We live in a paradise, but do we take notice?

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When recent polls show the No. 1 complaint about living with their spouse is TV show choices, I wonder if we are actually realizing the world around us.

The latest figures show kids average all of 20 minutes a day in active outside play and 8 hours a day on cell phones and computers.

Other studies show that when taking a break from all the electronic gadets, creativity increases by 50 percent.

To be clear, I do really like my iPhone, iPad, 60-inch TV, shopping online and video games, but do try to find a balance.

It’s time to get out and enjoy the crazy weather. It is so easy to get into a pattern of staying in, watching TV, playing video games and doing very little when the weather is rough.

With all of today’s toys for all ages, it is even more of a challenge to get off that comfy couch in any weather.

Let’s compare the past to today’s things to do without moving off the couch.

When I was a young boy in Walla Walla in the 1950s, we did get a TV set when I was 9 years old and we did get both channels in black and white on that big 19-inch tube and no remote control.

Yes, you actually had to get up and change the channel. My kids did not believe that one and the fact TV was not color. They just can’t believe it.

We did have some great radio stations when the conditions were right on our 88-cent store rocket-shaped crystal radios we carried around.

By the way, I just saw one of those rocket-shaped crystal radios exactly like the ones we bought for 88 cents on ebay for $59.

My children and grandchildren can not believe that there were no video games, no cell phones, no computers, no microwave ovens, no internet, no DVD or tape players, or malls to shop, yet we always had things to do.

TVs in every room, an iPad in your lap, an MP3 player that shuts the rest of the world off at times.

Shopping is no longer a trip to the store, but a click away. I really do enjoy shopping online.

Want something to eat? Zap, it’s done in seconds from a meal in the freezer.

Millions of shows to watch at anytime on television and computer. So many things to choose from that take up our time.

When we were kids we would go outdoors with our bows, BB guns, cameras or just take my dog out for an adventure.

We had a blast exploring year around.

Now, I am not saying that those were the good old days. In fact, I think that these are the good old days with all we have to do in the world today.

When we had snow it was even better. We would built forts and slide on an large old round metal Coke sign off a big hill.

It sure does seem like we had more snow than today, however.

So get some warm cloths on, leave your phone inside (or at least turn if off) and go outside and start by taking 5 minutes just standing or sitting and look and listen to all you see and hear.

Then, quietly start walking around and explore all the life around us. Take a good look. There is so much going on in our back yards that we just forget about.

Take a camera, put up a bird feeder, grab your bow and fling some arrows, or just enjoy the outdoors.

If conditions are really right, snow is coming down and nature is making snowflakes. That is a very interesting study.

About 25 years ago, I started with 2 acres with nothing on it. What a challenge.

Over the years, I have planted over 150 trees and lots of bushes for wildlife.

When you walk out the backdoor it is like a Disney cartoon with birds flying, squirrels, pheasants, rabbits, quail and so many other types of wildlife.

Go hunting with your camera. Just think how much photography and the cost of taking pictures has changed in the last few years. Remember all the walls of film behind the counter? Speeds of film, different size film, color or black and white.

Then, once you use the film, it had to be developed. That would take a few days and the cost took a fair amount out of your wallet.

Now we think nothing of taking all the photos we want and saving them on memory cards or hard drives and printing them at home in any size. If there is a problem with the picture there is always Photoshop to fix or change the image. Taking a thousand photos costs almost nothing.

I will admit that it is so much fun to get swept into a great video game adventure or watch a good movie, but there is more to the world than what is on a tube or I guess now a flat screen.

Do we really stop and look at what is all around us enough?

Sometimes it is just best to take a good look at what is right outside our comfortable homes.

All the modern goodies can keep us from some of the best parts of life and just think about how good that hot cup of cocoa or coffee will taste when you come in and warm up.

And now back to watching WWII in HD and what my father went through to give us the life we have in this country today.

Terry Martin grew up in the family archery business building arrows, accessories, and shooting in tournaments from the age six. In the early seventies he began designing and patenting the first Martin compound bows. Many of the features are used throughout the industry today. In 1997 he started ArcheryTalk.com, the worlds largest online archery community.

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