I remember like it happened last week, They were the weekends spent at our great grandmothers out in the very small village of Gerry,NY. She was a school teacher back when all the children regardless of age were in one class and taught together. She at this point in life was pretty old and needed crutches to get around. It is amazing to me now how she kept up with at that time I think three of us boys. I think back and remember the willow tree in the front and the tire swing right out back in the black walnut tree. Then there was the hill which when I seen it again just a few years ago is so much smaller now but to a child around 10 it was huge. I recall the countless times she would call out the back door to tell us to wash up dinner is almost done. Sundays were the best, She made chicken and dumplings of which the likes I have not tasted since. I could spend hours and hours between that willow tree climbing it and swinging under that walnut in the back. There was a slide we carved out by repeated trips down the hill and which great grandma would act perturbed and announce we were going to make the whole hill collapse one day if we kept on.
Just one wish. Leave a comment
My great grandfather who sadly had passed before I was born was a huge fishing guy and had a shed just off the side of the back yard. It was pretty well falling apart at this time. He had hung the heads of the Muskey he had caught on Chautaqua lake. I remember seeing the teeth on these fish and was amazed. As much as I like to fish it would have been so cool to have known him. With out a doubt he could have taught me many things that are now completely lost to time. It was at this house that I was given my first bike, A yellow cheetah slick. Also it was here that I learned to mow lawn with my grandfather on the weekends. He would come out every weekend to mow and over time had enough confidence in me to leave me on my own with it much to great grandma’s dissmay. She protested at first but he assured her I would be fine and history proved him correct. I on one sunny afternoon thought it would be a great idea to dig and plant a vegetable garden on the side lawn and asked great grandma if it was alright which she did. The next occasion on which gramps came out he was not as fond of the idea but it was to late and the deed was done. I think in hind sight this was her way of repaying him for handing over the mower to me.
Down the road maybe a hundred yards was a little country store and as we got older we were permitted to walk down there by ourselves and get candy or a pop. This was like a graduation of sorts and a little more freedom outside of the yard. The store itself still stands today but I think it was turned into apartments. Also as I recall it was not much longer after this we were allowed to go down further the opposite direction to the creek and swim and for some reason that had nothing to dlo with fishing we would catch crayfish. If I recall correctly it was it was quite a bit further then it was to the store. After all in this era children were safe to go out and explore and be kids without parents being worried about child abduction. I wonder at what point did things change and what caused it. When did these predators start to appear in our midst. Back at the time at my great grandmas house the only thing we had to fear from adults was telling on us when we did something wrong and maybe even correct us right then.It was completely true back then that the community raised the children and not just the parents. It did not matter a bit if it was the store owner down the street or the village clerk next door. The children were loved, Nurtured and yes disciplined when it was called for.
I guess my whole point to this is why we have stopped doing this? We have young children walking around with their pants hanging down and are more than a little desrepectful to everyone around them. I just wished we could get ourselves back to that time. I know it might be impossible to most, But I think it just comes down to teaching the kids what is acceptable and what is not. For societies sake and our future we need to teach this and let them be kids and when you see them out on their skate boards dont harrass them. If they are not posing a danger to anyone let them play and be kids. At least they dont have their face stuck in a video game console. I know in todays world with all the technology we have it is easy to forget how it was and should be. Parents out there today are so busy with all their problems. You are forgetting one important thing and that is raising your children. This idea of labeling them with this or that mental condition and medicating them because they have become to much of a hassle in your busy schedule is wrong. I know I went on this subject in another blog but I think it is worth repeating. Just let them be kids and teach them all you can before they see their history repeating itself in their children.