I was in denial for a long time. I didn’t need electric windows in my car. I was perfectly capable of winding a car window up and down. Besides I had read about a car that fell off a bridge and the driver couldn’t get out of it because the electric windows wouldn’t go up and down when the motor was under water. I could have gotten out of that car by cranking the windows open. I didn’t need a tape deck in my car, either. I had a radio, and, as I live on an Island, I seldom drive more than 15 or 20 minutes in any direction, so there isn’t time to play a tape. Now tape players are out and CD players are in and they play for an hour. I would have to drive to Boston in order to hear the entire highlights from La Boheme.

I resisted the modern age until I won a microwave oven in a grocery store raffle — many years ago when they were still a novelty. I didn’t know what to do with it; it was huge and took up too much of what little counter space I had in my kitchen. Besides, I was scared of them — what would all those microwaves do to my brain waves, which had worked well up until then. I finally decided to sell it and buy a small one, just big enough to heat up a cup of coffee. It took up less room and I backed away from it when I turned it on.

Credit cards appeared when I was finally comfortable with cash and a checkbook. When I saw that my daughter had used one for a while and didn’t get into trouble, I applied for one and I’ve never looked back. I got two cards, one hidden in my cosmetics case, in the event that I lose the other one and find myself on Cape Cod on a shopping safari without card or cash. I rarely carried cash and when the government changed the look of the $20 bills, I thought they were counterfeit.

I used to think that having an answering machine for telephone calls I might miss when I was out of the house was an affectation. If a person couldn’t reach me, then she could call another time. But in 1995 when I was in California attending to a daughter having a serious operation, I spent every evening calling family members back East, reporting on her progress. If one of my calls wasn’t answered, I had to remember to try again (and again and again). I realized that the convenience of an answering machine was for the caller, not the person on the other end of the wire. I ordered one as soon as I returned home.

As I got older, I realized that standing in the kitchen talking on the wall phone was okay for local calls, but talking to my California daughter for 40 minutes every weekend was tiring and uncomfortable. That was when I relented and bought a portable phone. Then we got two portable phones — his and hers — and we spent a fair amount of time looking for them when one was ringing. Push a button on the stand and track it down by its cheerful chirping. What a world.

The computer age hit me about 35 years ago. I resisted for a while, having no interest in computers, but then the high school got one and my husband Johnny as a math teacher began to stay late at school to average out his marks. Two of our children by then were computer literate and began gently to urge us into that category. We finally got one, but I only used it for a word processor — why did I need a computer to write letters to my friends? I had never even learned to type. In 1999, however, I traveled to Kingman, Ariz., to take a five-day computer course for beginners sponsored by Elderhostel. It was really just an excuse to visit Arizona, but I came home enthusiastic and eager, and asked my son to set me up. When I first learned to use e-mail, only one friend my age also knew how to send e-mail. Today I have a couple hundred names in my computer address book. I order my clothes from L.L.Bean and Land’s End over the internet. I don’t have a website but everyone else seems to. Google is my favorite as it will answer any question I give it. When I give up on the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, Google will help me finish it.

Buying a cell phone several years ago was another concession to this modern age, but it was strictly for use in an emergency. I haven’t wavered from that resolution and I spent about $20 a month to store it in the glove compartment of my car in case I ever broke down on the road (which I never have). I also got one for my aging husband to carry when he was working outside, so he could call for help if he fell down, but that proved useless as we live in a dead zone, and anyway he could no longer work outside. So we went back to one unused cell phone.

Years ago when I was traveling, I often carried two Nikon SLR cameras and various interchangeable lenses everywhere I went. But when my first grandchild was born 32 years ago, I downgraded to a small, point-and-shoot, automatic focus Olympus camera, as I found that trying to take a picture of a crawling baby impossible since she had moved across the room by the time I had set up and focused my Nikon. My three children all have digital cameras now, but I have resisted that photographic improvement, at least until they stop manufacturing paper film. There is a limit to what I will do to keep up with the constantly changing technological advances.

I will go with the flow just so far. We have had a video player for some time, and I value the videos I have of the early days of my granddaughters’ lives and a few favorite movies. Then, of course, they were outdated by DVDs. I relented and we bought a DVD player, but I can’t figure out how to use it. I still have a record player, but no records.

I do enjoy two modern miracles as I get older, and fortunately, I don’t need a PhD to understand how to use them. One is an automatic generator that goes into action as soon as the electricity in my home goes off. Not even a button to push. And when chopping the wood and feeding the wood stove became onerous for Johnny, we bought a small gas stove that looked exactly like the old wood stove. The miracle of this purchase is that I can sit in my recliner and turn it on and off with a remote control, like the television set.

Now my email has shrunk to sale items from catalogs I receive and political pleas for donations because all the younger generation is texting their messages. What next?

So far, I have resisted acquiring an iPod or an iPad, a smartphone, a BlackBerry or a PDA. My three granddaughters all have iPods, but what is a BlackBerry or a PDA? And what does a Smart Phone do?

I don’t even want to know.

Shirley W. Mayhew lives in West Tisbury, where she recently celebrated the birth of her second great-grandchild.