Those Were The Days My Friends!

@Darkwing (21583)
May 30, 2007 7:05am CST
I don't know whether I'm getting old, but I've spent a lot of time over the past few days, reminiscing over my childhood and teenage days.:-) Maybe I'm not the only one who does this but I'd like to share a part of those memories with you. I'm going back to when I was seven or eight years old... there were no computers and very little home entertainment apart from my Dad making up silly songs to make us laugh, and my Uncle's piano, at my Nan's house. My family lived in a house in a fairly newly-built road, which had a dead end. At the bottom of our garden flowed a brook. It was quite wide for a brook and deepish in places, and we had no access to it from the garden. But... there was a field of maize at the end of the road, with a wire fence along it... I believe it was barbed wire. Well, the houses had garden walls, and there was a hedgerow along the edge of the field where the road finished, and in the corner by the end house garden wall, was a big oak tree. I was a bit of a tomboy and played with all the boys and girls in the street, so, we got this rope, and threw it over a branch of the tree, just inside the barbed wire. Aided by a grasp on the hedges, we were able to stand on the garden wall, step up onto the top row of barbed wire, grab the rope and lower ourselves into the field. One by one, we'd get over and congregate on the other side until we were all safely over. Then, the maize being tall, we could skirt the field without being seen, wearing our wellies, and armed with jam jars with string loops around the top for carrying and fishing nets. We walked down to the south end of the field, where a tree, struck by lighting and blown in the wind, had fallen across the brook and made a very handy bridge crossing for us. We all filed over the tree trunk to the other side of the brook, then find a place that was not too steep or slippery where we could get down into the brook. Then we'd proceed to hunt sticklebacks. We'd fill our jars with brook water, and hunt around the rushes for the sign of a fish. Then, stealthily, we'd plunge our net into the water and catch the sticklebacks and put them in our jars. We got to know the more frequented spots, and used to count up at the end to see who had caught the most! lol. Then, the day done, we ambled back, across the fallen tree, around the maize field, back over the fence with the aid of the rope, and proudly home, with our sticklebacks in our jars. Then began the competition to see who could keep theirs alive the longest. It was great fun and free entertainment, plus we learned about competition. The one little thing my Dad didn't like much was that I used to store my fish in the outside toilet, by the shed. ha ha ha. He was forever putting them outside! Meanie!!!:-) I used to love the days when we made our own amusement. The kids today don't know what they're missing, being stuck indoors with their Computer Games all the time. What did you all used to do for amusement when you were very young?
8 people like this
16 responses
• United States
31 May 07
Those days truly are the best days, I remember my childhood. I miss it now that I have bills to pay and things to take care of, I still play games but now i've got to buy'em lol. I think that its very fondly thought of our past, its just something nice to place in our minds.
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18261)
31 May 07
i think its good to hold on to as much of the positives from our past as we can but also to place it in context it is rarely all good blessed be
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Yes, SilentRose, they are indeed fond memories. Ones that we will never forget, probably, but as Eskerina says, there are normally down sides to everything. They tend to balance up and I guess there were those children who were not fortunate enough to enjoy their childhoods as we did. Some were beaten, some were orphaned and some were put to work at a very early age. In our euphoria about our own childhoods, we forgot to think about, or mention those who were so unfortunate. Brightest Blessings to all those who were less lucky than we were in their childhoods. From my experience though, some of these have grown to be some of the best adults I've known.
30 May 07
Barrow-in-Furness - Barrow from the air, showing Walney channel & the Vickers shipyard
Eh up, chuck, kids today don't know their born, never mind what they're missing! Bring back the mills, workhouses and conscription! Not that we had those things when I was a lad. We also didn't have i-pods, so I had to suffer my Dad singing Neal Diamond songs on car journeys! Then he'd start talking about his time in the army during the war (He peeled thousands of potatos in Suez! Never peeled one at home, though). As we didn't have a tv, trips to the cinema were a treat. My aunt ran a greengrocers, so a bag of fruit was my Saturday morning treat, and much healthier than the sweets I moved onto during my teens. Good fun, though I don't begrudge the kids their modern distractions, especially as most of the land I had to play on as a lad, has since been developed into concrete jungle. Thanks for the memories, it made me wish I'd grown up in the countryside, though we did have blackberry bushes in our town.
@Darkwing (21583)
30 May 07
Ha ha ha ha ha... I can just imagine that being said about the kids today! My Dad used to be in the airforce and did cookhouse work, but he did carry it on at home. He used to cook Sunday lunch, and when we were old enough we took turns helping him, by peeling the veg, and such. Did you go to Saturday Matinee? Cripes! They were some Saturday mornings! Lol at the blackberry bushes too. I don't think you can stop those growing in almost every town! They're rampant little beggars!
1 Jun 07
I found a great website www.retro-media.co.uk who sell DVDs and CDs of old films and rasio shows. In particular I have managed to purchase 'Flash Gordon' with Larry Bustr Crabbe, which they used to show an episode of each week. The special effects are awful, the acting defines the term 'hammy' and the script is laughable - I can't get enough of it, it's superb!
@mansha (6298)
• India
31 May 07
I do rmember spending all my holidays at my granny's with all my cousines.we used to climb up trees, sing songs, enact dramas and play outsdide whole day along and never thought of the summer heat or heat strokes or child being kidnapped. we explored outr neighbourhood on our own. Now my son just goes to the park to play for an hour with his friends and then he has to study so much due to school work pressure. He gets bored without a TV or computer. Its really sad how these two things have killed a child's creativity and imagination.
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Yes, technology has wiped out all those imaginary games we used to play. I think kids tend to enact family life, and they like to dance but so many of the outdoor games have been lost, probably, as you said, to technology and the fear of being snatched.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42602)
• United States
30 May 07
When I Iwas living at grandmas I rode horses and the other kids that rode we would have races the horse I rode mostly was a little mustang, and boy could he run I won most races with him. and he was about 13 years old the oldest one that raced. Of course I wanted to be a jockey when I grew up but alss no girls could then. also we would hunt tadpoles and golfers we would try to drowned the golfers for they ruined the feilds but they had to many tunnelas. when at home we played baseball, football, hide and seek ,kick the can , Red rover, Simon sayy and card cames like poker and War and all this was outside. about the only time I was inside was to eat sleep and do homework and practice the piano for and hour
@Lakota12 (42602)
• United States
30 May 07
me too really wished I could be nine again thats when I got to ride alot
@Darkwing (21583)
30 May 07
Yes, I think we all spent most of our time outdoors. It was good for us to be in the fresh air, and we played all those games and tired ourselves out ready for bed. I had a great childhood.
• India
1 Jun 07
Wow! You just sent me on a trip down nostalgia lane too! I used to something like Dennis of 'Dennis the Menace' fame! My poor uncle would be the victim of most of my pranks. He had once removed his car battery and put it on charge using a DC transformer. (He was a electric and electronic whiz, and I would love hovering over his shoulders to see what he was up to) For some reason, I thought that the battery caps looked cute. I just proceeded to take them off and was playing with them. Before long, they were lost in the fields! My uncle was frantically hunting for it, and my aunt told him that I was having it in my hands! My uncle, when told of how I had disposed of the battery caps turned into Mt Vesuvius!!!! Needless to say, I made myself scarce and dared not come back till his anger had dissipated!!! He was a great sport though. And finally, he had to use toothpaste tube caps for the battery!!!
@Darkwing (21583)
1 Jun 07
You little imp, you! ha ha ha. Didn't Dennis the Menace have a pea shooter? Or was it a catapult? I know he had some weapon he was always hiding behind he back when he did something bad with it. I seem to remember shattered greenhouse glass, so I guess it was a catapult. Minnie the Minx was a female version of Dennis... do you remember the trouble she used to get into?
• Romania
31 May 07
when i was a child , i used to do outdoor activiesc wich i thing was more fun to do when ur a child instead of playng computer games...or online games :D
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Yes, I agree with you Posa, outdoor games were much more fun to us but the kids now, don't really know any other way than the environment in which they were brought up and educated.
@ESKARENA1 (18261)
31 May 07
i think we all do this once in a while, i know i certainly do. Psychologists have some interesting things to say about it. It is said that we hark back to our childhood at times of dissatisfaction with where we are at any given time. Say, for example you are short of money, weighed down with responsibilities or in a deeply unhappy relationship, it is perfectly natural to hark back to a time which did not have these pressures. The difficulty of course is that we never remember how things actually were, but rather how we would have liked them to be blessed be
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Lol... well, the psychologists are wrong in my case, Eskarena. I really don't know where they get these ideas from but I certainly am not suffering from dissatisfaction, and my life is perfectly balanced right now. It's like dreaming, I suppose... occasionally these things just come into your mind, perhaps when you see the children playing these days... you harken back to your past and your childhood and compare the times and changes. I remember things exactly how they were... I know there were good times and not so good times, but the not so good were few and far between in my case. Of course, I can't speak for everybody, and indeed there may be some who had less fortunate childhoods but the psychologists must be working on an average, I think. Thank you for your input my friend and Brightest Blessings.
@sigma77 (5384)
• United States
30 May 07
This is a nice story. We had a small creek that ran behind our houses. That was our playgound many times. We built bridges and forts and even a tree house or two. We could see any number of small animals like rats, muskrats, and squirrels. We would catch insects or blaze trails in the 5 foot tall weeds. There was a woods nearby, and fields and plenty of plcaes to ride bikes. All this with main roads and many houses in the area. This was a mile outside the city of Detroit in the 50's and 60's. We spent most of out time outside. We could could go down to the school and play baseball, or go in the lots behind our houses and play football. We could spend a whole day exploring our world and could always find something to do. Things sure are different now. We spent so much time in natural settings in all seasons.
@Darkwing (21583)
30 May 07
It sounds as though you had a very enjoyable and adventurous childhood Sigma. Yes, we spent all day outside except for a quick rush indoors to down our dinner when called, and no sooner finished than we were out there again. We couldn't wait to get back outside and have some fun. It's such a pity the kids today have lost all that.
@lifeiseasy (2292)
• United States
30 May 07
lol ... what a wonderful story of a part of your childhood ... yes i too think about those days too and I miss my grandmother the most ... we never had bikes as kids we had ponies to ride everywhere we went ...we would slip off to grannys house ans she would always have a fresh baked pear cobbler or a big bowl of strawbbery short cake waiting for us kids after school ... we were suposed to be feeding all the animals on our farm but we always slipped off to grannys for our after school snacks :) ...both sets of my grandparents lived on my paerents piese of land so we not only had our parents around all the time but both sets of grandparenst too ...every wekend was a big family reunion ...oh yes those were the days for sure ... my kids now don't spend time with their grandparenst ... every worrking and busy wih other things these days ...but I am happy that you shared a piece of your childhood here today as I am in a happy mood now thinking back on my own :)
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Yours is a wonderful story too, Life. I miss my grandfather more than my grandmother. He used to take me out to his shed and make me a toy or plaything out of wood each time I went over there. They were only across the other side of a small town. I remember him making me stilts, a skipping rope with wooden handles which had ball bearings in the end, a cart, roll a penny, a doll's house, and several other things. To me, he was amazingly clever of course. He even made me a football rattle and guess what? lol. He used to take me to football matches... I blame him for making me such an avid football fan. He made my brother both a garage and a fort, and even some little wooden cars for the garage. He was like a toymaker, but only did it in his spare time, bless him. I love the memories of those days too. We seem to have lost something over the years, but then it had to happen, I guess. Brightest Blessings my friend.
• Philippines
30 May 07
this is perefct timing, i was also reminiscing my childhood just today. i remember how happy and simple life to us as a child. when i was young, i used to play kiddie chef. what i do is that i harvest our flowers, leaves, and everything that i can get from our garden. i would slice them and imagine it as an ingredients for my recipe.i would put water and just mixed evrything until it bwcame bubbly and colorful. i would arrange everything as if i am hosting a party and my palymates are very happy to imagine that those were foods. i love remembering it.....
@Darkwing (21583)
30 May 07
That probably would have made a very nice perfume, Aizsahsia! lol. You're right though, we had to use our imagination in those days, and what fun we got out of it!
• United States
31 May 07
Wow sounds fun. Well we didnt have internet or computers yet. We watched tv but mostly I read books lots of them. And played with kids in the neighborhood. You learn to use your imagination. Play in the front yard kiddie pool, go to the beach or a public pool. I'm 27 so this wasnt super long ago but still long enough :))
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
You're still young yet, Monkeywriter... a mere whippersnapper! lol. Reading books is always good and indeed teaches you to use your imagination. From this, a lot of our games were initiated. Thank you for your input and Brightest Blessings.
• Canada
30 May 07
I used to go hunting for Tadpoles with my friends. there used to be a group of about 4 or 5 of us that would head down to a pond in a farmers field. We was quite happy to let us go hunting for frog spawn and tadpoles, so long as we didn't leave anything behind. My friends and I then used to have a competition to see who could get their tadpoles to turn into frogs. One year, I remember I had 6 little frogs hopping around. I was so proud! I too have been reminiscing about my childhood and teenage years just recently. Life was so much simpler then. Responsibilities were things for the adults to worry about lol. Now I'm in the same place my parents were when I was the same age that my kids are now.
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Yes, we used to watch out tadpoles turning into frogs. I got quite excited when they started growing legs. True, we're in the same position now as our parents were, and I do my utmost to keep alive at least some of those past games, with my grandchildren. They love to walk through the woods as well. The little one collected a lot of different coloured and different stage leaves last Autumn and made beautiful collage, on black paper. She even creates some greeting cards, following in my footsteps. Thank you for your input. Brightest Blessings.
@Sherry12 (2472)
• United States
30 May 07
Kids today are missing out on so much of the things we did to have fun. I used to spend hours playing jump rope with the neighborhood kids, we'd have hide'n'seek games in the evenings while the parents would sit on their porches watching us and give us hints to where others where hiding. I played jacks, do kids even know what that is today? Hopscotch and playing with our Barbie doll. Roller skating on the sidewalk and riding our bikes around the block. Those were fun, happy times. We only had 1 B&W tv and could only get 4 stations, so playing outside was what we did. In thinking of all this, it makes me realize why we have so many overweight kids today.
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Yes, some of them know what jacks are because I make a point of buying some of those small games, for my grandchildren's stockings. Jacks was one of them, although they're not the same these days... they used to be metal and now they're plastic. We had a black and white tv too, but in those days there were only two stations to start with, and they increased later. That's probably partly true about the overweight crisps, but also, rationing from the war clung on for quite a long time, and we didn't get all the junk foods they do now. They were either few and far between or out parents couldn't afford them. I never had time to eat my meals anyway... I just wanted to woof it down and get back out again. lol
@ice1802 (35)
• Philippines
30 May 07
when i was a child, i used to do outdoor activities which i think was more fun than to do when ur a child instead of playing computer or online games.. it's healthy when you sweat! haha!
@Darkwing (21583)
31 May 07
Oh my... I can never remember sweating! lol. I was too busy enjoying myself, playing. It was more fun and more healthy, at least to my mind, and we used our imagination a lot more, to make up games. Thank you for your input... have a great day.
@GardenGerty (156346)
• United States
30 May 07
This big kid, namely me, needs to make her own entertainment more. At my grandma's the television reception was very poor, and it was for the grownups, anyway. When I would stay there my cousin and I would build grasshopper houses, walk in the pasture, pick wild flowers, collect baby frogs and tadpoles. We worked along side grandma, and helped pick fresh vegetables, and can them and preserve the fresh fruit. We always were watching for bugs, and snakes, especially copperheads and rattlers. There were three ponds to fish at, or just to look at, and lots of trees. You guys were very ingenious at getting where you wanted to go. If we wanted out in the pasture, and were too lazy to go to the gate, we lifted up on the bottom strand of barbed wire and went under. We had to be careful to avoid the bull, though.
@Darkwing (21583)
30 May 07
Memories are great aren't they. We used to go out on Mothers' Day and walk out over the fields picking primroses and violets... all three of us girls got heaps of them. Then we'd come home, sneak up to our bedrooms and make posies of them with doilies with a hole cut in the middle to put the flowers through. Then we'd tie a ribbon around and present them to my Mum. She was over the moon, that we had engineered something like this. It meant the world to her.
@whyaskq (7523)
• Singapore
1 Jun 07
Though it was not very long ago, I cannot recall how I amused myself or how I was amused when I was very young. I only remember playing hide and seek with my mum when she has the cane in her hand. Does setting fires, using mirrors to create reflections on people's house consider amusing myself? I think so. That's after I learnt science in school. I put to practice what I learnt. lol.