I am fast approaching a very "big" birthday and even though I can't bring myself to say the number, I will admit that I will be in my late, late, late 40s. You can imagine for yourself how "late" when you consider I have five children who are also in their 40sÃ¯Â¿Â½they have a bad habit of catching up with you don't they?
While I have been in denial, wondering how I got so old, so fast, I have been reliving my youth and considering all the things kids have now days that we did not have when I was young and I feel very sorry for todays youth.
We had no TV, no CDs with headphones, no computers, no Nintendos, no video games, and no cell phones. Gosh, we only had one phone in town and that was up at Eldred's service station/cafe. All of our fun and recreation depended pretty much on our own imaginations.
Sometimes we did things that were not too smart or safe, but for the most part we stayed out of trouble and had a lot of fun.
I feel sorry for kids who have never been on a chicken/corn roast out at the white bridge. The bridge is now gone and so are most of the chickens in town. I feel sorry for kids who have never gathered together to make honey candy and play cards, or sing with a phonograph or someone playing the guitar.
I feel sorry for kids who have never had a water fight up on Main Street on a hot summer night. I feel sorry for kids who have never gone tubing down the canal or swimming out at the adobe mixer. I feel sorry for boys who have never worn holes in the knees of his new school overalls playing marbles or girls who have never played jacks or jump the rope or hopscotch.
I feel sorry for kids who have never played neighborhood night gamesÃ¯Â¿Â½hide and seek, kick the can, run my sheep run, etc. I even feel sorry for kids who have never had to herd the milk cows out to the pasture every morning in the summer and go and fetch them in the afternoon.
I feel sorry for kids who missed out on those Saturday night dances where we actually learned to dance the waltz, the fox trot, the two step and the jitter bug.
I miss walking (yes, I said walking) up to the post office every morning at 10 a.m. where everyone in town gathered to catch up on the latest gossip and mail their letters before the mail truck left at noon. I feel sorry for the kids who never met their friends at Eldred's just to have a Coca-Cola and a candy bar and decide what to do next.
We lived through the worst of timesÃ¯Â¿Â½a devastating world war that took many of our young people, but we also lived through the best of times, relatively free of the stress and temptations that our young kids face today. Life was full of fun and excitement and how much of it we grabbed was strictly up to us and our imagination.