Am I Crazy…?
This is the question I ask myself every time I start to think of the days when life was much simpler as a young boy.
Am I crazy for remembering the fun, the freedom,the lack of fear? I remember more about my early childhood than I do of recent years.Am I just blocking out the fears of my every day life as an adult? My memories of the days when the only thing I was really afraid of was walking the distance from our back door to the outhouse (located way across the back yard near the alley under the huge gigantic weeping willow next to the freezer shed and garage) in the dark.[for those of you who are too young to remember an outhouse is a small building consisting of a closed in bench type seat with anywhere from one to three holes for sitting on to go to the bathroom].
We had no fear of being out and about at anytime of the night because back then you just knew your neighbors and the whole town would know exactly where you were and what you were doing.Back then we had no fear of being attacked or kidnapped by anyone because we always had a group of three or more kids that were with us and a whole town of people who actually liked the kids enough to report to each others parents of our whereabouts.
Back then we as children had it made,we were very lucky to grow up in that period of time. How many kids can say that now?
I can remember when I was a kid we never had to worry about some kid getting pissed at you and either pulling a gun or a knife on you.It was as simple as going out behind the school house and having a good ole fist fight.By mornings light both kids would be like nothing happened,friends once more.
I can remember walking to school in the mornings with friends joining in on the walk and arriving at school in one big group.We never shunned anyone be they rich,poor,male or female.School back then was much simpler also.We respected our teachers,learned the three R’s plus music sports and most importantly “RECESS”.
I can remember that the teachers were your friends even when you got into trouble and was confronted with by the principal and his paddle. You knew you were in the wrong and got what you deserved. But even then you regarded the principal as a friend.
I can remember when the most important planning we done as children was deciding what game we were going to play that afternoon after school or exactly where we were going to go fishing and camping that weekend.Hunting was important also but that came later in childhood and we never really had to plan on where we were going to do that because we knew no matter where we went we were welcomed by the land owners.
I can remember a lot of things from early childhood,but what I remember most is the friendships with not only the children but with their parents and our own.I remember the fights between the brothers and sisters and ten minutes later playing tag,kick the can or mother may I.
I can remember scooping coal into the basement through the coal room window,and then into the furnace via the coal hopper on the stoker box.The worst part of having a coal furnace was removing the ashes or “klinkers” as we called them.The heat was terrible but it had to be done or the furnace would clog up with the ash and smother out the flames then fill up with coal from the stoker.
I can remember riding to our grandparents farm near Cuba in the back of the old “59” Dodge pickup.Down them dusty bumpy back roads,occasionally getting caught in a sudden down pour.We always thought that was fun lol. Some times we were lucky enough to be hauling several crates of expired milk from the dairy for the hogs on the farm which somehow always had a crate full of non-spoiled chocolate milk (I would wonder why they would give away something like that).The hogs definitely never got those.
So am I crazy for remembering these things or just longing for the days of old? I don’t know but I’ll be back with more memories and with the hope that I will never grow old enough to forget them.