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Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

Older & wiser?

Posted Monday, June 18, 2012, at 2:21 PM

Another birthday come and gone. The older I get I am grateful just to be able to celebrate another birthday!

Thinking back at the last 53 years; well looking back at the years that I can remember anyway, many things have changed. Kids spend a lot of time inside either sitting in front of the television watching videos or playing video games. Back in the day, we spent every waking moment outside playing. The summers were spent at the pool or messing around in the "woods" or the "jungle" with my best friends. We knew when to come home, either by the position of the sun, or the sound of Mom's voice as she screamed "supper"! And if she couldn't find me she only had to look across the street at either the Wahlstrom or the Schoon home.

It wasn't that we didnt venture around town, there were a lot of "little stores" that we would take a nickle to and buy a taffy or some gum. Neighborhood grocery stores were owned by the residents that lived either next door or in the back of the store. It was a time when neighbors spoke to each other with kindness and everyone knew who lived on the block; not to say that there wasn't any juicy gossip, that is one thing that likely never will change!

We didn't have time to sit and watch TV while growing up, and why would we want to unless it were a Saturday morning when Bullwinkle and Rocky the Squirrel were on? We didn't have over 100 channels to surf, we got up walked to the television and turned the knob and once we had gone through all three stations, we knew we were headed outside on a new adventure. There was no Disney Channel to keep us glued to the tube. However on Sunday evenings there was Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color... we were lucky enough to enjoy popcorn and a glass of pop while all seven of us kids sat on the floor to watch it.

Communication back then was a black phone connected to the wall, and at times you could get in on the neighbors' conversations; it was called a party line, and if you wanted in on some good gossip that was the place to go. If you wanted to send someone a message you used this thing called a letter, something that you either hand wrote or if you were lucky you could use the school's typewriter (a heavy machine that clicked with every tap and rang at the end of every column).

We had milk men and ice cream trucks that scoured the neighborhoods, and believe it or not, we trusted them. If we were lucky we may even get chocolate milk slipped in to a small insulated silver box that sat on the front porch. The box made a good seat too for those that would sit through our little concerts. We all got musical instruments one year for Christmas. Billie got a guitar, David was given drums, Carla was lucky enough to get a tambourine...me I got the auto-harp! June Carter I am not, and somehow I still to this day think that I got the screwed! That didn't keep me from being a part of our band though.

I'm sure I will witness even more changes before I'm done. For many, I wam grateful. Technologically speaking, I enjoy the many channels to surf, computers are a life saver not to mention time savers; I couldn't imagine plucking away on a typewriter and having to send my columns in via the postal service. My cell phone is my connection to the world! What I do miss are those childhood friends and the nickle taffy and pieces of gum.

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Outside Looking In
Trudy J. Schroeder
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Trudy is a former Advertising Representative for the Pilot Tribune, and also a contributing writer.
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