When I was a kid

When I was a kid, we played outside from the moment after breakfast and right up until the street lights came on at night. Our moms didn’t worry about where we were because EVERYONE was outside playing. We would go in when called for lunch and fought even doing that. We wanted to play! Your friends knew you would be back in 15 minutes, and you got the same place you had in whatever game you were playing when your mom called you home. And I don’t mean called you on your cell phone, I mean she stood at the side door yelling, “Kathy, Nanette, Tommy, time for lunch! Let’s go! NOW!” “AWWWW MOM! DO WE HAVE TO?!?” Same thing happened with dinner. You ate as fast as you could, just so you could get back outside and play in the little bit of time that was left before the street lights came on.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have PlayStation, Xbox, or cell phones. If you wanted to talk to a friend, you walked to their house and knocked on the door. There was no calling ahead to make sure it was OK to come over, you just went. If they were busy, or couldn’t come out right then, you went home or walked to another friend’s house. It was no big deal. We did not sit at home watching TV eating a bag of potato chips and drinking soda.

When I was a kid, we had three TV channels, and if the president was on, your TV time was RUINED! All three stations would be carrying the president’s speech! There was no such thing as a remote, the kid closest to the TV was the remote and if you didn’t like what your parents were watching, too bad, that was the only TV in the house. TV shows were in black and white and were clean. Andy Griffin, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Bonanza. There was none of this reality crap that inundates every station we have now. A hundred and something stations available now and still nothing worth watching. Who remembers the program on PBS called “ZOOM”? I loved loved loved that show!

When I was a kid, we drank water from the garden hose. Whoever’s yard you and 12 other kids were playing in all drank out of the same hose, one after the other. And look, we didn’t die! We didn’t go inside to get a drink that would take too long! Getting  Kool-Aid with all that sugar was a treat. Sugar was expensive during that time, and you usually drank plain water.When I was a kid, we ate three meals a day at home, and we sat at the table for each of them. If you went to a restaurant, it was for a special occasion. Going to McDonalds was a real special treat. It wasn’t the norm to eat out, and there was no reason for “fast food”. There was no taking your plate to your room and eating in front of your TV. At dinner when dad was home, we discussed our day while eating, each of us taking a turn. And as you all know, the one subject I avoided like the plague was school, particularly during report card time.When I was a kid we had the BEST music! Oh, the music! To this day my favorite genre is the 70’s. There was Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewert, Led Zepplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bread, The Bee Gees, K. C. and the Sunshine Band, Earth Wind and Fire, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Queen. And my all time favorite, Barry Manilow! I loved him. His poster hung above my bed, and I kissed him goodnight every night. And we had Disco! I will have to say the movie “Saturday Night Fever” with John Travolta was the beginning of it all. Music today seems to be just a bunch of yelling. No wonder why kids today are angry and depressed all the time. The music they listen to would make me the same way.

When I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. How did we ever survive? Seriously, how? If we needed information on something, we looked it up in the “World Book Encyclopedias”. Remember those? We didn’t have any but, my friends did. I think the only time the books ever got used was when we wanted to “press” a flower. We didn’t have iPods, CD players, DVD’s or VCR’s. We had tape recorders and Boom Boxes. I remember riding down the street on my bicycle with my tape recorder in hand listening and singing at the top of my lungs to a Barry Manilow tune.When I was a kid it cost a quarter to go to the movies, and gas rose to the astonishing price of .75 a gallon. We wore mood rings, earth shoes, hip huggers and the boys had long hair. We took family vacations in a station wagon. (Think of “Chevy Chase Family Vacation”) My parents had “fondue” parties, and we got the leftovers. We were raised saying, “Yes Sir” and “No Ma’am”, “Please” and “Thank-you”. When we received a gift for our birthday or Christmas, we sat down and wrote thank-you letters.Times are changing, they always have and they always will. Some changes are great, and some, well, would be best forgotten. It was exciting being a kid in the 60’s and 70’s, I don’t know what it was like raising us, but we had fun. Things were definitely different when my boys were little, and I can only imagine the changes that will have taken place by the time they have children. Enjoy today, By tomorrow, all of this will have changed.


This is my journey…


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