Childhood

My earlier post reminded me of some of the fondest memories of my childhood.  I thought I'd share some of those childhood moments with you, because I bet you had some of these same experiences:

  • My big brother sat next to me at the dinner table.  Once in a while, we'd "get the giggles", for no good reason, and I loved it when he'd get to giggling bad enough to make milk come out his nose. 
  • In the summer we didn't really have a bed time, so we kids would play Monopoly until way late, eating popcorn and sometimes even getting to have soda from the Pop Shoppe.  Do you remember Pop Shoppe soda?  They had flavors like pineapple, strawberry, grape and the best cream soda ever.
  • Do you remember how it felt when you came home with your brand-new back-to-school supplies?  New pencils and new notebooks?  I liked those better than new clothes!
  • My Dad hung a swing between two trees in our front yard.  He'd made the swing out of regular rope and a short board.  When it had rained, the damp rope would stretch and the seat hung only a foot or so off the ground.  During a dry spell, the rope would shrink up and I'd have to jump to get in the seat.  Do you remember playing on the swings so long that when you laid in your bed at night, you still felt like you were swinging?
  • We lived way out in the country.  Mom would turn us loose after our daily chores and we had to be in by dark (unless we had special permission to stay out and play).  It was a safer world, back then.
  • Once a female dog showed up at our house and had a litter of puppies right on our front stoop.  I had never seen a newborn puppy before.  We didn't get to keep any of them :-(
  • My sister, seven years older than me, taught me to read.  I don't know if that was her intention:  we played "school" a lot and next thing I knew, I could read.  Our play "school" apparently had no math classes.
  • Remember the smell of a new tub of  Play-Doh?
  • Laying on the living room floor on a Sunday morning, reading the comics while Mom clipped coupons and Dad read the rest of the paper.
  • Holidays were so much fun:  all our relatives would come to our house because Mom is the best cook and was not daunted by all those guests.  There would be Dutch words flying all over the place and a lot of laughing.  After the feast, all the adults would go in the living room and talk and nap, and we kids would go outside to play.  If the weather was bad, the kids played in our giant kitchen, but I bet that prevented napping in the living room.
  • I loved it when Dad would break out the projector and the screen and we'd watch home movies.  I am the youngest child, so I didn't appear in very many of the home movies or the family pictures.  They were tired of taking pictures by the time I came along.  I loved the movies, anyway.
  • Remember the first time you were old enough to be allowed to stay up until Midnight on New Year's Eve?
  • Mom didn't cook dinner on Sunday;  it was her day off.  We ate whatever we could grub up for ourselves.  The kids would get together and make sandwiches or homemade potato chips or something, but we'd all be in the living room and settled in for "The Wonderful World of Disney".  Remember the opening score?  I think nearly everyone in America was parked in front of their TVs for Disney.
  • Picking wildflowers.
  • Catching fireflies.
  • In the early 70s we had one of the worst snowstorms ever.  I was not allowed outside because the snow was so far over my head.  Three weeks indoors, no school, no power, and melting snow water to wash dishes with.  It was an adventure for me and a trial for my parents.
  • I got a play telephone for Christmas one year.  Dad ran the wire from my room to my brother's room, and we could talk to eachother on the orange-red plastic phones.  We didn't really have anything to say, though.
  • Looking through the big Montgomery Ward, Penneys and Sears wish books at Christmas time.  Penneys had an Oster Automatic Pulp Ejector Juice Extractor and we went around for weeks trying to see who could say that the fastest, three times.
  • My Holland Grandma's chair was always placed near a window.  I loved to see her knitting, with her mouth tightened into a straight line as she counted the stitches, and the sun streaming through the window onto her gray hair.  She was a rock of love, patience and wisdom in my childhood.
  • The kitchen floor was so cold in winter that we kids would eat our breakfast perched up on our chairs like so many chickens, with our feet tucked up under us to keep warm.  My Dad thought that was darn funny.
The list could go on all day.  I hope my own children will look back on their childhoods with as many fond memories as I have of mine.