What was it like, when you were a kid?


8 Years
Dec 28, 2011
Coeur d'Alene, ID
When my grandmother grew up, there were no cars, no airplanes. Healthcare was hit or miss. Almost everyone bought game or hunted their food and the garden was where your veggies started, not the store. She was in Florida. If you read the book "The Yearling" (have Kleenex, for the end), that is roughly the time she was born.

No DVDs.

No computers.

No phones.

What was it like for you? What didn't you have? What was it like? What did you do, in the summer, when you were out of school?
The only place in town that was air conditioned was the movie theater, and that wasn't until my late childhood. Milk, bread and Watkins products were delivered to your door. After Christmas, us kids 'recycled' the trees by making forts out of them. Going out and playing in the rain was a special time. When it got hot we just sat under a shade tree, talked and played with caterpillars. Long distance phone calls were only made in cases of emergency and required the assistance of the operator. Doctors made house calls. Polio was a big worry. Teachers were respected. There were certain foods that you could only get in season. We mowed the grass with a push-type reel mower. The house was heated by a coal-fired furnace. Summer evenings were spent sitting out on the porch.

That's enough for now. More later.

Edited for punctuation.
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I remember party lines. We had a 4 houses on our phone line. No private conversations.
I was just reminiscing the other day that when we wanted to make a phone call to someone who lived in the same town, all you had to dial were the last four digits...
We also had a party line for a long time -

There were only four TV channels, and only one of them came in at our house. Living in the mountains meant that someone, at some point during the show, would have to go out and move the antenna around.

There was always another kid within walking distance to play with, no matter where you lived.
When i was a kid, we rode our bikes from sunup to sundown in the summer. We came home and checked in at lunch, ate, and were gone again. We drank from the garden hose, didnt wear seatbelts, ran in the woods and played in the creek/pond. If you got in trouble at school, the teacher sent you to the principals office where you were paddled and sent back to class and your parents were called. Then you usually got paddled at home again... We had no cell phones, ipads or computers. They werent even around. We didnt worry about getting kidnapped, neither did our parents. My sister and I collected Breyer model horses. We would spend ours playing with them. Kids had imagination back then. The tv was hardly ever on in the summer. I look at the way I grew up and the way my kids have grown up. It kinda makes me sad that they didnt get the experience to grow up the same way I did. Times have changed, and in many ways, not for the better.
Long summer days outside playing in the ditch or brush.
Being called in with a coaches whistle, cause mom couldn't yell loud enough.

Kids don't play outside anymore. God forbid you don't know were your kids are at all times.

1/2 acre of garden, weeding and picking.
You get hungry while playing you go to the garden and pick yourself some lunch and eat it out there in the garden.
Canned peaches/pears over icecream!
Home made current jam.

Big chest freezer full of veggies and fruits from the garden and local farms.
1/2 a cow from the local butcher in there too.

I'll get back there.... someday!
...of course, there are city survival skills that we rural folks don't always have...
Last time I went to Boston, for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to buy a subway ticket out of the machine...it took several helpful citizens and a very cranky metro worker to help me...

EDIT - OOps - I meant to put this in the "Are we losing it?" thread.
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We had cars, planes, internet, cellphones (but big and clunky) the wheel and fire when I was a little kid.

I lived on a tiny plot of land but smack in the middle of agricultural country in Utah, right up to the rockies. We had chickens, horses (bred Warmbloods and Oldenburgs as well as Hanoverians) llamas, and a goat as well as a lot of dogs and "barn cats." We didn't grow much food for ourselves though but got donations from friendly neighbors (nasty sileage corn) as well as free pickings of onions dropped from trucks that would come by to deliver them to the local Onion factory.

It was more "country" than here (it's a huge forest in the middle of nowhere here) but I like it better here. We have more sustaining animals, much more food grown for our self, and no worries of crop dusting, dirty ditches, field burning, mosquito spraying, crazy hunters who shoot what they see, and seriously wild weather.
We'd spend all day swimming, in the river (the Severn, which eventually runs past the US Naval Academy, in Annapolis). In late august, when you needed the swim the most, jellyfish would migrate up the river and make swimming practically unbearable! I later found out that bull sharks also migrate up that river. Yeesh!

We'd ride our bikes to school and sled down hills, in the winter. You could cut through people's yards, on the way to school.

Visiting generally meant showing up, unannounced. On the phone, I was taught to introduce myself first. "Hi, this is David. Is Sam there?" Nowadays only telemarketers do that

When we'd visit my relatives, in Florida, it was "Yes ma'am and no sir." Not "uh-huh".

The first cell phones, were car phones! There was a big, suitcase sized box with the guts for the phone and they only worked in very large cities, like NY and DC . Then the brick phones came out, in the 80s. I think Mulder had one in the X-Files show, first season. Sadly, kids won't know who that is either...

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