The Mundling Zone

Thoughts, rants, and raves from the desk of Michelle Mundling

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Old VCRs

Does anyone here own a particular VCR longer than five years? Ten years? Fifteen years?

We have five VCRs in the house: one is 17 years old, one is 16 years old, two are at least ten years old, and one is six months old. I'm seriously considering trashing a couple of them because they've become tape-eaters. One of those tape-eaters is hooked up to the main computer.

The price of VCRs have come down considerably. I remember when you had to pay as much as $600 for one. Now you can get one for less than $50. The six month old one is a combination VCR/DVD recorder. I haven't had a chance to hook it up yet, but I really need to because the others are not quite functioning well.

The remote controls for the two ten-year-old VCRs don't work. Not a good time to find this out as I was getting ready to record a show for my favorite fan site this morning. Yes, we changed the batteries, and the remotes still didn't work. Thank goodness for universal remotes. Unfortunately, I still can't get the menu option to work. That means I can't set the time, change the recording tape speed, or program the VCR. Grrrrr!!

One thing about our VCRs. They don't wear out. They die of old age. :-P

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Making of The Return

Have you ever left someplace that you loved and vowed that you would go back one day, even if it was just for a visit? After 30 years, that time has come.

When I was nearly 4 years old, my dad was stationed for six years at NAS Miramar (now a marine base) north of San Diego, California. When he retired, my sister had one more year of high school. We rented a house until she graduated. For some reason, I believed we were going to stay in San Diego. It never occurred to me until they told me we were moving all the way across the United States to a state that I had barely heard of. When we moved from San Diego in July 1975, I felt like life as I knew it was ending and another one was beginning. It was like the first 10 years of my life ceased to exist.

We were moving to Waycross, Georgia -- a completely unfamiliar environment. Instead of being surrounded by mountains and mesas, I would be surrounded by trees. Instead of experiencing 12 months of temperate weather conditions, I would experience dramatic changes in the seasons. Instead of meeting people from multi-cultural backgrounds, I would be meeting people whose ancestral lineage never strayed further than a few miles from where they currently reside.

I had trouble adjusting to my new environment. It was the middle of summer. The heat and humidity made me horribly uncomfortable. In addition, my body chemistry attracted the mosquitos. Because my body was not accustomed to the onslaught of mosquito bites I was subjected to, I became physically ill. I was having an allergic reaction to the mosquitoes' saliva. I had so many red, itchy bumps on me, I felt and looked like I was having another attack of chicken pox.

Despite the traumatic first few months, I eventually settled down and started to get used to where I lived and the people I met. You don't live someplace for 20-something years and not grow to love your environment. I still miss the weather San Diego had, but the friends I've made here are irreplaceable.

I'm planning the trip for later in the year as I'll be making a couple of stops along the way. This is a major thing for me, like one of those life-event moments. It's something I've been wanting to do ever since we left California. I know it won't be the same as when I left, but I w0uld like to revisit a couple of places we lived, go to the beach, and visit a family whose past kindnesses I will never forget.

More to follow in the months ahead.