On the 4th of July we went to see the fireworks in downtown Homewood. This particular fireworks display has taken on a new meaning since my son spent one 4th holiday at the radio station where he once worked, making sure that all of the stations synced up and began right on time. It was cool that year knowing that the whole thing hinged on when he pushed the buttons. Even with so much technology, often it is a real person who has to start the ball rolling.

Although he did that only one year, it is one of those times that you remember. Now it is years later and I feel sure the technology is different.

This year the fireworks did not go off without a hitch, although I don’t think it was the fault of whoever started the radio feed. It seemed to be more on the side of whoever was actually shooting the fireworks. There were long gaps in the fireworks and then they just stopped, way before the music was done. As we all turned to leave (many people had left already) the “big” finale started. The whole thing was kind of a let down, even though I really love fireworks!!

When I went back to college seven years ago I was scared in general, but I was most worried about taking history and computer science. I ended up loving them both ( I loved it all really!) but ended up really enjoying computer class.

The other day I saw a commercial where binary numbers were floating around in the background and it reminded me of how much I had enjoyed the mental gymnastics of thinking in that way. Working with a different number “language” was fun!

I mentioned that to my son, who works with that stuff all day long and he said I might enjoy coding. Since I am not even sure what that means, I am not so sure I would like it! Maybe I would- you never know.

For the most part technology is scary to me. In talking to Jon about the capabilities of advertisers to get your information and pinpoint who and where you are as well as what you buy and how you pay for it, technology has made our world smaller. It has also made our privacy a thing of the past.

When I asked my son if we could update my blog, he agreed. We decided on a day during the holiday weekend. When we sat down at his computer, I was once again amazed at how he punches that keyboard with lightening speed. Before I could focus in on the screen he had changed and added new things to my blog. With two screens going, he would type away on one screen full of letters and numbers and new things would pop up on my blog on the other screen. It is not something I think I could ever do, certainly not with his speed and precision, but it was fascinating.

I am not much of a picture taker. Back in the day of lugging a big camera around, I took some photography courses and still would invariably forget to take my camera pretty much everywhere. Eventually Tim fired me as the family photographer. Being able to compose a beautiful picture was a useless skill if you never had your camera with you.

I tend to get so wrapped up in actually living a moment that I forget to record it. Even now, when a camera (and might I add a much better camera) is there in my hand every minute on my phone, I still forget to take a picture of what is going on around me.

When I started my blog years ago, I did not want to add pictures, so my son designed it that way. I wanted to be forced to use words to describe what I was talking about. If a picture paints a thousand words, I wanted to have to write the thousand words instead.

But times have changed and I have gotten tired of looking at the old headshot that pops up with each post, so I asked for a redesign. With a few key strokes, my son changed the layout of my blog, made keeping track of which posts are being read the most easier, and made a few more updates. In no time at all we were out of his office and into his kitchen making dinner together.

Now I just have to remember to take or find a picture for each post. To start the new process we added some photos from the internet, but I am determined to remember to take pictures of my own. (I have taken the one for this post already.)

Sometimes I have wanted to throw my computer out of the window – it can drive me crazy when I don’t understand how to do something, or it doesn’t respond the way I want. As time goes on, I have learned more and more and my times of wanting to chunk the darn thing have lessened. Overall, it is a useful tool, but it can still make me nervous.

Technology continues to advance at a faster and faster pace. We can either keep up or be left behind. As with most things, ignoring it or pretending like it doesn’t exist doesn’t do anything but keep you behind the curve. I try my best to keep up, but when I see what my son can do I realize that I am way behind already. In reality there is probably no catching up.

I’ll be doing good if I remember to occasionally take a picture.

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Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.