The times, they aren’t a changing, they have changed! Growing up in the country, as I think about it, toys were plentiful. Nature provided them. Continued imaginations of my childhood are plentiful. In this reading you will find yourself transported to a time when things were so simple it is hard to fathom that they even existed. After a heavy rain, one could smell and appreciate the cleanliness of the air, the deep aroma of the earth, the coolness underneath bare feet, and the sweetness of the locust tree blossoms. Standing still in one spot after a rain, until puddles appeared from underneath your feet. Walking into the deep bar ditches that used to be seen in the country to keep the road from washing away. Taking a tin can with you to catch lizards, grasshoppers, or even the tadpoles that swam by the thousands in the bar ditches. Bringing them home and watching them swim. Hitting rocks with sticks, climbing in the walnut trees, pulling the walnuts and having fights with your brothers, while in the tree. Inventing the game we called “got you last in the walnut tree”. Having the greatest of fun on a hot summers day when the earth was dry, and a whirlwind would whip up. Waiting for the exact time to jump into it, hoping it would knock you down, it was amazing! You could smell the dirt as it passed by and the debris it carried, sometimes stickers, small twigs and of course the sting of the sand that hit you in the face and stayed in your hair. It was a toy, a rare one that was hard to catch, one always worth waiting for and one of my favorites, even today, “IF” I could catch it. Putting fireflies in a glass jar, remember that? Waiting three weeks for your baby chicks to hatch, playing with them all the while momma chicken tried to beat you up to take them away from you. Although life was hard, and many stories are rough to write and sad to remember, life was like a rainbow, seeing the smile and hearing the laughter of my best friends, my brothers. Children are resilient and can compartmentalize emotions, emotions that sometimes come out as a great memory, others that have been turned into acceptance and a learning curve. I remember when daddy would hook a chain to an old hood from a car and drag us all over the farm in it, what fun! There was some sort of gratification sitting on the sidelines while dad was plowing and every other round he would motion for one of us to bring him a beer. We would get at least one maybe two rounds at a time to be with him, that was quality, fun time, watching the dirt turn over through the discs being pulled. Seeing the smoke from the muffler and smelling the diesel. What was it about nature that presented such opportunity to us, how did we find so much fun? For one, we stayed outside most of the time. And secondly, it gave us critical thinking skills to help process what kind of mischief or pleasure we could find to defer boredom. Having a pocket knife or using dads to learn to whittle whistle sticks. Having an old bicycle to ride up the old dirt road was grand. My dad could have been an innovator. I remember the tires were always flat and we couldn’t get tubes for it, so dad cut up an old water hose and worked until he had it inside the tires. It made it a little harder to ride, but it wasn’t flat anymore just the same. Now you can buy solid inner-tubes for the bikes. How about getting lost in a deep fog? Wasn’t that the coop de gras? Now fast-forward to 2018 where a place exists that everyone you know has a cell phone and most of the time are looking at it as if the most important, exciting revelation is going to happen through it. Almost every child has their own room, their own things, their own phone, iPad, computer and any game that was ever made. Everything is accessible via the internet. I’m afraid unless our children, especially our grandchildren hear our stories that they will be losing an art called childhood and that one of the greatest periods of life may become forgotten. For me, time stood still for only a little while.
Copyright @coffeewithcharles.blog (Charles D. Grant)