Family picnics by the lake, complete with potato salad, ham sandwiches and Auntie Emily's famous dill pickles. And a huge watermelon cooling in the water under a tree on the shore. And Mother reminding us that if we didn't wait an hour after eating to go swimming, we would surely get cramps.
Or playing Scrabble or Sorry or Yahtzee after the supper dishes were done. And the Monopoly marathon with a cousin that lasted the whole weekend. And those of us who had mothers who insisted regular playing cards were of the Devil, played Rook and Authors and Old Maid and Uno instead.
There were lazy summer afternoons spent with actual paper books and we could get lost in them solving mysteries or going on wonderful adventures or, for the girls, sighing over romances or riding the range with Zane Gray, for the boys. Seems to me we knew the difference between boys and girls back then.
The hot Sunday afternoons spent sitting on the porch with friends or with visiting relatives, trying to catch a bit of a breeze. There was a pitcher of ice cold lemonade, made from real lemons and a plate piled high with gingersnaps.
There were summer days of riding our bikes as fast as we could go down 'Killer Hill,' trying to stop before hitting the railroad tracks and getting pitched off into the weeds. Or in the winter, riding that same hill on Flexible Flyer sleds - the wooden ones with the steel runners - trying to stop at the bottom for the same reason.
For us in the North, there were Saturdays watching our kid brother play hockey on an outdoor rink. And there were Sunday afternoons at the skating rink, pretending to be a world class skater, even though I never did get the hang of doing jumps or even skating backwards. But oh, it was fun to glide across the ice, stopping only when noses and toes became numb with the cold. The little warming house with the attendant keeping a fire going in a small pot bellied stove was welcome.
I realize that we can not live in the past, but sometimes when the headlines tell of riots and political stupidity and just plain meanness in our world, it is nice to revisit those long ago places and remember there was a time when our world was a place of kindness and respect for one another. Where life was not so hectic. Where the simple pleasures lived. I rather like it there.
"The Death of Germany, and Europe"
1 hour ago