Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How did we survive!!!

I was doodling about the internet this morning while waiting for the coffee to perk and I stumbled upon this little article.  There is no author listed, but here is the link.  As I have no real post today, I offer this for your amusement.  Enjoy.

If you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's

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

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets.

When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. Our parents knew that all the neighbors would watch out for all the kids. No cell phones. Unthinkable.

We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt.

We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda, but we were never overweight... we were always outside playing. We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends. We went outside and found them.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! Without a guardian.

How did we do it?

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment.... The teams actually kept score and the winning team was allowed to be excited and the losing team learned to be good sports about it and learned that, in life - sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade..... Horrors. Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Almost no one went to "pre-school" and when we graduated high school we all knew how to read, use proper grammar and do basic math. We all learned how to count out change without a calculator to tell us the amount.

The worst problems in school were tardiness and chewing gum in class. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law ... imagine that!

If you misbehaved - your parents spanked you and no one arrested them for doing that! We also learned that when a parent said "No" - they actually meant that and our lives would not be ruined forever by being denied every little thing we wanted at any given moment.

New toys were received on birthdays and holidays..... not on every trip to the store. Parents gave us gifts out of love.... not out of guilt.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

And you're one of them.



  1. I think it started down hill with the sore losers. When they grew up they changes the rules and even the laws. Back in Fla I had a mountain bike, helmet who needs a helmet. After we all attending the schools of hard knocks, bumps, cuts extra.

    Last night I heard a cadet say they went out to eat with the family, and kept saying "Thank You" the waitress, she said "you don't have to say thank you" We all laughed Cadets and Seniors alike and said Oh yes you do. We as parents and adult members of C.A.P, work hard to teach the kids manners, and right from wrong.

    My grandson as learned to say thank you, he's 3. Now I need to go play in traffic so I can get hit. ;)

    1. As kids we did lots of things that are likely illegal today. But we had fun. Kids today won't ever know what real freedom is. And kudos to Sammy, knowing to say "thank you." And to those who taught him manners.

  2. How about 'yes,sir', 'no ma'am' and every variation. It was all about manners, you're right.
    My mom's concession to car safety was putting me in the back seat and not the front seat. No seat belts at that time. We were free to sit on the bench or go into the 'back back' as we called the back part of the station wagon.
    And, my mom and the neighbor mom had an agreement on mutually acceptable swatting of the back sides. Let's just say they were like minded in how they thought kids should behave. I don't remember 'timeouts' but I do remember the half-yard stick on the neighbor mom's refrigerator. She only had to walk towards the refrigerator and the room went quiet. hahaha.
    Thanks for the memories. SJ

    1. SJ...We never, ever called an adult by their first name - it was always Mrs. Jones or Mr. Smith. The closest we came to using first names were Auntie Emily or Uncle Kenneth. And God help us if we ever sassed back to an adult.

      I spent many a long trip asleep laying across the back seat of Dad's car. I don't think I ever saw a seat belt until I was grown. My kids spent time in the "back back" of a station wagon. I would open the back window a couple of inches for fresh air, right up to the time I caught my youngest at about 4 years old, happily tossing his sibling's tennis shoes out the window to see how far they would bounce on the highway. :)

      We had to stay out of trouble, too. No matter what we did, somebody's Mom would see us and report to our Mom. Then we had to go home and face the music!!

      Good memories. I wish the world were different so my Grands could know that kind of freedom.

  3. I was a kid in the 80's and still a lot of those things were true for my childhood. Definitely not like that now for my 7 year old. Not that I shelter him but it's not the same out there anymore.

    1. Jenn...I know if I were raising kids today, I would need to be much more watchful than I needed to be back then. I don't know how it is in Canada, but here I swear the inmates are running the asylum. The level of violence has increased so much, especially since our last election, that I doubt I would be comfortable going very far alone, at least in a city environment. It is a shame that today's kids will never know the freedom to just be a kid.

  4. As with adults, kids are being "sheltered" now, for "their own good." Walls and rules are being manufactured "for their own safety." Sadly, so many freedoms are being willingly given up in the name of "safety."

    Many have yet to realize that the only difference between a castle and a prison is which side of the door the lock is on.

    1. Pete...Your statement about the difference between a castle and a prison is so very true. And I totally agree that so many of our freedoms are being lost in the name of "safety." The molesting of kids and grannies at airports comes to mind.

      There seem to be so many parents who want their kids bubble wrapped and helmeted all of the time. Sadly, these kids grow into Special Snowflakes who need trigger warnings and participation trophies and safe spaces complete with coloring books and hot chocolate. They leave school with no earthly idea how the real world works.

      I realize that "We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto." Our world has changed and has become more ugly. But even so, I do believe that even at my advanced age, I am perfectly capable of deciding what is safe for me and what isn't, without some government entity telling me. I have to wonder just what it is going to take for people to decide enough is enough.

  5. Yes, we survived, and some of us have done pretty well since. But I've also learned to stop asking if I can do something-or-other. If I want to, I just do. (Good judgment is required, of course. It comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.)

    1. Rev. Paul...I read somewhere that it is far easier to issue an apology than it is to ask permission. :) I must have an astounding amount of good judgement, for I certainly gained an incredible amount of experience in my younger years.

  6. My son was born in 1968. He led a rough and tumble life, all his idea. When he was six, we moved to a neighborhood of many children, a first for us. He was enamored of Evil Knievel. I allowed him to use boards, boxes, bricks, etc from our yard and garage to make a ramp. All the little boys came with their bikes. Finally, I made them play in the street so they would not kill themselves in our yard. I did park the car at the curb so cars would have a harder time hitting them. They crashed. the whole ramp fell apart each time anyone went over it or attempted to go over it. They learned how to make it sturdier without nails. They played this for months.

    When they were not doing this, the played baseball on the front yard, wearing bases in the grass. No other mother on the street allowed even their own kids to play on the grass. The kids told me their mothers wanted a nice yard. My son rarely brought the bases in, but they played there most days.

    In the seventh grade, he told me he was being punished for something he did not do. He said he just walked around the corner and was not hurting anyone. I did believe him and told him so. Since it was only detention for one day, I made him take it. I told him he had probably gotten away with stuff other times when he deserved detention. He was upset, but accepted it after huffing and puffing. I had been in his corner often enough that he knew I backed him up in the big things.

    People worry about kids falling off their bikes. I fell off once when I was six and had just gotten my training wheels off. I cried and left my bike in the gravel road and limped home so mama could remove gravel from my skin. I suppose helmets are best, but the wind in my hair as I rode my bike faster than my mother would have liked and out of sight was the thrill of my teen years.

    I do not like rules "for my own good"!

    1. Linda...I would say that your son had a childhood that would be envied by most kids today. The freedom to just be a kid without all the rules and regulations to keep him safe for his own good enabled him to grow up with the ability to deal with the problems of the real world. Sheltered kids do not have that opportunity.

      I do not do well with rules "for my own good," either. :)

  7. I was born in the seventies. I rode my bike everywhere. My oldest does this some, though. I have him take a walkie talkie and check in with me when he gets to his friend's house and when he is on his way home. We are pretty rural but unfortunately there are bad people everywhere.

    1. Lisa...I think there are some parents who structure every minute of every day in their child's life. The kids do not have the opportunity to make decisions or to make mistakes. These parents are the same ones who believe every kid should have a trophy, whether they earned it or not. They are raising Special Snowflakes.

      I read your blog. I see all the things you do with your boys. They have the opportunity to live and to learn and to spread their wings and fly. We do need to take more precautions with kids today. The world has an overabundance of crazies and genuinely bad people - much more so than in my time. There is a fine line between wrapping a kid in bubble wrap and taking the sensible precautions that are necessary now. I do believe you have found a way to keep your kids as safe as possible and still let them grow up with a realistic view of life. :)

  8. I was a mean mother and told my son he did not win the baseball trophies, that he did nothing to get it. I hated that little trophy!

    1. Linda...That's not mean. That's teaching a kid that they have no right to something they didn't earn. My Dad always told me, "If you want it, work for it." But then, you knew that, didn't you. :)

  9. do you remember scabs?
    we spent most of the year with at least one scabby knee, usually both!

    1. deborah...Oh, yeah. I remember scabs!! I wasn't a girly girl, but more a tomboy. Riding bike, roller skating, playing baseball, etc. I had more enthusiasm than talent, so scabby knees were the norm all summer long, :)