It Was a Simpler Time

The Daily Post Prompt:  Childhood

I realize I’m behind the eight-ball on this prompt, about four days late, in fact, but this one spoke to me. My week has been the week from hell, so I apologize for my tardiness, Sometimes life gets in the way, plain and simple.

***

White House Image-108

Our Little White House

I don’t remember the name of our street, but I remember the small, white, square-shaped house with the back porch that sat high off the ground. Mom was always yelling for us not to run out the back door for fear one of us would break our necks. As I recall, one us (don’t remember which one) did eventually run right off that damned porch but luckily – no broken bones.

My childhood was a simpler time; a time when children couldn’t wait to get outside. On Saturdays when were young, my sisters and I shoveled down breakfast (usually oatmeal and toast), threw on clothes, and ran from our bedroom hitting the sweet spot of the screen door at full force. Mama started yelling the minute she heard our feet hit the hardwoods running down the hall.

“Don’t slam the screen door!”

We tried to slow down, but the resounding loud slap of wood against wood always followed. Come Spring and summer we were in bare feet most of the time, running full speed ahead for swing sets or the boys down the street. Together we’d ride our bikes, without helmets or shoes, through the adjoining streets of our neighborhood.

It never crossed our minds to sit in front of a television all day, not when all the adventures of outdoors awaited us. On more than one occasion and most Saturdays, Mama latched the screen door behind us. Hours later, sweaty, and dirty we gathered on the steps of the front porch only to find the door locked.

Pressing our faces against the screen we started yelling, “Mama! Let us in; we want something to drink!” I’m not sure what she was doing, but she always kept us waiting.

“Ya’ll stay outside and play. I’ll call you when lunch is ready.”

“But mama, we’re thirsty!”

She’d point to the side of the house. “There’s a garden hose outside, use it if you think you’re going to thirst to death before lunch,” she’d say, before walking away. I think mama might’ve been paying us back for slamming the screen door, but then again, a water fight was always fun on those hot, summer days.

To be fair, in the early to mid-1950’s, playing outside was a natural and easy choice. Televisions were black and white with only three local channels, and mama never allowed us free access to the TV. After homework, we were limited to cartoons in the afternoon, and once they ended, Mama shooed us out to play.

On the street I grew up, neighbors talked to neighbors, mothers shared supervision, looking out for each other’s kids. We rode our bikes on daylong explorations and walked to school or the community pool without fear. Families sat down together every night for dinner and spent Sundays at Grandma’s. Parents and teachers were the authority, demanding respect and children understood manners.

All of the parents were on the same page, speaking the same language and if Mama received a phone call from another mama down the street about something I had done, she didn’t take my side. Talking back or being rude to any adult was never tolerated. Mama knew how to swing a belt, and she did; spanking was still in vogue on my small town street.

We played hard as children, riding bikes, playing hide and seek, swimming, and catching fireflies till dark. We helped Daddy wash cars and Mama in the kitchen. We washed and dried the dinner dishes and made our beds every morning.

We didn’t have a lot of material things in that little white house, but we got to be kids and as I look back at on those very early days of my childhood – It was a simpler time, a safer time, and it was good.

What about you? Did you grow up in a simpler time?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “It Was a Simpler Time

  1. I share your vision of a healthy childhood. Your message is loud and clear. We are living in the technology age, where machines and gadgets are replacing the old fashioned, but wholesome outdoor activities we once experienced in our childhood. What your mother did by restricting TV watching could still be applied today if there was the necessary control. Your post also contains a great story, even if one should miss its message.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yeah. I hear you LOUD and c.l.e.a.r. I’m not going to call them the gold ole days, but darnnit, kigs out of doors, finding ways to entertain themselves wasn’t such a bad thing. Neighbors looking out for each other’s kids was a given. A huge bonus, was LESS cars. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My childhood was much like yours-in southern New Jersey. I don’t remember ever being in the house. We were always outside with the neighbors kids playing so many different outside games. And in the summer, my favorite early evening game was catching lightning bugs.
    Ahh, the good old days before too many techno/computer/IPad distractions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I grew up on a farm, so there were plenty of chores to do. It was a half-mile to the nearest house and my brothers were all 14+ years older than me and gone by the time I started first grade. I learned to entertain myself at an early age. Parents expected you to “use your imagination,” which I was quite good at.
    My grandparents lived in Bentonville, and I would spend one week with them every summer. It always took me 2 or 3 nights to adjust to the sound of cars on the street (there was a Bear Brand Hosiery plant just up the road) before I could get any sleep. In the afternoon, Grandma would make homemade lemonade and Grandpa and I would sit on the front porch and count the cars as they went by.
    I do think we were blessed to have been born and raised in a perfect time period in our country’s history. Our nation was at peace and prospering economically. People valued honesty, decency, integrity, and most of all–common sense. Parents and educators were united in their use of discipline. We were taught right from wrong and understood there would be consequences for the latter.
    It’s pretty easy to sit here today and flip back through the pages of my mind and wax nostalgia over the fond memories. I’m sure no matter how crazy and chaotic we find today’s world, our grandchildren will look back fifty years from now and claim their own wonderful memories.
    After all, they never knew what they missed.

    Liked by 1 person

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