Modernizing Mom

One of our sons gave us a French press coffee maker for Christmas last week.  It was a very thoughtful gift, especially since we’ve enjoyed many great cups of coffee made in our sons’ French presses when we visit them in Boston, and we always comment on how delicious the coffee is.

Dueling Coffee Makers

My son said he knows we still use our 40-year-old General Electric percolator, but he thought we might enjoy making a smaller pot of the really good stuff for just the two of us.

Okay, I’ll admit the coffee made in the French press has a certain body and complexity the percolator coffee lacks, and maybe forty years is a bit long to hold onto the old ways, but I used to make our coffee on top of the stove in the non-electric version of a percolator, so the electric percolator is a step up.  I love it when our kids figuratively take us by the hand and show us that there are better ways to do some things.

I’d like to think that I was the same way with my parents, but the truth of the matter is that my father was way ahead of the game.  He was into computers many years before they became a household item.  He had the latest and best cameras and knew all about setting f-stops and apertures.  He never bothered with the automatic mode, even when it became standard.  He knew about pistons and cylinders and torque and blah, blah, blah  about how car engines work.  And he could fix just about anything. He was handy with all kinds of tools, including jig saws and circular saws, and saws I don’t even know the name of.  He built our garage all by himself when I was growing up.  Yes, I’m not making this up, and that garage is still standing, nearly sixty years later.  I know because I drive by it every time we go to Connecticut.

My mother, on the other hand, was an old-fashioned girl and remained so all her life.  The things I remember about my mother is that she was so sweet and the best cook ever.  No one could make a pie like mom, except for her mom who taught her.  But I don’t want to be thought of as an old-fashioned girl.

While our children like to modernize us a bit, I wonder what they’ve learned from us that they will think is modern or sophisticated.  I know the boys are learning about how to use tools from their dad.  My husband wanted to buy a power drill for a Christmas present for our sons to share.  “Really?”  I said.  “What kind of a present is that?  Who gets excited about a power drill?”  Okay, must be a guy thing because I was dead wrong.

So, specifically, maybe I’m wondering what the kids have learned from me?  Oh, sure, I know they’ve learned about respect and integrity and basic cooking skills and how to do laundry and all those things we naturally teach our kids if we’re responsible parents.  But what will they look back on years from now and think, “You know, Mom was a modern, innovative person because she_____.”  I’m having a hard time filling in the blank!

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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36 Responses to Modernizing Mom

  1. I love that my son-in-law has subscribed to my blog. He always comments to me about it when we speak on the phone or see each other. He says he keeps up with me through the rss feed. oooo…that makes me feel modern. (shhhh…I still haven’t figured out the rss feed since I keep up with blogs through e-mail or “Read blogs” on wp)

    • Coming East says:

      That’s funny, Georgette, about the rss feed, because I don’t know what the heck it is either. My daughter-in-law is like your son-in-law. She has a routine when she gets to work. She gets a cup of coffee, checks her emails, and then pulls up my blog. I love that they follow us!

  2. Val says:

    Thinking about my own parents and what I’d think was ‘modern’ about them, was mostly their minds – they were accepting and encouraging of other people. So, maybe your children will remember something like that of you, rather than anything to do with things? 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Val, your reply was fabulous and made me think I worry about unimportant things too much. I know my children don’t have a prejudiced bone in their bodies because they have parents that raised them that way. And they are loving and giving. That had to get that somewhere. They weren’t raised in a vacuum.

  3. Leah says:

    Great post and I can relate to what you’re saying. I’m finding the older I get, the more I don’t like change and I don’t want to have to worry about learning a new appliance or a new techy gadget. I like my routine. I know it’s not exciting. But it’s me and it works. BTW, my husband would kill for that French Press! He makes all our coffee.

    • Coming East says:

      I’m actually a tea drinker, Leah. We only have coffee on weekends when we have time for a second cup, but having that French press may make me drink more of it. Decaf, of course.

  4. pattisj says:

    I would have to agree, with blogging. “Social networking.” Certainly not our parent’s generation of communication.

    • Coming East says:

      When I think of social networking, Patti,mimthink of Facebook,mwhich I pay little attention to. I forget that blogging is another form of social networking. My dad would have loved that I have a blog.

  5. My parents still use the exact same percolator you have. I find it sort of charming. It’s also a testament to a generation that wasn’t wasteful and could make an enduring product. I say credit to you, ma’am! (But enjoy the French press.)

  6. I agree with Julia! Also, percolators are classic. There’s bound to one on display in the Smithsonian one day. And French presses. I loved the design of my old Chemex, too. Any way to drink coffee is all good.

  7. Jenny says:

    Now you have me thinking about what my boys will learn from me or remember after looking back. This may give me a new focus since I have be concentrating on all the things they need to grow up to be responsible, kind and loving adults.

    • Coming East says:

      Actually, Jenny, those things are the most important things by far. It would just be nice if they also looked at their moms as being modern women. As many readers have pointed out, our blogging should move us into that realm.

  8. judithhb says:

    Coffee, friends, friends in the blogosphere what a great way to spend a dull summer day here in NZ. Thanks for another great post. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Are you experiencing the after Christmas slump, Judith? By the way, my comment about sending the bread recipe to your email was directed at you. Forgot to put your name.

  9. gaycarboys says:

    Re the coffee machines, I’ve had espresso machines for 30 years and couldn’t live without them. I’ve just realised most of the comments I’ve left over the last 12 months probably haven’t been actually posted. I discovered that unless I have the login at the bottom of the screen under the text box, it doesn’t work. How odd is that? It’s taken me ages to sort of out. Have you ever left a comment to find it didn’t come up on the page afterwards? Tha’s why.

    • Coming East says:

      Actually, I did leave a long comment about our Grand Torino after reading one of your posts which was about a Grand Torino, and I don’t think I ever saw it posted. I thought you didn’t like me. LOL!

      • gaycarboys says:

        Nope. Now I’ve discovered the problem I haven’t had a single problem. The worst part if having read so many blogs now and left so many comments, I now know why there have been very few followups:) Better lte than never I suppose. Not like??? NEVER!:)

      • Coming East says:

        Good to hear the problem is fixed, GCB! I love reading your posts, even if I can’t afford or even find the cars you write about!

      • gaycarboys says:

        Most of the cars are twice the price in Australia which means something $50,000 here is more like $20,000 t0 $25,000 in the USA/Candada/UK/Eurozone. It makes them a little more affordable.

      • Coming East says:

        We don’t have the Holden, though, and you mention that a lot, GCB.

  10. Patti Ross says:

    I bet your kids will know of things other than blogs that can go in that blank. Even being open to learning would be something for the blank.

  11. “You know, Mom was a modern, innovative person because she “Reaches out to people both in life and across the internet spreading inspiration and friendship.”
    Yep, I agree with the others that ‘Blogs’ fits nicely there. 🙂

  12. Amy says:

    Well said…I won’t be able to fill the blank. I remember that I didn’t think I learned much from my mother. When I got older, I found myself saying more often, “Mother was right…”

    • Coming East says:

      Don’t get me wrong, Share and Connect, my mother taught me so much and I’m very grateful for that. I’m just laughing that my kids are the ones who are updating me. I’d still like tomthinknim one step ahead of things once in awhile.

      • Amy says:

        Not sure the earlier reply went through. The screen went blank before I hit the “post comment”. If it did, please discard this one. Sorry about that.
        I was thinking (maybe hoping) my daughter may say – “Mother was right” someday (?). My kid update and correct me almost too often…

      • Coming East says:

        This reply was a little different, so I included it. I don’t think my daughter has said, “Mother was right,” yet, but I hope she thinks it once in awhile, Amy!

  13. I have to agree with Julia…inserting ‘blogs’ in the blank is a great idea. But I suspect what your kids have learned from you is how to be a wonderful friend!

  14. winsomebella says:

    I also consider blogging to be very modern–and if you blog while drinking coffee from the French Press, even more so!

  15. In answer to this: “You know, Mom was a modern, innovative person because she_____.” I’m having a hard time filling in the blank! >>> try this: “BLOGS”!

    I know your daughter blogs — but it’s a pretty modern thing for people to do, and a lot of people are incredulous when they find out that I blog… most people don’t have a clue how to start or why they’d want to do it! I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for this!

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