Surviving Life and Remember Living

*I read this article somewhere a while back and have added a few things of my own to it.  It’s important to note not all of this article is my idea my intention was to make people aware that the time we live in now is vastly different from yesteryear.  If we fail to move forward we end up in a rut.  But reminising keeps hope alive that maybe, just as in fashion and other fads, Americana will come back around and simpler times are waiting for us in the future once again.  –Blessings to you all! 

Remember When . . ??  Aahh, the memories! Let’s go back . . . Close our eyes . . . And go back . . .

Before the Internet or the PC or MAC.
Before the drug war and crack.
Before chronic and ritalin and dysfunctional.
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo.

Way back . . .
I’m talkin’ bout hide and go seek at dusk.
Sittin’ on the porch, HOT fresh from the oven bread or bisquits and butter. A time when mom or grandma would make bread and biscuits from scratch, not just scratch them out of a box of store-bought mix. (And we could snitch pieces of dough, or help push down and knead the bread, or cut the bisquits with a mason jar ring and plop them on the cooking sheet. Didn’t it smell good??)

A time when the biggest thrill of the year was when Barnum and Bailey’s wagons were unloaded from the train, and the Fireman’s Volunteer Band came marching down the street ahead of them, on the way to the vacant lots where we watched the elephants put up the tents.

Remember . . .
Red light, Green light. Chocolate milk, Lunch tickets…Penny candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, doubledutch, jacks, kickball, dodgeball, y’all!??

Mother May I?
Hula Hoops and Sunflower Seeds, Jolly Ranchers, blowpops, Mary Janes, Grape and Watermelon Now-Laters? (What about “Alexander the Grape,” “Lemonheads”?)

When the ice cream man came jingling down the street, kids coming running from blocks around, and eatin’ a ‘super dooper sandwich’ for a nickel.

Running through the sprinkler . . . jumpin’ in the puddles and making snow angels?

Watchin’ Saturday Morning cartoons when all that was on was Popeye, Wonder Twins, Flintstones, Smurfs.  Back when cartoons were GOOD.

The National Anthem was played and we all stood, hands on our heart, not worrying about who we’d offend.

Movies and Intermission — for all the kids to go running for whatever they needed to do most… The best part was the cartoons, Mickey Mouse, Road Runner, Porky Pig, —— and Bugs.

Then THE REAL DEAL — Tarzan, Jungle Jim, HR Puffnstuff, Gene Autry, Wild Bill Hickok, The New Zoo Revue, The Lone Ranger, Sky King, The Invisible Man, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff — OOOHHH BOY!!!

Do You Remember That???

And a pocket full of dried peas and a peashooter??

Catchin’ lightening bugs in a jar, playin sling shot and crack the whip?

When around the corner seemed far away,
And going downtown seemed like really going somewhere?

Climbing trees and getting sticky fingers, and a million mosquito bites?

Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians. Runnin till you were out of breath, then sittin on the curb and watching the stars?

Sitting in an old apple tree and eating as many green apples as you could without worrying about the green apple trots.

Going shoe skating (without real ice skates) with friends on the old slough that froze over in winter.

Bedtime . . . Jumping on the bed, pillow fights, being tickled to death, laughing so hard that your stomach hurt?

Being tired from playin’…. Remember that?

Crowding in a circle around the ‘after school fight’, then running when the teacher came?

What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing??

Do you remember each of the many loves you have had through life?

Eating Kool-aid powder with sugar – didn’t that taste good?

Remember being able to camp out in the backyard or sleep on the front porch without worrying?  Or leaving the front door unlocked, or heck sometimes open to the screen door to let the warm night air in.

Just to go back and say,
Yeah, I remember that!
There’s nothing like the good old days! They were good then, and they’re good now when we think about them. We can’t be serious ALL the time.

Remember . . .
When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym?”

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up? (How about before TV, when almost all families had a radio, usually in the living room? . . When nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got there?

When nobody owned a purebred dog?

When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus? When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny?

When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then?

When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces?

When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done up, everyday?

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time? And, you didn’t pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot!

When nobody was prettier than Mom. And scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed . . . and did!

When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home? Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!!

When we were taught the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for United States in school and knew what they meant, and we said the Pledge of Allegiance every day in the first class of the morning.

When a transient came to your door, you’d open the door and help them, never fearing for your life….you were just helping another who was experiencing rough times.

I want to go back to the time when . . .

Decisions were made by going eeny-meeny-miney-mo and mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “Do it over!”

“Race issues” meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in Monopoly.

Catching lightning bugs could happily occupy an entire evening.

It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends.

The net on a tennis court or the neighbor’s fence was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

It was magic when Dad would “remove” his thumb.

Remember when Dad would thump you on the noggin, and it wasn’t child abuse?

It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn’t an Olympic event.

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.

It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the “big people” rides at the amusement park.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Grampa said “Pull my finger.”

Grandma would hide cookies for you.

Abilities you didn’t know you had were discovered because of a “double-dog-dare”.

Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute ads for action figures.

Do you remember when . . . “Oly-oly-oxen-free” made perfect sense?

Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team?

War was a card game?

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?

Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin or Luttin’s cough drops that tasted more like candy?

Your older siblings were your worst tormentors, but also your fiercest protectors?

Being really thankful for all the good things in life that you’ve experienced, and having the knowledge to know that bad things were secondary and temporary, and they only came along to make you appreciate the good things more.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!! And for some of the generations now and a lot of the older ones, they’ve SURVIVED!

Consider the changes we have witnessed —

Some may have been born before television, before penicillin, before polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, Frisbees and the Pill.

Some before radar, credit cards, split atoms, lazer beams and ball point pens, before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes and long before man walked on the moon.

Before our time, closets were for clothes, not for “coming out of.” Bunnies were small rabbits, or dust balls under the bed, not Volkswagons, or Playboy girls. Designer Jeans were scheming girls named Jean or Jeanne, and having a meaningful relationship meant getting along well with our cousins.

Some were born before house-husbands, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, and commuter marriages, day-care centers, group therapy and nursing homes. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt, and guys wearing earrings.

For some of us, time-sharing meant togetherness — not computers or condominiums, a “chip” meant a piece of wood, hardware meant hardware, and software wasn’t even a word.

We recall when there were 5¢ and 10¢ stores, where you bought things for 5¢ and 10¢. BiRite and Woolworth sold ice cream cones for a nickel or a dime, for a single or a double. For one nickel you could ride a bus, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi or a Coke, or enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 (but who could afford one?)..and gas was 11¢ a gallon for regular and Ethyl was 13¢ a gallon.

We could recognize the “make and year” of a car from a distance, be it a Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Cadillac, LaSalle, Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Chrysler, DeSoto, Plymouth, Dodge, Packard, Graham-Paige, Hupmobile, Cord, Auburn, Hudson, Nash, Studebaker, Willys, a host of others now gone, and of course, the Crosley. We could sit on the running boards, fenders or the bumpers. The bumpers could really withstand a bump, and an “air bag” referred to “somebody’s mother-in-law,” or a congressman or senator.

All the boys wanted a roadster, and if you didn’t have a Duece or A-bone, you weren’t “in”. And the best place to be with your gal was in the rumble seat when you double dated.

You could get a FULL breakfast of coffee, juice, 2 eggs, hash browns, a slab of ham or sausage or four pieces of bacon, toast and jelly for 39¢ !!!

Remember when GRASS was mowed, Coke was a cold drink and POT was something you cooked in. ROCK MUSIC was Grandma’s lullaby and AIDS were helpers in the Principal’s office.

We certainly were not before the difference between the sexes was discovered, but we surely were before the sex change, we made do with what we had. And maybe some were the last generation that thought you needed a husband to have a baby…

What Better Reason To Celebrate???

We’re not perfect but God did not create us to be so.  We sin, we make mistakes.  Treasure the moments, the good, the bad and the WTF!  For it is in those moments we remember what it is like to live (or survive).

Dear God,

So far today, God, I’ve done alright. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent. I am very thankful for that.

But tomorrow God, I am going to get out of bed, And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.


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