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Just Outside My Door 04/19/12

April 25, 2012
By ELAINE G. COLE - CORRESPONDENT ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Once again the month of April looks like spring. Although we had a hard frost last night, it's warming up, the clouds are gone and the sun is shining. I'm always happy to be able to hang the wash outside when the weather is like it is today. Not only because of the outdoors fragrance on the laundered clothes, but also it gives me a reason to go outside. Often it also temps me to stay outside, but if I have a deadline or some other important task, I have to resist the temptation. However, being an "older" lady I usually have fewer demands on my time.

Speaking of being older, I thank God I still have my memory intact, although Bill says he can't understand why I often forget my purse until we get half way to Sherman or why I keep loosing my car keys or something else I've put in a safe place. Nevertheless, I can readily remember many things that happened in yesteryear, but for the most part, never take place nowadays.

For instance, when I went to the country school, all the kids wore dark stockings, hats, boots and a heavy coat in the winter and I wasn't instructed about all the dangers that could have befallen us as we trekked down the road to the country school. Today only the youngest kids wear all those items regardless of the weather and few if any get pneumonia.

We also had recesses outside at least once a day, whatever the weather unless it was raining. In winter we built snow forts and had snowball fights. We rode the on the merry-go-round which was propelled by the older kids. I recall it was difficult to get on it when it was moving and no one was worried about getting hurt. Nor was it forbidden because it was dangerous and someone would get hurt and their parents would sue the school.

Sometimes the youth would play on someone's nearby lot and if someone got hurt folk would say the owner should be locked up for not putting a fence around their property complete with a gate and an infrared intruder alarm. Also, where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when a child got a bee sting? Or if we got hurt some other way, an adult would use a $0.98 bottle of Mercurochrome on the injury. Nowadays they would probably take a trip to the emergency room and followed by a 10 day dose of a $9 bottle of antibiotics and mom might call the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

Kids didn't act up at a neighbor's house either because if they did, they got their butt spanked - physical abuse - here and then spanked again when they got home.

Kids played in the dust in the driveway getting the dust in their system, make mud pies, and dad drove a car with leaded gas. Moreover, music was left in the house when kids went out to play, I'd never heard of a lawnmower with a motor and they didn't have an automatic glade-stop or an auto-drive.

If a neighborhood youngster was at another neighbor's house and fell off of a bike and got hurt, their mother didn't know she could have gotten their house. Instead she scolded the child for doing tricks to show off.

No one ever heard of a dysfunctional family. How could they have possibly known that? Nor did anyone ever get in to group therapy or anger management class. One seldom, if ever, heard of a teen pregnancy.

When a traveling tramp or salesman came to a house, mom invited them in for a cup of coffee. I recall years ago a tramp and his dog knocked at our screen door and asked for food. I was alone with two young children so I didn't unlock the door. I told him if he'd wait a little while until my husband came home for lunch, he could eat with us. He sat on the steps until Bill came and then ate with us. I don't think I would dare to do that nowaday unless I knew them personally.

Yes, many things have changed since the earthy 20th century, but as someone once said, "How did parent's ever raise a family back then without all the things we have today?" Especially without computers, the things related to them and the many other current things such as freebies available through the government, even to those who are not willing to work. Also all the mandates we are forced to adhere to, some of which are even against the constitution.

In many ways I had a happier childhood and school days without all the worries and concern children are faced with in their early years today. Live was simpler and kids weren't expected to grow up when they are barely out of babyhood. They were brought up to work and also to play. Nevertheless, I still believe that life is great and blest especially if one knows the Lord personally and keeps in mind that life after death for believers will far surpass life on this earth. I'm looking forward to my Heavenly home.



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