satellite network for our televisions and CompuServe Internet The checking account is used for our life insurance policies, APS, FarWest Water and Quest.
Musing about these conveniences we have now, it came to mind about other "essentials."
There was a time when I was thrilled after I bought an electric typewriter, replacing the old hunt-and-peck Remington.
Then I discovered computers. The first one was a Tandy 1000. Had something called 40 or 60 bytes.
Today, the one I use has many megabytes and other conveniences I could not be without today.
Suddenly there were Internet services with all the goodies. Of course, it was another necessity.
Today, as I am writing this, the computer is purring these words out. Yes, the television is on and every once in a while, I watch and listen.
My rationalization for the Internet is that I need the service so I can e-mail The Sun instead of driving in with this column.
Way back when, early televisions were a fuzzy mess that had only black and white pictures.
Where I lived at that time, there was only one station televising shows which mainly consisted of the local news and "Mr. Moon," a children's show. Mr. Moon always ended his show saying to the children, "Tell your dad don't be a bumper thumper.'' That caused many grumbles and growls by fathers whose children would yell at them while they were behind the wheel.
Remember when color televisions came on the market? We had three television stations by that time. Later, the public was introduced to cable stations, which had a myriad of shows. Cost was $15, which included HBO, so we had to upgrade our viewing. Hmmm.
Then satellite service came over the horizon. The cable service was fine, but that sounded so good there was another so-called upgrade for the family.
Couch potato became our family name.
Bills were paid each month by writing the checks for all these essentials in what I think of as yesteryear. Back then, a postage stamp was much less.
There was a public outrage when stamps were raised to 12 or 13 cents. That's too far back; I have forgotten exactly how much the raise was.
And the convenience of not worrying about paying utilities is great.
I remembered how our parents managed without these conveniences. OK, I also lived quite well.
Who says that the old times were the best? I'll take my modern conveniences/necessities any day.
Pat Hargreaves is a resident of the Foothills area. She can be reached at pHargr3254@cs.com