Advances in technology often complicate function rather than simplify it.

“Keep it simple” is an old saying that I wish would be followed today. “New” is a word commonly used to entice us to buy a product. As I venture into each new day, I attempt to keep up with what is happening in my world right now. It isn’t easy — technology is moving fast and is a challenge to everyone, not only to those who invent it.

My old TV adjusts itself to each channel change. However, we decided we should upgrade it and purchased a new flat-screen, high-definition set. Each time we changed a channel, the multiple controls on the keypad had to be used to obtain a clear picture. It also had a dazzling backup light; reasons enough to return it.

An example of how things can get better happened the second week in February. I had the strong desire to experience a sunny, warm, winter break by going to Palm Springs, Calif. It turned out to be a popular destination for many people.

After one week of rest and relaxation, on our return trip we arrived at the airport one hour in advance of flight departure. Upon arrival at the Palm Springs airport, however, we were astounded to witness about 100 people in a lineup to go through a security check. At our Alaska ticket counter there was no lineup. The people scheduled for our flight were well ahead of us.

Fortunately, an airline employee who realized the improbability of us boarding our plane asked if we would like a wheelchair. I accepted, and with wheelchair priority he whisked us to the 100-plus seated plane. All seats were taken except two at the very rear of the plane reserved for us.

It was a bumpy ride but we made it. Everyone exited in an orderly fashion waiting their turn, so we were the last ones to depart.

At the exit door a flight attendant asked me, “Are you Helen?” Another wheelchair was at my service!

Although I was capable of walking, I was wheeled all the way through the airport and out the doors to the waiting Lake Oswego Airporter, which took us home.

Other surprises were I didn’t have to remove my shoes at security check — I am older than 75!

I showed my ID one time, not three.

Small knives are no longer confiscated. Best of all, wheelchairs have priority at the end of boarding as well as the first ones onboard!

Helen Oredson Mahle is a member of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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