Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Old Days...

I think you already know I grew up in the country. I have absolutely wonderful memories of my childhood. As far back as I can remember and until the day I married and moved away, we lived by the most amazing family. I have one sister that is three years older than me and the neighbor family have three girls and two boys around our same ages. We spent countless hours together and what one didn't think of, the other did. I have so many great memories but a few really stand out in my mind. We lived pretty far out of town but there was a highway in front of our homes. Each Fourth of July and New Year's Eve, our Dads would purchase fireworks and divide between all the kids. Each child would get a small paper bag of fireworks and a lit cigar to light their fire crackers with. (guess they thought that was safer for us than a lighter or matches) We thought we were "oh so cool". Our Dads would use sling shots and shoot cherry bombs over the occasional car that would pass by on the highway.
Saturday nights were a blast in my neighborhood! We were very fortunate to have parents that were so family oriented. When you live in the country you learn to be creative with your entertainment.   You might say we were a  little bit mischievous but it was always good clean fun.   Our Dads would take an old worn out purse that belonged to one of our moms and tie a very long string to it and put it in the middle of the road that was in front of our house. There were pine trees between our home and the highway so we would all squat down behind the pine trees and wait for a taker. It was an old country highway so a car may pass by every 10 or 15 minutes. When someone would pass by the purse, they would hit the brakes and back up. Just as they opened the car door and reached down to pick it up, our Dad's would start reeling it in. Some of the nicer people would just take off but others would yell out words that we weren't used to hearing. Our Dads were always coming up with fun things for us to do.
With our neighbors, we roasted oysters on the grill, churned ice cream, and sometimes (without the parents knowledge)  had BB gun fights. (I accidentally shot one of the neighbor boys in the mouth and the BB wedged in a cavity he had in his tooth.) We ran in the house and got tweezers but we never could get it out so we had to tell his mom. She took him to the dentist and we got a good talking to. We rode go karts, horses and bikes for hours on end. We would pick peas and cut corn in our Dad's garden, then sit around in lawn chairs shelling  and shucking  so our moms could put it up in the freezer. We had sleep overs and would sometimes put tents in the yard and sleep outside.  We had talent shows and invited the few neighbors that lived close by.

Times have certainly changed and even though our kids and grand kids have many more opportunities then we did, I think they miss out on so much.  The good ole days when it was safe to let your kids roam the neighborhoods are long gone.  Life has gotten complicated and everyone is busy and stressed with jammed packed schedules.  I am very fortunate to have grown up in that small country town with such a loving and happy family. We really did grow up like the Cleavers and I loved every minute of it!!


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