Then and now…

By Sandra L. Brown

November 29, 2017 2:25 PM

As I was using Google Maps on my cellphone to locate a local business address, I thought about how the pioneers navigated the vast prairie to find their land locations. 
Technology has certainly altered our lives and left behind many relics from the past now seen only in personal collections or museums.
Our mornings tend to start later than that of the pioneers. 
After hauling water from a well and splitting logs to fuel the wood stove, folks would enjoy a pot of brewed hot coffee with fresh cream from the early morning milking. 
Milk had to be manually run through the cream separator first.
Nowadays with a flip of a switch and a carefully selected pod of organic blended grounds, fresh coffee is an instant gratification as it quickly streams out. 
The taste is incomparable though as most of us have enjoyed a cup of coffee brewed over a blazing campfire in the great outdoors. 
With technology usually comes progress and this often comes at a cost of relinquishing the old with the new. 
Adapting to change in the midst of bountiful benefits isn’t necessarily a problem; however, the past still has much to offer.
Do you remember writing an essay in elementary school about what the world would be like in a future decade or century? 
Visions of robots, flying cars, moving sidewalks, instant meals with the touch of a finger and hover boards come to mind. 
It’s fascinating to dream about changes in the future but at the same time it’s even more interesting to take a look back and compare the “then and now.”
Scanning the pages of Lloydminster history, we find a blended mixture of a strong sense of community working together, hard work and clearly this list is never-ending. 
What you don’t find are folks standing still, perhaps hesitant to move forward and remain status quo. 
There were “movers and shakers” exhibiting a true sense of ownership and nothing held them back from developing their colony into a thriving town and later into a prominent city.
With the way technological advances are taking place the future is shaping up to offer an abundance of remarkable opportunities in every way possible. 
Fully automated mass marketed automobiles are predicted within the next decade.
Though widely researched, teleportation or the act of being beamed from one location to the next is still a flight of the imagination. 
With the advent of space travel it may be a future reality to select a planet to visit and be transported by means of a space elevator. 
This adds a sense of fantasy to the decades old questions, “Going up?”
Originally introduced in Detroit (1907), electric automobiles and their charging stations are now a Lloydminster reality. 
The first cellphones were housed in large bulky bags kept in your vehicle. Now they are so slim and intelligent it’s reminiscent of having a mini-computer in your pocket. 
Microwaves are considered a necessity for every household as are big screen televisions.  “I’ll just Google it to find your location,” is a phrase previously unheard of in our daily conversations. 
How did we live without Wi-Fi or the vast resources of digital information at our fingertips?  We live in such a fast paced world now and have grown to expect everything quickly.
Medical advancements, diagnostics procedures and pharmaceuticals are giving us a better quality of life. 
In our haste we are quickly heading towards a cashless society with the widespread use of debit and credit cards. 
My favourite rock band has a song with the following lyric, “There is no future living in the past.” 
Taking this lyric in its original context, the lead singer is making a valid point. But out of context the more we learn from the past the more we appreciate the present. 
Folks may yearn for simpler times and the way things used to be done, but with this longing it’s very easy to romanticize the past. 
Walking into a general store or drug store display in a museum is overwhelming for our senses as we are granted a glimpse of the past. 
But it’s all together another matter to live the way pioneers did without all of the time saving modern conveniences.  Or is it?

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