Sunday, November 30, 2008
I know we've all heard the phrase "The good old days". Well looking back over my childhood, even though there were bumps in the road, they were really the good old days. What amazes me is that today's youth think they are better off than we are because they have their Nintendo WII systems and their cellphones and lets not forget cable, but I think we had it ten times better than them. We didn't get a lot of material items and guess what... we really didn't want a lot of them either. In the days of my childhood growing up we played with the neighborhood kids and as long as there was no blood shed and you were in by dark all was well at home. Some of my fondest memories are of playing with my brother in the dirt. We would play cowboys and Indians with little figurines or we would make mud pies. We would spend endless hours playing games in a fort made out of lawn chairs and a blanket. We even built a fort or two out of bushes by tunneling into them. We played baseball in the field not far from our house. We road bikes. We were never, nor would we have have dreamed of saying that we were, bored. We had imagination and we felt safe in our little neighborhood there on the Sandpoint Road. There were obstacles, there will always be obstacles. One was an old lady named Nettie who ran the trailer park I grew up in. She was nice enough but she had one heck of mean dog named Benji. That dog hated the color red and would attack if you were wearing it so we learned very early not to. Then there was the fact that this poor woman was senile. She would forget who we were half the time and often walk around the trailer park in her night gown. When her husband died she refused to sell his cars because she said he'd be back in the next life and would want them there. There were other issues, but for the most part we were happy. Our lives were full. More than most children today with all their toys. My mom was a housewife and proud of it. If we were at home we knew she was there. I think that was worth giving up all the fancy stuff in the world. I wonder how many parents realize that their children would rather have time with their parents in reality than all the stuff you could ever buy them. Dad worked hard, but he always found time for us kids. He would get on the floor and play horse with us. Go outside and throw a ball or even at times read to us. Time spent watching television in the evening's was family time. The whole family watched and talked about the shows together as a unit. The only exception to this was basketball nights. Mom and I would head to the back room to watch Hawaii Five-o or whatever might be on while my brother and dad would sit in the living room and watch basketball. If it was a basketball night mom would bake a cake, which was a special treat back then, not the norm. It was special times. At that time basketball wasn't something I cared about. I didn't learn to like basketball until my brother married in ninety-two. My dad was lonely for someone to watch the games with, so I grabbed books and magazines and learned as much as I could. It started out for me as a way to help my dad. Now I'm a bigger basketball nut than my brother, but I don't think anyone could catch up to my dad. He talks basketball constantly and was quiet a good player in his day. I'm still betting at sixty-nine he could take on the best of them. Just the way it is. Either way, as I watch my niece and nephew grow up I worry about their future. Our schools no longer require them to really use their imagination. Lord knows our government wants them to all be mindless sheep and I'm afraid with all the stuff they get that they will lose site of what is important. I think most people have. Times spent with family are way more important than "stuff". I hope they remember that. Our times were innocent times. They were good times. Times I'll likely never forget.