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How Did We (Over 40) Survive?

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  • How Did We (Over 40) Survive?

    How Did We (Over 40) Survive?

    Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have.....

    My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

    My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes too, but I can't remember getting E-coli.

    We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets.

    We played with toy guns, cowboys and Indians, army, cops and robbers, and used our fingers to simulate guns when the toy ones or my BB gun was not available.

    Some students weren't as smart as others or didn't work hard so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. That generation produced some of the greatest risk-takers and problem solvers. We had the freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

    Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), the term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

    We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer weare now. Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids!

    I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

    Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot. How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued the school system.

    Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the pledge and stayed in detention after school and caught all sorts of negative attention for the next two weeks. We must have had horribly damaged psyches.

    I can't understand it. Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion or condoms (we wouldn't have known what either was anyway) but they did give us a couple of aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting the sniffles.

    What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

    I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

    I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, PlayStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable stations.I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant 20, built forts out of branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that lot. He should have been locked up for not putting up a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm.

    Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

    We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle of mercurochrome and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

    We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked (physical abuse) ... and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

    Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks (remember why Tonka trucks were made tough... it wasn't so that they could take the rough berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car with leaded gas.

    Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am sure that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent.

    Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn't even know that mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive. How sick were my parents?

    Of course my parents weren't the only psychos. I recall a neighbor from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.Instead she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

    To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

    How did we survive?
    I'll post, You argue.

  • #2
    Good post nickg,

    Sometimes I wonder how we survived also...

    we used to sit in the back of pickup trucks, several kids at a time

    we thought nothing of sharing a soda pop with our friends, all of us drinking out of the same can

    3 or 4 us us would go pheasant or rabbit hunting with our single shot 12 guages, we were around 12 years old, and as long as you put em over your shoulder "opened up" when you walked through town, nobody said a thing about it

    "double jeopardy" was the norm rather than the exception,if you got spanked at yout neghbors house, you got spanked again when your parents found out, same thing at school.

    We would go on excursions across town, several miles, 5 or 6 of us on our spyderbikes,and spend all day messing around, as long as we were all home by dark,everything was ok. We didnt have cell phones, or GPS and we didnt have to worry about being kidnapped or anything else

    If you got hurt, the nearest neighbor loaded you up and took you to the emergency room,with out fear of being sued, you just did what you thought was right at the time, and the parents thanked you for it

    We would choose side and play tackle football, without the pads, and you had the battle scars to show for it, sometimes showing them off rather proudly

    What few cops you saw on ocassion, knew your name, where you lived and who your mom and pop were, they were respected and idolized, not loathed and feared like they are today. You ran up to them when you saw them, not away.

    We would ride doubled up and sometimes even tripled on our spyderbikes.

    We were so tanned from staying out all day that we looked like little indians. We didnt worry much about overexposure or keeping suntan lotion on our little bodies. Staying in the house while there was still light was unthinkable

    In the summertime, all you needed for a wardrobe was a pair of cutoff bluejeans and maybe a ballcap and if you were gonna be riding on gravel roads,you might think to put on your "Converse" tennis shoes

    You could go to the store with a quarter, buy a gallon of gas for the lawnmower and have a few cents left over to buy Bazooka Bubblegum

    any empty lot was fairgame for football, baseball
    ar any game we could think of

    Things have changed so much in the last 30 or so years. Sometimes I'm not convinced its for the better.
    "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

    Norman Thomas

    Comment


    • #3
      QUOTE:
      we used to sit in the back of pickup trucks, several kids at a time

      "and we actually rode in cars without padded dashboards, seat beltS, AND air conditioning"
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      "double jeopardy" was the norm rather than the exception,if you got spanked at your neghbors house, you got spanked again when your parents found out, same thing at school.

      "exactly -- ALL the parents in the neighborhood had full permission to read the "riot act" to ANY kid in the neighborhood without fear of getting sued. and THEN you got your *** whipped!!"
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      We would go on excursions across town, several miles, 5 or 6 of us on our spyderbikes,and spend all day messing around, as long as we were all home by dark,everything was ok. We didnt have cell phones, or GPS and we didnt have to worry about being kidnapped or anything else

      "plus during the summer we are out until 10 or 11 PM playing "Release" because you know no one was going to bother you." and if you didn't let your mom know where you were at and came home after dark you got your *** whipped AGAIN!!"
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      If you got hurt, the nearest neighbor loaded you up and took you to the emergency room,with out fear of being sued, you just did what you thought was right at the time, and the parents thanked you for it

      "same as getting read the "riot act" -- you were just being a good neighbor and watching out for all the kids in the neighborhood"
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      We would choose side and play tackle football, without the pads, and you had the battle scars to show for it, sometimes showing them off rather proudly

      "and guess what??? THERE WERE LOSERS in these games. it wasn't a touchy-feely thing where "everyone is winner"

      you're right....nothing like a game of football in the snow wearing sneakers and NO pads or helmets. and we even played dodge ball where you actually got HIT with the ball. and we even played a game where you ganged up on the kid with the ball -- and we called it "smear the queer".
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      What few cops you saw on ocassion, knew your name, where you lived and who your mom and pop were, they were respected and idolized, not loathed and feared like they are today. You ran up to them when you saw them, not away.

      "and if you got outta line the cop would actually tell your parents since he knew them. so you got read ANOTHER "riot act".
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      We would ride doubled up and sometimes even tripled on our spyderbikes.

      "yep....one sittin' on the crossbar and one on the handle bars."
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      We were so tanned from staying out all day that we looked like little indians. We didnt worry much about overexposure or keeping suntan lotion on our little bodies. Staying in the house while there was still light was unthinkable.

      "SPF What?????

      and it was out in the morning, home for lunch, out again, home for dinner, and out again until dark, actually doing PHYSICAL things like bike riding, playing baseball or football, and even games like "TAG" where someone was "IT"."
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      In the summertime, all you needed for a wardrobe was a pair of cutoff bluejeans and maybe a ballcap and if you were gonna be riding on gravel roads,you might think to put on your "Converse" tennis shoes

      "that was it. no "designer" names on clothes. the only name on mine was "fruit of the loom" or "BVD"."
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      You could go to the store with a quarter, buy a gallon of gas for the lawnmower and have a few cents left over to buy Bazooka Bubblegum.

      "we'd gather up empty pop bottles, cash 'em in, and have enough money for a "sack" of candy.
      --------------------------------------------------QUOTE:
      any empty lot was fairgame for football, baseball
      or any game we could think of.

      "and it was JUST KIDS...no parents, refs, umpires, or coaches."
      --------------------------------------------------
      QUOTE:
      Things have changed so much in the last 30 or so years. Sometimes I'm not convinced its for the better.

      "shoot...despite what we DIDN'T have then compared to what kids have now, we DID have it better.

      oh the horrors of only 3 TV channels that went off at 1 AM on a black and white TV. we never had cable OR a color TV until i was in high school."

      OK...enough ramblings from this 48 year old OLD fart.

      [ 01-31-2003, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: nickg ]
      I'll post, You argue.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have asked myself some of those questions many times.

        I grew up in a farmhouse without TV, telephone or indoor plumbing, and walked to a one-room country schoolhouse. I hated that farm, but it was not for those reasons. It was because my parents left me alone in the house for hours while they were out working in the fields. My best companion was a radio.

        My children had it a little better. They had bikes they could ride around the neighborhood, TV, Tonka toys and Barbie, but no padded car seats, air bags that small kids weren't allowed near, or a lot of other gadgets we have today that are considered so necessary.

        But today lots of kids are alcoholics, on drugs and killing each other. Something went wrong somewhere.

        [ 01-31-2003, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: Snoopy1 ]

        Comment


        • #5
          And we used to shoot fireworks, even having bottle rocket & Roman candle wars. I've had a firecracker go off in my hand & everything still works.

          We had three huge oak trees in the yard & I could go from tree to tree without touching the ground.

          We had dirt clod fights & china berry battles.

          We had a low hanging tree limb that was perfect for reaching up & grabbing hold of as you rode underneath on your bike. Like Robin Hood you could swing up on the limb & let your horse, er, bike go on by itself. It was sturdy enough that it didn't even need straightening out after it crashed.

          Yeah, those were the good ol' days.

          Comment

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