(me with my friend Kathleen, sitting in the kitchen on my birthday)

You all know I dream of the simple life.
Just last week, I was outside during the warm spell, and had a little memory hit me hard. Usually a smell can trigger that, but this time it was just the weather.
Summer time.
Playing outside, running up and down hills, hearing crickets and birds.
And the phone ringing.
Of course my mom would answer it...it was almost always for her anyways.
And then she would talk for a minute or two, and be done.
Sometimes, but rarely, she talked longer.

But then I was thinking about how little, by comparison to our lives, our parents were distracted by outside life. A couple channels on the TV, no cell phones, and one or two home phones that didn't have call waiting, or caller ID, or answering machines, AND best of all,
were attached by a long, curly cord.

Meaning my mom could NOT cook dinner and chat on the phone.
Or drive a car, and chat on the phone.
Or tie shoes, and chat on the phone.

In other words, she was PRESENT, most of the day with little distraction.

I remind myself of this often.
Why could I not be brave enough to buy one of these now?

I want one.
Do you know anyone who still uses a phone like this? A wall phone with a cord? No answering machine? Nothing else.
Tell me who.
Even if they're 90.
I want to daydream about it some more.


  1. I do! And better yet it doesn't even have a LONG chord! *grin*. Now, I must say, we DO have three chordless phones in the house but due to the fact that 1. I can never find them, 2. the battery runs out on me while I'm talking and 3. I am a terrible multi tasker so might as well be sitting by the wall phone anyway.... I almost always use the chorded wall phone.

    I don't *like* talking on the phone. Very rarely do I initiate the call, only if someone is heavily on my heart or I need to book an appointment. And we don't have call waiting or call display or voice mail or call forwaring or ANYTHING like that. We only just got a cell phone last November and the only reason was for safety's sake when I am driving rural country roads with five kids in northern prairie winters. I live the simple life and I. Love. It.

  2. Pottery Barn used to have phones like that-I'm not sure if they still do but you can check.

  3. I have a phone behind me from AT&T. Big buttons and plain jane. It has a coiled cord and I use it at my desk. I can hear people better on it than on any other phone. I'm 39 - I remember those phones on the wall. They do keep conversations short when there's much to be done!

  4. My dad still has a phone on the wall with a cord that they use. These are some excellent thoughts...giving me something to think about.

  5. Agree, 100%. My mom and dad still have one of those phones (color: goldenrod!), but they moved it out to the shop. Even still, it fills me with nostalgia. I would be completely happy without an answering machine, and call waiting seems like the rudest invention to hit the earth. Caller ID is still necessary though, to fend off all of the people around me who do not feel like I do and would happily spend their lives with a phone permanently attached to their ear!

  6. My mom and dad have a short coreded phone in thier kitchen. You have to sit down right under the phone. They have no answering machine, and no cell phone. You are so right about being present. My 4 year old hates when I talk on the phone. No wonder!

  7. My parents only have corded phones although they have a few of them and my mom puts long extensions on the cord so she can carry it to her chair. ;-) They do not have cell phones (neither do I) or an answering machine (I wish they did sometimes!). They really do live a 'simple' life which could also be called the frugal life.

  8. When we moved into our house there was a cute new but made to look old pay phone that hung in the pantry, Short cord and all. We used it for a few months but then moved onto the cordless. We are so programmed to multi task that we didn't know what to do when we were on the phone. I too somedays long for simplier times.

  9. My granny who is in her 70's still has one just like it in her basement however upstairs they have cordless phones.

    Here is what blows my mind! I am 27 years old and I can remember only dialing the last 4 digits of a phone number in our small town in order to call my cousin. I can remember when they started making us use all 7 digits xxx-xxxx! Then along came the bag phone and how glorious that was and oh how I wanted one so bad. Now today we have no house phone and my husband and I both carry cell phones. I got to thinking one day that my children have no idea what house phones really are and they are growing up in an era when those were for the "old days" Makes me sad maybe I won't upgrade my cellphone next month I will just get a house phone. I am really looking to simplify our lives.

    Great post!

  10. Hello, this is my first comment here. It's nice to "meet you". Love your blog! I too love the old style phone. I got mine at Pottery Barn. It even rings like a vintage phone. Hopefully they still carry them.


  11. My 90 year old Grandmother has one, maybe two. She never liked answering machines and caller id...and other tech savvy stuff. My parents wanted to get her a cell phone, and she said she does just fine without one. Ahhhhh such a simple life. :)

  12. I have a phone on a cord. Yes I really do. In my kitchen. And I like it that way. I have teenagers and the cordless phones always went missing. I fixed the problem and brought out the ole corded phone. It's always right where it's supposed to be. :-)

  13. Okay, I'm embarrassed to say I have a phone that is "attached" to the wall. It's my emergency phone, you know, when the power goes out and then those wonderful cordless phones no longer work? It is being used right now because my wonderful cordless phone decided to stop working after only a few months of owning it. Hubby is insisting on bringing it back to Walmart, even though we don't have the receipt!!! So for now I'm stuck to the wall and can only go as far as a comfy chair here in the office area of our house. Enjoyed your blog, thanks for visiting mine!!!

  14. i just bought one of these!
    i loved it.
    my kids thought it was so weird. then sadly we figured out it wouldn't work with our digital phone service!
    but it was a vintage phone.
    so...i am going to beg for a real wall phone like from pottery barn.
    for all the reason s you said.
    i see moms talking on their phones when they pick up their kids form school and i think "can't you even hang up for the drive home?"
    but that just my opinion.
    i love your word PRESENT.

  15. My mom and dad, though they now have a cordless phone, too (just recently purchased).

    You're making me think---you got me when you pointed out how much I hated to have my mom on the phone. I still hate it when other people are on the phone. And I am on the phone SO much! Convictions, convictions...

  16. I have a phone with a cord. It's in my bathroom. The people before us put it in (who knows why). Sometimes it's the only phone in the house that actually works (when the cordless one's are lsot or have run out of batteries). I hate to answer it because then I'm stuck.

    My grandmother had the coolest old phone that was cream with gold accents. And made the coolest clicking sound when you dialed it. I wish I had it!


  17. I only have the phones that get lost in my house and that you have to page in order to find ;)

    I really would like my summer to be simpler and SLOWER ... sounds heavenly!

  18. Hey Sarah Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are my kinda gal. Love this post and your blog as well.
    I have a corded phone. And because I am the queen of cheep and free. I also use Majic Jack. ($20 a year) No joke! check it out if you haven't heard of it. Anyways it's hooked up to my computer, and I don't talk long because I can't get anything done or keep an eye on the kids if I'm on the phone. I try to do all my computing/blogging when everyone is asleep. And we do not have a TV so that is not a problem either. No video games. Yay! I like the simpler life and we strive to be even simpler everyday. I don't have a blackberry I have a little notebook and a pocket calendar, it has worked for many years why change it. We do have a cell phone, but it's for taveling as my family is 8 hours away in maine. So it's nice to have that bit of security if we get stuck. :)

  19. I have one of those phones and bought it at Pottery Barn also. Mine is red and I love it! Sort of long cord on it, and its in my kitchen.

  20. Hi there. I enjoyed reading some of your posts. :o) I can totally relate with you here as I DO have a phone with a cord. It is bright pink and I paid $5.00 at Wal-Mart I think. The best part is that I keep the ringer off and I only check the voicemail once a month. I have a cell phone and half the time it's turned off too. You've got me ready to write a blog on this subject now. :) Anywhoo, loved your blog.

  21. Hello! I'm new to your wonderful blog and so looking forward to reading more! And I want you to know that my husband, who is Swiss, still has a corded phone at his mother's house -- in Switzerland. It's the only phone in their house and it's attached to the wall IN THE HALLWAY. And the cord isn't long. Amazing!

  22. Maureen Prunty - jmprunty@sbcglobal.netJuly 31, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    Love your blog - I know we could be friends if we ever met!! I love my corded phone because I hear better on it. However, my beef is more with kids having cell phones - I hate that parents don't know who their kids are talking to because nobody calls the house phone anymore! What happened to Mom or Dad answering the phone and chatting with their kids' friends for a bit before handing the phone over.

  23. I have one! I ordered it online from Target- it looks just like the ones Pottery Barn has/had?- comes in black, stainless, or white I believe. Hope this helps!