Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Those Were The Days My Friends......

I reply to almost every comment that is left on my blog. The past two days, some of them have come back undelivered for some reason. So, if you haven't received a reply to a comment you left....that is why. Is anyone else having that problem???

My new book arrived yesterday and I started reading last night. It's called "Building Bone Vitality...A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis." Now just as I don't always trust doctors....I also don't believe everything I read. I'm just hoping to learn more and maybe change my diet to help my poor old bones! So far, it's been very interesting.

In addition to my awesome book arriving....my Country Living magazine also came too. How lucky can one person be?

Now to the real post.....I was driving home Tuesday trying to decide what I wanted to write about and a thought popped into my head. Did your parents allow you to do things when you were a child that you would never ever have let your own kids do?

As I sat there in my car I started to laugh. My kids weren't even allowed to ride their bikes around the block alone and we lived in a very safe little neighborhood! That was in the 80's.

I grew up in a small town where no one locked their doors. Very little crime....everyone knew everyone else....you know....a little Mayberry so to speak. At a very young age, I was allowed to pretty much go wherever I wanted to go in the town. No one worried that I might get kidnapped, or run over by a car or be in danger of any kind. It was an awesome way to grow up.

As pre-teens....we walked the railroad tracks from our town to the next town OVER A RAILROAD TRESTLE that spanned the river! It was scary because you could see the water way down below in between the railroad ties. I don't remember if my parents knew we did that, but usually I just had to say that we were careful and for some reason they believed me! :)

This is my beach and the trestle we use to walk across! This photo is from Wikipedia.
As young kids we were allowed to ride our bikes down to the beach two blocks away...leaving in the morning.....and spend the entire day swimming...by ourselves....as long as we were home by dinner! Sometimes I would even go myself. There was a part of the shore down from the sandy beach area that was all gooey clay. I would sit there for hours just playing in the muck. In fact, once we learned to swim, we would swim across the river splashing and waving our hands in the air so oncoming boats would see us and not run over us, and hang out at the beach on the other side. (It wasn't a huge river, but big enough)

We had an amusement park in our town. It was a popular one on the river....called the Picnic Grove. Bus loads of people would come out from Chicago on the weekends. The place was mobbed all the time. Yep, we were able to go there any time we wanted to, without a parent and just hang out all day long, riding the rides and eating all kinds of crap from the concession stands. When we got a little older we would dance outside on the concrete slab to the jukebox. My girlfriend's brother worked there and he ran rides. He would take people's tickets when they were getting on....put them in his pocket....and give them to us to use again. Don't tell anybody we did that though....that was really dishonest....but boy did we have fun!

My parents and my older sister and I took a vacation out to California....get this...we had an awesome '57 Chevy station wagon...turquoise and white. My dad made a big fat cushion that fit in the back and that is where we rode for two weeks. No seat belts....just a lot of fun!

My uncle use to let us sit in his lap when he was driving and steer the car....not on the highway, but on the roads around our neighborhood.

Yes, times have changed. Do you think it was just more easy going back in the 50's and 60's. Were there less people, so there was less crime? Was there less to worry about? What were things like when you were a kid? Were you allowed to do things that you would never allow a child to do today?

15 comments:

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

What a great way to grow up! My childhood was much the same way, minus the very cool beach. :) We left in the morning in the summers to go do whatever we wanted to during the day and came home before dark. We did also have the trestle bridge and would dare each other to cross it, but the river was not very nice to swim in. I love your 57 Chevy story and the giant cushion in the back. What a fun trip that must have been! Kids these days are really missing out, I think. Too many restrictions.

Joan said...

I love this post Kathy. I too enjoyed a childhood where I had a lot of freedom. We walked everywhere! In the summer we were gone playing from morning until just before dark. No one worried.

Sometimes I think our news media has made our world much scarier than it is. But, the protectiveness of children does come in cycles with the generations. We were the "unprotected", but most of us saw it as freedom.

Silke said...

Oh, that brought back memories!! I grew up in the 60's and 70's in Germany and I often think how uncomplicated my childhood (not my youth) was. I often feel sorry for kids nowadays who can't do anything outside without supervision, who are so over-scheduled with classes and sports. I remember my friends and I playing every day. Outside whenever possible. Our curfew was to come in when it started getting dark. We were allowed to ride our bikes wherever we wanted to, we knew all our neighbors, we were as at home at our friends' as they were at our house. It was a much simpler time and I am forever grateful that I was allowed to be a real child! Thanks for those memories... Hugs, Silke

Cathryn said...

The first thing that popped into my head was that I was allowed to eat the apples, oranges, cookies, popcorn balls that the neighbors made kids each year for Halloween. My son wasn't allowed to even have a messed up piece of candy for the fear of tampering.

The second thing that popped into my head was being able to roam the neighborhood with the other block kids and not have to check in all the time. My son had to come home and tell me if he went from one friend's house to another--even if it was on the same street!

Excellent post, Kathy! Reminds me of how far we've haven't come!

Mary said...

LOL--this made me laugh. when i was 10 a friend and i used to take her rowboat out on the lake and be gone all day--we knew how to swim but didn't have life jackets or anything. obviously here we are. i remember those as being some of the sweetest days of my childhood. that and riding with a dozen other kids with our legs hanging out the back of the neighbor's old station wagon...;-)

Lanyardlady said...

Growing up my sister and I left the house every Saturday morning on our bikes and rode the mile to downtown. We parked our bikes at the public library, read and looked for new books, then walked downtown to Sutton's drugstore for a grilled cheese sandwich and a chocolate shake. Then we'd roam the stores on the main street of our college town before heading back home. We had no cell phones to keep in touch, no worries about being harmed...in essence, we were kids being as carefree as kids should be. It is different now, and at the college where I work I see young people way too stressed out about life, way before they should be. It breaks my heart. Great post!

LDWatkins said...

Our childhoods were so much more relaxed than now. We had no TV to keep us mesmerized and our minds paralyzed. Wonder where all the meanness came from? Kids today haven't a chance of having a carefree childhood. It's a shame.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Oh, kids growing up in the 50's were so much freer than the kids of today. Some of the things I remember: we had no seatbelts (I used to like laying down in the back window of the car as my dad drove down the road), we could get a drink out of the hose when we were playing outside, and we'd save bread wrapper (they were made of waxed paper back then) to sit on as we'd slide down slides at the park. Those slides would be much too tall to be safe for today's kids. That waxed paper made us fly! We never locked our doors to our house or our car. My parents would leave the car windows down when we parked downtown and even leave the keys in the ignition while we shopped. It's sad that those times are gone.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I had SO much freedom as a kid, too! I try to give my sons the same amount, but it is a bit different since I grew up mostly living in the city and we live more rural now. So riding bikes unsupervised on a busy county highway is out, but long hours uninterrupted by me are in still. It's how they get to test their skills and decision making.
But swimming without a partner or adult, that's a no-no. Although it sounds like you had the buddy system in place when you were a kid!

Ms Sparrow said...

I grew up in the fifties. We lived in the country and my parents would go into town for groceries and leave to tend my 3 younger siblings--and I was 8 years old! Today, I would be horrified if my granddaughter left her 8 year old alone to care for her little sisters. In the 60's, my own kids were free to play anywhere in the neighborhood and even go into friend's houses. When I take care of my great-granddaughters, there is no way I'd let them out of my sight! Have we changed or has the world changed?

Baroness Bijoutery said...

I also grew up in the 50's and was married in 64...It was a different time...You knew to behave in the neighborhood because any Mother would jerk you up short..Everyone looked out for everyone else..The word Neighbor was a good thing then...and you valued them...My girlfriend and I would pack a lunch on Saturday and take off on our bikes to this old Race Track a couple miles from our house..Lord we would ride around that place for hours among stones, concrete junks, broken glass and we never got hurt..No helmets in those days..We were taught not to talk to strangers or take a ride but other than that we pretty much had free range..I even started babysitting when I was 10..Would I hire a 10 year old for my kids..no way...Seatbelts ya right..we learned to sit in the car and no messing around or that arm came across the seat and bopped you one...And the phrase "Don't Make Me Stop This Car" we took very seriously...I was a great time to grow up in...

gayle said...

What wonderful memories! My childhood was very much the same. Playing outside, riding my bike to school and the library... My dad put some type of foam in the back of our car and we rode in the back from CA to Nebraska. When my kids were very small I could hold them in my lap...no seat belts
When my kids were growing up I couldn't let them have as much as freedom as I had. It is even worse now. It is sad!

gayle said...

Oh I can't wait for you to read and let us know about your new book.

Angela said...

I can't really answer that question because I am just an Aunt and I let the nieces and nephews do whatever they want- like have cake for dinner- I know it's terrible. I am the favorite Aunt though.

I also let my niece stay up late when she spends the night. I give my baby nephew java chillers. I tell scary stories. I get in trouble with the parents all the time :)

Bluebell said...

You brought back such memories, I grew up in a small village in Worcestershire all green fields and country lanes. We could go anywhere and often did. We could be out all day my Mom would give us jam sandwiches and a bottle of water and we would have wonderful adventures. We would come home tired and grubby but very happy a really lovely way to grow up.
Love Jillxx

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