12 Wonderful Things From Grandma’s Childhood That Are Sadly (Almost) Extinct

Disclaimer: Devoted Grandma is reader-supported. If you purchase anything through my site, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thank you.

In our heyday, life was simpler, the air was fresher, and the butter, oh, the butter, was a touch yellower! Or at least that’s the way most of us remember it.

But, it seems the times are a-changing. You know it’s true, the things that made our childhood special are on the endangered list, with some already extinct!

So I hope this roundup of wonderful things we all remember brings you a nostalgic smile. Just because things are different doesn’t mean it’s all bad of course!

1. Mom yelling “Dinner’s ready!”

Remember when your mom’s yell was more accurate than any clock to tell dinnertime? These days, the echo of that shrill voice has been replaced by a droll, impersonal text message. Oh, where’s the romance in “dinner’s ready, LOL”? There was a certain charm to the system, a family tradition, the clang of pots, the wafting aroma, and then that lovely call echoing around the neighborhood. But alas, the dinner bell is now in silent mode.

2. But even our silent dinners were better…

Remember those silent ones where the loudest noise was the clinking cutlery? Today, a silent dinner would mean everyone’s noses are buried in their phones. Sure, back then we might not have spoken much, but we were present, fully engrossed in the meditative act of eating and cherishing the food. Today, it seems people are more keen on ‘Instagramming’ their dinner than actually tasting it!

3. Patiently waiting on a letter

Pen pals, anyone? The sheer joy of a handwritten letter, the scrawly handwriting of a beloved one, the waiting, the anticipation. It’s almost a forgotten art, isn’t it? With instant messaging, emojis, and likes, a heartfelt letter has lost its essence. Sometimes, it feels like we’ve lost the delight in patiently crafting our thoughts and waiting for a heartfelt response.

4. Waiting to watch our favorite show

The television world may be more colorful now, but wasn’t there a simple charm to the grainy, black-and-white television shows of our day? No 4k resolution, no binge-watching, but oh, the joy of sitting as a family to catch the weekly episode of our favorite show! The suspense, the conversation afterward, the whole family together – that was our idea of quality time.

5. Being outside as much as possible

Playing outside until the streetlights came on – now there’s a thrill today’s children will never know! Marbles, jump rope, tag, our games required no Wi-Fi, just a healthy dose of imagination and a good pair of running shoes. Today, playgrounds are giving way to PlayStation, and the idea of breaking a sweat is more foreign than a landline telephone.

6. Appreciating slow Internet

For those of us who remember the unforgettable sound of the dial-up modem connecting to the internet, it was an exercise in patience that made us truly appreciate when we finally got online. Today’s generation zips around the internet at light speed, oblivious to the struggles we faced. But oh, those were the days of discovery. The internet was like an uncharted territory, and every email felt like receiving a message in a bottle. Now it’s everywhere all the time nonstop 24/7!

7. Rotary phones are still the best

Remember the time when making a phone call was a small workout for your fingers? The ritual of dialing a rotary phone, feeling the spring tighten and release, was such a sweet part of our slower-paced lives. Try to imagine teaching a youngster today the patience required to dial a nine or zero! “Where’s the touch screen?” they’d ask. I can hear it now!

8. Using actual physical maps

How many of us remember the excitement and sheer terror of navigating a new city or town with a cumbersome paper map? No rerouting, no lady in your phone calmly saying, “In 500 feet, turn left.” Just you, your co-pilot, and your combined sense of direction (or lack thereof!). It was a true adventure, each turn an educated gamble. Today, GPS systems have made that thrill obsolete. Progress, they call it.

9. Just knocking on someone’s door

I miss the good old days when visiting friends meant just knocking on their doors, not texting them from the driveway. Unexpected guests weren’t a nuisance, they were a delightful surprise, and a cause for brewing an extra cup of coffee. Somehow, the advance notice from text messages has taken some of the joy out of spontaneous visits.

10. Waiting on film to develop

Photographs have become so instantaneous and plentiful that they’ve lost some of their magic. Remember the days of film cameras, the anticipation of developing the roll, and the excitement (or dismay!) of finally seeing the results? The wait made each picture precious, a tangible piece of memory. These days, pictures are taken, filtered, posted, and forgotten in the blink of an eye.

11. “Missing out” was a blessing

Before the era of social media, we had the joy of missing out! We were content with our own lives and didn’t have to bear witness to everyone else’s picture-perfect portrayal of theirs. We shared our triumphs and disappointments with a chosen few, not with thousands of followers. There was a privacy and a peace to it that today’s world often lacks.

12. And of course the milk man!

Do you remember the clink of glass bottles on the doorstep and the creamy taste of fresh, unpasteurized milk? Our days began with the milkman’s deliveries, a comforting routine that the modern supermarket has wiped away. Today’s kids would probably scratch their heads at the thought of milk being delivered to their door lol

We’ve seen things come and go, and while progress has its undeniable comforts, it’s good to look back and remember our simpler beginnings. For no matter how fast the world around us spins, we still carry the old world charm in our hearts.

And to me, that’s a comforting thought. Here’s to us and our bygone days!

Love Being A Grandma?

Then you'll love my daily email! Over 88,500 grandmas get it to start their morning off on the right foot. It's uplifting, fun, and always completely free. Give it a try below!