How DID We Survive?

By
Home Stager with Transition Stage LLC

How DID We Survive?


Reading blog posts this morning, I came across one by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff about skateboard parks, and it got me to thinking about all the things that existed in my childhood that no one ever gave a thought to doing differently.

I know my Mom wasn't the only one who smoked and enjoyed cocktails throughout her pregnancies. And all through our childhoods, my sisters and I were inhaling that secondhand smoke, as Mom never did quit.

We went on family vacations, spending hours in the car on highways and other roads - without seatbelts, and certainly without child seats. I well remember that my younger sister Kate loved standing between my Mom and Dad in the front seat. Maybe everyone drove a little slower in those days?

 

Roller Skates at 6



I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and Saturdays, after chores, my sisters and I all went our separate ways - playing with friends down the street, skating on the sidewalks with skates that frequently came loose, which meant taking the occasional header into the concrete. Lots of scraped knees, banged heads, and so on, but rarely anything particularly serious.

No helmets for bike riding, monkey bars in outside parks with nothing to pad the concrete below, a street filled with truck and car traffic. Yet we met our friends, played our games, enjoyed the freedom of being outside in all kinds of weather, all without any protective gear beyond clothing appropriate for the temperature.

How DID we survive?  What do you remember from your childhood that is so very different these days? I'd love to hear about your childhood memories.

 

Photo Credit: adapted from Roller Skates at 6



How DID We Survive?

Comments (37)

Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Debbie - Wow! I bet that hurt! Friends whose parents were doctors were really good friends, weren't they? I'm glad you healed up so well!

May 14, 2011 05:17 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Cindy - That's a very funny image!! Oh yes, carnival rides! I adored the ferris wheel. Then, as an adult, I went on with my nephew - and boy, did I get vertigo! I don't think there was much in the way of safety regulations back then - and yes, we did have fun!

May 14, 2011 05:23 AM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

As long as we weren't running around with scissors in our hands, parents did very little clucking at their kids about what to do safety wise.  We not only had fun, we thrived.  And you could be gone all day without your parents monitoring your whereabouts.   You just knew you had to behave out in the streets, be home on time "or else!".

May 14, 2011 05:35 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Linda - Yes!!  Very true. Somehow that "or else" really got us to do what we had to, didn't it?

May 14, 2011 05:41 AM
Craig Snead
Quality Home Investments, LLC / Dearborn Heights, MI - Dearborn Heights, MI
Real Estate Investor

Judy, with four kids in the house "go outside and play" was heard often. And we did. Four square. Flashlight tag at night. Baseball or football at the park. We even had a park and rec person at the park and games/supervision were provided. Some days I would leave the house and be gone for four or five hours. No cell phone for checking in. Yet we were safe.

We also had a backyard pool and the neighborhood kids would spend the day there. My mom would charge ten cents to swim to help pay for the pool chemicals. When parents complained about the fee my mom would ask them "will you watch my kids for ten cents a day"?

Ah, a big black and white TV on a TV tray and nobody got hurt with it falling over. No child locks on the cabinets. NO meant NO. Kids respected adults then. The good old days when life was simple. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

May 14, 2011 05:53 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Craig - Oh yeah - "Go outside and play" - seemed to be the universal call in those days! Your mom definitely was a smart cookie - charging for the pool chenicals, and having the perfect answer for other parents.

Thanks for sharing this - it's fun to go down memory lane opnce in a while, and especially to hear what other's childhoods were like.

May 14, 2011 06:10 AM
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

My Uncles owned a cabin on the Shenandoah River and we had a rope swing hanging from a huge tree.  We'd swing out and drop -- rocks and all.  In the summertime, the local bands (every fire department had one) would march up and down the streets as they practiced -- I was a majorette -- all of 10 years old and would march right along.  Never frightened -- happy and free.

May 14, 2011 11:03 AM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Hi Judy~ I think about that stuff all the time now that we have grandkids.  It's amazing we are still alive with all the "risks" we took!

May 14, 2011 02:45 PM
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Judy - My mom did not smoke or drink so I guess my prenatal time was pretty risk free, but I was a bit of a wild child with lots of energy and have the scars to prove it.  I was a risk-taking child and that habit is still with me or I would not be in real estate!!

May 14, 2011 02:59 PM
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Oh, I think I had those roller skates...

May 14, 2011 03:00 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Tish - That rope swing sounds great! And how lovely to remember that wonerful childhood feeling of being happy and free! Thanks for sharing this with me.

May 14, 2011 03:53 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Donna - It's true, isn't it? The dangers loom a lot larger when we're trying to safeguard little ones in our care.

May 14, 2011 03:54 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Norma - Ah yes, the scars of childhood - I have a few of those as well! 

I was so delighted to find a photo of those skates. Many a happy afternoon was spent with my skate key on a heavy string around my neck, flying down the street on that type of roller skates.

May 14, 2011 03:56 PM
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Judy ~ Brooklyn, Bay Ridge, 1959, 4 years old first time on roller skates ---> fell and broke my wrist

climbed a picket fence with my cast on -->ripped open my arm ---> stitches    how many nails did I step on making forts in the woods ---> too many     teehee

can you tell I was a tomboy?

May 14, 2011 04:30 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Karen - Oh yes, I'm with you! My older sister, Sue, was known to wail, "Why do you always do these things when I'm watching you?"  - Sounds like you've got a few reminders of great childhood days!

BTW, we're sister Brooklynites. I grew up in the Northside neighborhood, which is the northern tip of Williamsburg. My younger sister still lives there, in the house in which we grew up.

May 15, 2011 02:20 AM
Elizabeth Byrne
Keller Williams Realty - Arlington, VA
Arlington Virginia Real Estate

Judy, although I grew up in Poland, I had similar roller skates, no helmet. I would also go with my 7-year old cousin (I was 4-years old) to the market and all sorts of other places, without even telling our parents. And the strangest thing is, our parents let us do it.

May 15, 2011 03:49 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Elizabth - How interesting that you grew up in Poland - and that you had the same type of roller skates there!  It's true - our parents were a lot less fearful, and we ha considerable freedom when we were kids.

May 15, 2011 03:53 PM
Judi Boad
ACCURATE REALTY GROUP - Seattle, WA

HI Judy~

What a great post! How did we survive?

I do remember car seats. They hooked over the seat and had a steering wheel with a horn. Not for safety, they were to help kids see out the window and give them something to do!!

I was just explaining to one of my grandchildren how skates used to be so different, and you actually strapped them across your ankle and tightened them at your toe with a key. 

They didn't get it!

Had to hit suggest on this one.

Thanks for sharing the fun!

May 16, 2011 12:54 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hu Judi - Isn't it funny? It was all about entertainment, not a thought to safety.  Those skates were really badly designed, weren't they? If you didn't have the right shoes, they just wouldn't stay put. Thanks for the suggest. I'm glad you had fun with this one.

May 17, 2011 04:29 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Valerie - Thanks for that laugh! We couldn't act up like that. Our car had a kind of rope - like the ones at the movies - that was strung along the back of the front bench seat. My sisters and I would hang a blanket over it and play inside the "tent" it created.

May 17, 2011 04:31 PM