Change is an important part of life’s progression

Lorna Marquardt
Leader Columnist

Change. What an exciting word! Change is an inevitable part of life. Progress is impossible without it.

As a senior citizen, I have seen decades of change. The first big transformation I remember was when our family upgraded from an outhouse to indoor plumbing. I can remember being about 7 years old. I recall crying when Mother told me it was time to get out of the bathtub. It was such a welcome change from sitting in a washtub next to our kerosene stove.

A favorite memory of change was when my mother received her first electric hand mixer. She loved to bake, and replacing her wooden spoon with the mixer made things much easier for her.

Many exciting inventions occurred during my lifetime. When I was in high school, I learned to type on a manual typewriter. Later, my school purchased electric typewriters. Now students have computers, notebooks and iPads.

I have seen the change from wall phones with party lines to cellphones/smartphones. I watched my mother bake in an old wood cookstove, and I remember the smile on her face when Dad purchased her a self-cleaning oven.

As a young wife, I made my hubby his coffee in a percolator on the stove. Now, I simply press a button on our Keurig.

The changes in the medical field are amazing. I remember having to stay home from the fair because of the fear of polio. With the discovery of the vaccine, we have seen polio cases decrease significantly. So many lifesaving medications, tests and procedures have been discovered/invented over the decades.

Modern technology has allowed us to communicate on social media with our relatives in other countries. I have become Facebook friends with family I have never met, who live in the country of Denmark.

Just last week, I read a social media post about changes Walmart is making inside their store. Although I have not been shopping lately, apparently things are (or were) in disarray during the process. Obviously, the public is not aware of what prompted the changes. Perhaps they are adding a new product line. Maybe it is a marketing decision; a new look, a face lift.

Whatever the reason, a business does not make changes to upset their customers, the people who keep them in business. Businesses make changes to their stores, not unlike homeowners who make changes to their homes, for a variety of reasons.

Some people do not deal well with change. One person posted that as she made her way through the maze of products in aisles, she became frustrated looking for products that had been moved. She said it caused her so much stress, she said she felt like she might have a panic attack, so she literally left her half-filled cart and exited the store.

Maybe she had time constraints, perhaps she had young children with her, or maybe this was the “last straw” in a stressful day. Whatever the reason, she was unable to handle the change. If she returns, perhaps she can deal with it in the same way she does when she goes to a store she has never shopped in before. Learning new location of items may not be ideal to longtime shoppers, but sometimes we just “go with the flow” and “chill” as young people say.

As you read this column, you are experiencing a change, and I am, too. I have written a column for the Leader since 2003. My first column was called “Positively Shawano.” I wrote it as the city of Shawano’s mayor. The column included information about construction projects, city ordinances, new businesses, city staff, etc.

When I retired from serving as mayor, I was invited to continue to write a column. It was called “Up Close and Personal.” The column was a mixture of personal stories and memories, community happenings and local residents.

My current column is titled, “Clothesline Conversations,” and I focus on life from the late 1940s through today, the history of our community and surrounding areas, stories about local residents and area events.

NEW Media recently told me about the changes it is making to both its papers and website. I was invited to continue to write this column. I was advised the column will appear in the Wednesday Leader rather than the weekend edition. I look forward to your continued support and feedback. You can contact me at Lorna Marquardt, P.O. Box 343, Shawano, WI 54166.

Obviously, the paper is making changes it feels are good for customers and for business. I hope the changes are embraced. A community needs to support its local publications. I personally wish the Leader, Super Shopper and also the Messenger continued success as they grow and serve our community.

I also share those wishes with the Wittenberg Enterprise and Birnamwood News, along with the Oconto County Times Herald.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”