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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Groovy Grandma...

Groovy Grandma

I don't know where I've been living -- somewhere on another planet, obviously, somewhere so far behind times that downloading music from the internet doesn't exist as a reality of everyday life.

On this alien planet, people know about downloading music but get all they need from radio, TV, and the other electronic means that bombard them every day. They have no need or desire to download music to a portable player to carry around with them.

They actually have other things to do besides listen to music 24/7. Imagine that!

However, this is another planet, not another galaxy. They have seen teenagers with headphones grooving to rock. They always presumed it was another teen fad, like MySpace or Hanna Montana. It wasn't something that the average grandma needed to concern herself with.

Then a grandma needed a gift for her grandchild. She looked up the list of age appropriate gifts for grandchildren and there it was right at the top: MP3 player

MP3 player? Boy, that's enough to shock any grandma back to earth, especially when she is so out of sync with the times that she isn't sure exactly what an MP3 player is, much less what it does.

It sounds like something a grandchild would love, though. She remembers the tacky little radio with headphones that he got from the dollar store and how crazy he was about it until it fell apart and quit working. What can you expect for a dollar?

The grandma felt herself being snatched right into the 21st century. Is an MP3 player the same thing as an iPod, something else she has heard that all the kids love? But those things are expensive, aren't they? They are something older kids save for or beg for or both, something even an indulgent grandma wouldn't hand over to an 8 year old to smash.

So, grandma decides to investigate. Thank goodness for Google. It has save many an old fogy's self-image. The search helps to explain. IPods are MP3 players. All iPods are MP3's but not all MP3's are iPods. There are other MP3 players, cheaper, easier, some created just for the younger market -- Disney players and kid-friendly players with uncomplicated features.

Armed with this information, grandma decides to take the electronic plunge and purchase a player for her adorable grandson. She settles on a low-priced one call a "Shaker." Part toy, part MP3 player, it's made for beginners.

Buying the player gets a grandma halfway there. The other half is learning to download music from the net onto the device. It seems there are multiple sites, Napster, iMusic, and numerous others that she has never heard of. Each one claims to be better, bigger, and to have more music selections.

It's so hard to keep up these days.

This is one time that it pays to be a grandma, i.e. not born yesterday. Grandmas may not know about music sites, but they do know about Consumer Guide. She finds information that sends her rocketing to an out-of-the-world music site where you pay once for a membership and not for each individual song.

And so, that's how I became a groovy grandma with an MP3 player, headphones and unlimited downloads. If you don't like the song, just shake your shaker it and it goes to another one. Yep, I'm grooving, moving and shaking. 

Now, if I can just figure out a way to get it away from the kid so I can play with it some more.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss

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