Recently, I spent an evening with some childhood friends and then a couple days later I spent an afternoon with my brother and sister.
Both visits brought up childhood stories and very happy memories. It got me thinking about how different it is today and how lucky I was to have grown up where and when I did.
How many kids actually play outside anymore?
Even if they weren't glued to tv's and computer games, and even if you didn't have to worry about them being abducted, they wouldn't know what to do if you put them outside for the day. They would become "bored" which is a fate worse than death.
I didn't exactly grow up in Mayberry, but I did spend a lot of time outside "playing" and when we came in at night all dirty and tired, it was not without protest. Staying outside after dark and playing flashlight tag was a real favorite.
driving through dirt and rocks with Tonka trucks and Matchbox cars,
and bouncing a ball against the house
were daily activities.
Making mud pies, running through the sprinkler, and buying ice cream from the ice cream man were the highlight of any summer day.
My favorite ice cream was the buried treasure, which was sherbet on a stick that had a toy inside. Not exactly a real toy, but it was so exciting seeing what character you got.
We didn't call our friends on the phone, we just showed up at their doorstep calling out their name. Does anyone else remember calling for their friends outside their door? Instead of knocking or ringing the bell, you would sing out their name real loud...was that just in my neighborhood? My brother and his friends actually had a call...a loud pitched squeel-like whistle sound they made to summon each other.
Remember making forts...in the woods, in trees, under a table?
We used our imagination and went where it took us...always a new adventure.
Making a whistle with a blade of grass...how cool was that?
We made "coffee" by filling an old rusty coffee pot with leaves, dirt, and water.
There was a girl in my neighborhood named Mary. We used to make Mary drink our coffee and we used to feed her cough medicine when we played hospital and we used to cut her hair when we played beauty parlor.
We did terrible things to Mary.
Kids can be very cruel.
She still returned to play day after day.
I hope Mary is happy and successful today. I hope she has happy childhood memories, no thanks to me and my evil siblings.
Other fond memories:
Jeannie vs. Samantha?
I enjoyed Jeannie, living in a bottle was cool...but Samantha had more class and style. I never liked Darren, either of them. She could have done better, and I never understood why she would willingly give up her witchcraft and live like a mortal.
Trivia: Did you know that Gladys Kravitz, Samantha's nosey neighbor, lived in the same house that the Partridge Family lived in? Speaking of the Partridges:
Partridge Family vs. Brady Bunch? Marsha, Marsha, Marsha...no thank you...what girl didn't want to be Laurie Partridge? How cool would it be to have your own band and ride around in a colorful bus? As for the guys, Greg Brady wasn't exactly a looker...but Keith, so cute!
Spaghetti O's vs. Beefaroni? I was never a fan of the O's but I loved Beefaroni and for old times sake, a few years back I bought a can. OMG, is that stuff nasty! It is true what they say, "you can't go back again."
Trivia: In the movie Apollo 13, when Bill Paxton vomits they used Beef-a-Roni for the vomit. There was a half of a can left at the end of the day. Bill lost a bet with Tom Hanks and he had to eat the rest of the can.
Hostess, Drakes, or Little Debby? Hostess and Drakes hands down...Ring Dings, Twinkies, and Devil Dogs...yummy! Back in the good old days before we knew about high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. By the way, the rumors that Twinkies remain edible for years is not true. They have a shelf life of 25 days.
Take some time and think back on those childhood days and what pleasures you found in the simple things.
It feels good to remember and to laugh.
Call an old friend or sibling today and let those memories fly.
You will be so glad you did.