For all of us over 40....

sheepco(MN z4)January 21, 2010

A friend e-mailed this to me today, how true....

I don't know the author.

"Good night and God bless.."

Whoever wrote this must have been my next door neighbor because it totally described my childhood to a 'T.' Hope you enjoy it.

Black and White

(Under age 40? You won't understand.)

You could hardly see for all the snow,

Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.

Pull a chair up to the TV set.

'Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet.'

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were

wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting e.coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake

instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE...and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah.... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day course of a $69 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.

Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.

Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes.

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?



Pass this to someone and remember that life's most simple pleasures are very

often the best

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Lone Ranger. Tonto. Howdy Doody.

We used to make up our own games. THE BUTTON GAME was our favorite. Mom had a BIG WOODEN SHAKER BOX with a top that was full of all kinds of buttons. She saved woolens (pre polyester days) for hooked and braided rugs. Matter of fact I still have about 25 boxes of woolens to make into rugs. Anyway, she cut the buttons off the clothing and threw them in the box.

The Button Game consisted of dumping the buttons in the middle of the braided rug and dividing the pile into three more or less equal piles (3 kids). Then we would see how many matching button sets we could get. We each had our favorite buttons. Gosh, sometimes you would have to give up a whole handful of buttons just to get one if you REALLY wanted it.

My sister and I still talk about how much fun that game was and we made it up ourselves and, I'm sure, learned about sharing, teamwork and other valuable life lessons.

BF and I often comment on how we grew up in the best of times (we are in our mid 60's) and in the most beautiful place in the whole world (Lake George NY in the Adirondack Mtns)

Blah, Blah, Blah.. good memories.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 7:23PM
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I remember folks settled disputes with words or fists, not guns.

You did not have the right to be offended over every little thing. People smoked, drank, spoke their mind and we got along. We didn't like things, but we got along.

Saving money was cool. Moms cut coupons and bragged about what they saved, and we shared with our friends and they with us.

If you had special needs due to your own vices you did not demand special treatment. You asked for it and were grateful to get it.

You could get out of doing heavy or sweaty things because you were a girl.

Blah, Blah, Blah too.....

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 12:14PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Gee, I never got out of doing heavy or sweaty things because I was a girl. Maybe it was because all I had were sisters.I loved to walk in the rain, ride my bike for hours, ride my bike across town with a friend to play tennis. We spent lots of time in the public swimming pool. The kids in the neighborhood played in each others yards until late in the evening and no one minded until one girl in the neighborhood got polio. Then everything started to change.
Daddy taught me how to fly fish and I had to spend hours putting the fly in the right spot. He taught me how to shoot a rifle and a handgun. Boy, were they ever heavy. He wanted me to learn so we could travel the Pan American Highway from Alaska to the tip of South America. My first boyfriend taught me how to drive and when Daddy hired a man to teach me how I had to beg him not to tell Daddy I could already drive automatic, four on the floor, pop the clutch, do some racing change-ups, whatever and I could fix minor engine problems and change a tire by myself. He laughed and let me drive him around all afternoon to prove it. Daddy was surprised I learned so fast.
I had been going downtown on the bus by myself from the time I was six to get to music lessons and go to the library. When I started going to school at the University Lab School, I spent a lot of time at the Student Union. Often I would walk the thirty blocks home just because I wanted to. I can't remember anyone being worried about it. Things sure have changed.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 6:21PM
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hardin(7 SE OK)

I remember licking the S&H green stamps and putting them in books so we could go shopping.
I remember having so much fun rolling down a big hill inside a cardboard box with friends, bumped heads and all.
I remember rolling skating for hours at the local rink, and hoping a boy would ask me on the 'couples' turn around the floor.
I remember flipping over the porch rail and knocking out part of my front tooth. And NOT going to the dentist until 5 years later to have it fixed. (High school, you know.)

I remember playing cowboys and Indians, and building forts in trees with scraps we found and nails my Dad gave me. The only requirement, was to bring his hammer back.
I remember playing baseball with all the neighborhood kids, riding dirt bikes, and swinging over the ravine from grapevines like Tarzan. And, screaming when the vines broke.

I remember cartoons on Saturday. Now with cartoons all the time, it isn't near as wonderful as the anticipation of waiting for that one day of the week.

I remember fishing for crawdads in the creek, and having mud fights, and climbing high in the apples trees to reach the sweetest apple.

We were so much luckier than the kids today. Sometimes technology isn't all its cracked up to be because they miss too many of the simpler things in life. Oddly enough, I made sure my kids didn't have the video games, cell phones, and computers while they were growing up. (I couldn't afford them, to be honest.) I wanted them to grow up being kids. They still talk about all that, just like I am right now.

Thanks for the memories.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 11:59PM
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