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Reminiscing

In to the Wind

June 6, 2012
By Mike Gilchrist , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

I have learned my capacity for remembering faces far exceeds my capacity for remembering names, and the older I get, the more apparent that fact becomes. I have also learned the older I get, the more apt I am to take a mental journey back down memory lane. Reminiscing brings me comfort.

I have learned that education begins and ends at home. As parents, the duty to educate our children lies squarely on our shoulders. I believe I learned this from my mom, and also believe she took this task to heart and did quite well with all seven of her children. She didn't make it easy at times, and challenged us regularly. For this, I will be eternally grateful.

I talked with my mom this morning. As the two of us are apt to do, we reminisced. I wanted to get her permission to run one of her poems. Some of you will know my mother is a published poet, and quite good. This poem is a reminiscence of her childhood.

Article Photos

This was growing up

By Joy Gilchrist

A little house with three bedrooms,

one bathroom and one car on the street.

A mower that you had to push

to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall

we only had one phone,

and no need for recording things,

someone was always home.

We only had a living room

where we would congregate,

unless it was at mealtime

in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms

or extra rooms to dine.

When meeting as a family

those two rooms would work out fine.

We only had one TV set

and channels maybe two,

but always there was one of them

with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips

that tasted like a chip.

And if you wanted flavor

there was Lipton's onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because

my mother liked to cook

and nothing can compare to snacks

in Betty Crocker's book.

Weekends were for family trips

or staying home to play.

We all did things together --

even go to church to pray.

When we did our weekend trips

depending on the weather,

no one stayed at home because

we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate

to do things on our own,

but we knew where the others were

without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies

with your favorite movie star,

and nothing can compare

to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics

at the peak of summer season,

pack a lunch and find some trees

and never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together

with all the friends you know,

have real action playing ball --

and no game video.

Remember when the doctor

used to be the family friend,

and didn't need insurance

or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you

or what he had to do,

because he took an oath and strived

to do the best for you.

Remember going to the store

and shopping casually,

and when you went to pay for it

you used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe

or punch in some amount,

and remember when the cashier person

had to really count?

The milkman used to go

from door to door,

And it was just a few cents more

than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters

came right to your door,

without a lot of junk mail ads

sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name

and knew where it was sent;

there were not loads of mail addressed

to "present occupant."

There was a time when just one glance

was all that it would take,

and you would know the kind of car,

the model and the make.

They didn't look like turtles

trying to squeeze out every mile;

they were streamlined, white walls,

fins and really had some style.

One time the music that you played

whenever you would jive,

was from a vinyl, big-holed record

called a forty-five.

The record player had a post

to keep them all in line

and then the records would drop down

and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,

just like we do today

and always we were striving,

trying for a better way.

Oh, the simple life we lived

still seems like so much fun,

how can you explain a game,

just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards

between bicycle spokes

and for a nickel, red machines

had little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier

and slower in some ways.

I love the new technology

but I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we

and nothing stays the same,

but I sure love to reminisce

and walk down memory lane.

Until next time--

You can read past columns by visiting tamatoledonews.com and clicking on the "Local Columns" button at the bottom of the page.

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2005 - 2012 Mike Gilchrist.

Readers, feel free to contact me at mike@aweiowa.com via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.

 
 

 

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