Remember how simple life used to be

Published 7:40 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Years ago, a friend gave me a wood plaque that has a permanent place on my kitchen wall.  A young girl is hanging by her feet from the limb of the tree. It reads: Remember How Simple Life Used to Be!

The number of us who do remember the simplicity of life is growing smaller and smaller and smaller year after year… and so are senior discounts and final expense coverage.

I remember how simple life used to be.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I remember making mud pies, catching tadpoles, climbing trees, putting worms on hooks, reading the Sunday funny papers, saving up for penny candy and blow gum and chewing billy goat grass.

As children, we played baseball with a rubber ball and a stick bat. Our bases were rocks, tin cans and cow patties We played four-square, drop the handkerchief, duck duck, goose, Farmer in the Dale and Red Rover.

We had watermelon seed spitting contests, corncob fights, got ground itch, ringworms and whooping cough. We rode bicycles and walked on stilts and rolled tires … and skated on anything harder than red clay.

Our skates were metal with wood wheels and attached to the soles of our school shoes. We had a metal key that we used to tighten the skates to our shoes. If we didn’t get the skates tight enough, they would flop off, trip you and you would fall and get skinned knees and elbows and a whipping.

I learned to skate on the kitchen floor. My aunt put a wet towel down on the floor and showed me how to skate, “one foot this way, the other foot that way, this way, that way….”

“I was a good skater but it was not until I was half grown that I realized I was skate-mopping her kitchen floor.

As we got older and boys started to notice girls and girls started to notice back, skating took on whole new importance. No longer did we skate on the sidewalks or poured concrete walks or driveways. We went to the roller skating rink and that was like being in hog heaven. Oh, the heavenly aroma of sweeping compound on the roller-skating rink’s wood floor and the whirring of sound of skates and the puppy love music was heaven sent. Most of the time girls skated with girls and boys with boys. But, every now and the announcer say “boys grab a girl” or girls pick a boy” and Fats Domino would come over the speaker singing “Blueberry Hill” or Ricky Nelson singing “There’ll Never Be Anyone Else But You.”

Then, there were the drive-in movies or the passion pits some said. I didn’t understand that.

But, I knew then, just as I know now, that the simple times were the best of times. I wonder if looking back on the years 2000 to 2022 will one day be thought to be “the best of times.” A scary thought.