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Then: Bread Box

Now: Xbox

You're probably wondering what a bread box and Xbox have in common.  Well, absolutely nothing.  And that's what most people who have owned a bread box know about playing Xbox and what the Xbox generation would say about a bread box.  Nothing.    

I'm right there in the middle.  My grandparents had a bread box and my kids play Xbox games.  And if you ask me,  the bread box definitely serves a greater function.

I never know where our bread is because it doesn't have its own place in our kitchen.  Sometimes it's on the counter. Sometimes on the washing machine.  Sometimes on the kitchen table.    

And inevitably, the last pieces always end up in the back of the fridge, tucked behind the milk carton and the orange juice.  At least once a month I find a few slices that have turned into some sort of science experiment.  And then there is that loaf that ends up shoved into our tiny freezer and falls out on my toe every time I open the door.

The bread box was a simple invention.  No cords.  No charging.  No batteries.  No guessing where the bread was kept.      

While I'm at it, the Xbox generation probably doesn't know what an icebox is either.  By the time I was born, the icebox had been replaced by the refrigerator, but my grandparents always referred to our refrigerator as an icebox.  And I knew you couldn't open up an icebox very many times in one day.  That's probably why my grandfather always yelled at me when I kept the refrigerator door open for longer than two seconds. I think he feared that the milk would spoil and our milkman wasn't due for another day.  

Ah..the milkman. Some mornings I wish I could open my front door and find a fresh bottle of milk, instead of having to drive to the market because someone finished the carton during the night.  In fact, there were lots of services that I wish still made home deliveries (including the doctor) but that's another story entirely.  

Thinking of my grandfather reminds me of the ice cream man.  Not that he was one, but he was always there with that needed quarter (yes, a quarter) when the ice cream man came down our block.  I still see an occasional ice cream truck go by every now and then, but our ice cream man was as predictable as the sun coming up each summer morning.    

On those hot summer days we'd jump out of the pool when we heard his jingle come down the block.  Because that's where we spent our days.  Outside.  Swimming.  Walking down the block with our transistor radios.  Sitting on the front lawn talking with our neighbors.  

Not inside in front of a video game.  Back then, the Xbox was still a figment of someone's imagination.      

Those lazy summer days found us using our imaginations, playing all sorts of guessing games.  And when my best friend guessed what I was imagining about, her first question was always,  "Is it bigger than a bread box?"



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Jan 4, 2009
    • Another fun and familiar walk down memory lane.  I have so many of the same memories as you do, but then I guess so do a million (or more) others also.  You certainly have a gift for puttng them in perspective.  I also am too young (when’s the last time I said that?) to have had an icebox in the kitchen of  my childhood.  I have a kitchen that’s that old, though, and it takes some creativity or remodelling to figure out where to put a refrigerator. Some things have improved.  But certainly not all of them.  Keep them coming, Janie. I  always love readng your blogs...
      Thanks
      Jer



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Jan 4, 2009
    • Great blog!  In fact, I was visiting my aunt recently and offered to make her a sandwich, but couldn’t find her bread. It simply didn’t occur to me to look in her breadbox, which I was looking right at, but not “seeing” because it had no meaning to me.  

      And I remember the milkman’s box, which sat outside our kitchen door.

      Also, back-when, the Weber bread truck used to cruise the streets on weekdays, selling donuts as well as bread.  

      My kids would just shake their heads and laugh at all this.  If they could put down their XBox controllers long enough to hear...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Jan 4, 2009
    • Okay, Janie, you found me out.  I’m technologically challenged.  I had no idea what an Xbox was until you explained it and showed a picture.  A breadbox is much easier to understand!  The comparison was definitely fun. —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jan 4, 2009
    • Justjer -  Your kitchen sounds very interesting!

      Tina - Funny about your kids, but so true.

      Linda -  I don’t know much about an Xbox either.

      Annie -  I thought about how we can have groceries and things delivered, but the personal touch is gone.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Jan 4, 2009
    • Great blog as always, Janie.  Very entertaining happy

      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Jan 5, 2009
    • Okay, I have never played XBox, but I love Wii.  At least with this game you get some exercise.  You have to get up off your butt and move with the games.  

      We had a bread box here but we threw it out, because we could never get the door open.  Now we use a basket on our counter to store bread.

      By the way, I think Alta Dena Dairy still delivers in LA and Orange Counties if you live in a house.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Jan 5, 2009
    • Sandy - Thanks for your comment.

      Cathie - I love the Wii game.  It can be a lot of exercise.

      Happy New Year!

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Jan 6, 2009
    • What a great story!! I love it.   I still refer to my fridge
      as “ice box.” Certain old things just still stay with me.
      Guess I’m old too. There are a lot of lost items that the
      youngest generation will never know about. But, they were
      wonderful for us old timers. I still do not know what a
      Xbox is all about. I am sure the little kids do.
      Keep us these wonderful articles. They are terrific.
      Sylvia



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote Jan 6, 2009
    • Janie,

      Do your remember the Helms Man? the fruit guy?(no he wasn’t gay). I always waited to hear the Helmsman blow his whistle.  (no not his own) I’d run my chubby little body over to his truck and while I was drooling looking at all the fresh baked goods as He pulled out drawer after draw.
      I also remember the metal holder the the milkman left those fresh bottles of milk in. He also sold cottage cheese that came in neat drinking glasses. Those were the days my friend. I wish they’d never had ended.
      Later my friend



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