Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Growing up in the '50's..

Dan & I were driving home today, from the illustrious chore of taking the trash to town. You city-slickers just don't know the sensual pleasures to be found in loading your week old putrid garbage into the back of your enclosed truck.. wishing the 10 mile windy road would allow you to travel faster than the posted 25-40 mph trek.. then unloading the recyclables, and finally shoving the stinkload into the trash smasher which usually chooses to start it's horrific squashing while you're still unloading.. sending lots of goo & funky juice on your feet, and the green fog of maloderous fetor to form a strange haze around your head. Folks, it smells like shit.
And I pity the man whose job it is to stand there & make sure nothing breaks. I assume that's his job, as I've never seen him do anything else.. other than retrieving the odd toy or bent tool for who-knows-what-reason.
More than him.. I pity his wife when he comes in at the end of his stank day. I hope she has an outdoor shower installed.

So, we're driving home.. & I had this childhood memory pop into my head & it made me smile. I asked Dan, 'Do you remember those old metal ice trays that we had as kids?'
'And on hot days like this, we'd take out a tray, empty those fat cubes into a tea towel..'
'Then smash the shit out of them with a balpeen hammer!'
He always finishes my sentences.
'Yeah.. it was an instant snow-cone. Especially good if you had a little kool-aid to pour over it.'
It's nice to be married to someone whose childhood exacts your own. His was as poor/rich as ours was.

I can think back to when I was 6 or 7.. no air conditioning, just an osculating fan in the corner. We had to have daily naps (so we couldn't catch Polio & live out our lives in iron lungs).. and I'd pick a place in front of the fan, laying my face on the cool linoleum.. & fall right to sleep.
My, how the creature comforts have changed.

About this age, my dad bought my lil sis & I a bike (for $2! The kid needed movie money) It had no brakes however.. so we learned to cope w/ stopping in our own ways. I dragged my feet to brake the thing. This was never comfortable in the summer, when we were shoeless. My sister would ram the big tree in the front yard. I'm sure if we checked the bark on that old tree today, it still has places missing on it.
I still ocassionally try my hand at bike riding. It's never pretty.. & I still drag my feet.

My summer evenings were spent outdoors playing endless rounds of 'Mother May I?', 'Red Rover', 'Crack the Whip', 'Statue Maker' & various other limb twisting games. Then as it darkened, the lightning bugs would come out & we would do our part to get them placed on the endangered species list. Filling jars, smooshing them into each other's hair for special effect, unBuddhist like things such as that.
And when Mama called us from the front porch.. we were never ready to give up that one last chance of 'Hide & Seek'.. anything to keep us out with our buddies, cousins, brothers & sisters.
But to bed we headed.. 4 of us girls in a double bed.. always turning in synch with one another, always trying to avoid the bedwetter.

I wouldn't trade one memory..
That's a great post,, talk about capturing a time in a post!

I used to love to play outdoors and did all that stuff too, it's timeless...
but I think today kids are indoors too much with all the fun techno games and computers, they are too much fun to leave to go outside. I used to make toys w/ sticks and dirt and bags and glue and crap like that... i had all these neat adventure games in the woods and by the lakes...but I was lucky, I usually only had to share the bed w/ one or two other people!
I love you and Dan together!

What great memories. It makes me sad to think of how many kids these days don't even walk to school, let alone play Red Rover or Colored Eggs.

Thanks for sharing such wonderful childhood memories!
I *loved* those metal ice trays where you pulled up the thingie. We were ALWAYS outside as kids, so it's weird seeing my own daughters spend so much time indoors. I love love love this post of yours!
I know what you mean, Kathy.. kids now a days have no concept of the games grandma played.. I've always wanted to write the book about those games & simpler times.. but couldn't find anyone to illustrate it. Maybe I can con Dan into making some stick figures for me. ;o)
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