Friday, July 13, 2012

Old Folks Dictionary

I think someone should publish an old folks dictionary.  Fill it with terms that have meaning to nearly everyone over the age of fifty.  It would be a big help to grandchildren who have never heard of the terms and would make it easier for them to understand us.  For instance.....

Sunday Afternoon Ride:  When Dad would pile us kids in the car and we would just take off for parts unknown, usually within a ten mile radius of home.  We would look at the crops or the beautiful fall leaves or maybe wind up at the river, looking for huge clam shells.  If we were really good, there might be a stop for ice cream.

Going Visiting:  Sometimes a Sunday afternoon ride would end up at a friend or relatives house, where we would play with the kids and the grown-ups would visit.  There was usually lemonade and cake involved.

Sunday Company:  That's when somebody else's Sunday afternoon ride wound up at our house.

Visiting:  That's when friends or relatives sat on the front porch of a summer afternoon, and talked.  Not on cell phones.  No texting.  Nothing remotely computer related.  They talked.  As in have a conversation.  Which seems to be a dying art.

Play Outside:  That's what we did, as kids, from morning to night.  Without parents hovering over us.  Without helmets and a ton of other gear to protect us.  We played ball or hide and seek or any number of outdoor games.  Nothing was pre-planned.  We didn't make play dates.  We just played, which is what kids are supposed to do.

School Picnic:  That's when the entire neighborhood would gather at the two-room country school I attended.  Each family brought something good to eat for a potluck picnic.  The Dads would usually get up a softball game and the Moms would catch up on the neighborhood gossip.  And the kids ran around and played, which is what kids are supposed to do.

Potluck:  Everybody brings a dish to share.  Usually a casserole or salad of some kind.  And a pie or cake or cookies.  Nobody worried about the number of calories or fat grams, or whether there was a balance of "healthy" food.  We just ate and enjoyed.

Christmas Pageant:  That's when the school kids would put on a program  for the parents.  It wasn't a "Holiday Pageant."  It was a Christmas Pageant, with usually a combination of Santa Claus, Angels and the Baby Jesus.  Nobody thought about it being politically incorrect.  Of course, at that time, Christmas was still Christmas.

OK.  So when I write my Old Folks Dictionary, I suppose I had better change the title to Grumpy Old Folks Dictionary.  I tend to get a little grumpy when I see so many of the simple pleasures in life go by the wayside in favor of technology.  I am not such a Luddite that I can't see the distinct advantages to todays technology.  After all, this blog is written and published using a computer.  But I sometimes think that technology is taking over our lives.  Some of us go through withdrawl if we can't send or receive a text every few minutes.  Others can't live without their laptop.  We rarely have verbal, face to face conversations any more.  It is sort of sad, really.

I will get off my soapbox now.

And go for a walk:  That's when a person leaves the house, goes somewhere that doesn't require transportation, and enjoys seeing the green grass and trees, the flowers, the eagles that soar over the river, and breathes in fresh air.  And leaves the phone at home.

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