Twenty-One Things That Made My Childhood Wonderful

This was inspired by a meme. It made my heart glad to remember.

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  1. Time spent shelling peas with my grandmother.

  2. Picking up pecans with my grandfather.

  3. Digging for bait.

  4. Getting paid twenty-five cents a row for pulling weeds.

  5. Watering flowers for hours.

  6. Walking in the woods alone.

  7. Feeding the cats.

  8. Making jelly from blackberries I’d picked.

  9. Building forts with bales of hay in the barn.

  10. Gathering eggs.

  11. Skinny dipping in the pond with my cousins.

  12. Listening to the night sounds.

  13. Mama reading stories at bedtime.

  14. Leaving on my bike at dawn and returning at dusk.

  15. Vacations at the beach.

  16. Churning homemade ice cream.

  17. Jumping in piles of raked leaves, then setting them on fire.

  18. Chopping and stacking wood till my hands were blistered.

  19. Picking, peeling, and drying apples (fanning for flies) for fried apple pies.

  20. Water-skiing with Daddy in the river from sun up till sunset.

  21. Sewing my own clothes.

Funny, after my list was completed I read it and didn’t see one toy on there, except the bike.

I did enjoy playing video games with my own kids. But I hated playing Barbies with my sister. It felt like punishment.

Watching television didn’t do that much for me either.

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33 thoughts on “Twenty-One Things That Made My Childhood Wonderful

  1. Funny the things we remember, almost trivial now–contributing to the family as a team–no questions asked. So many today have no idea. I’m sad my grand kids will never experience these necessary contributions and the pleasures gained from unquestioned teamwork for the good of all. We learned to appreciate everything more. 🙂

    • Yes siree! My children grew up with expectations and entitlement. They still depend on their parents too much at 30-40 years old. My grandkids don’t even like to get their hands dirty. Don’t ask what happens to them when I’m gone. I really want to live long enough to see my daughter handle her grown kids.

  2. Some things will be lost but others take there place. We wanted what every parent wants.; to be better parents , make our childrens lives easier, less struggling. But did that make better happier kids? Yes it did. Did we make well rounded responsible adults…

  3. Many of my favorite memories with my grandchildren are such as these! Creek walking, doll playing, pretend restaurant orders or play shopping carts, blocks, hikes, games and spending time together.

    • That’s the value. People had more kids back then and often you had many siblings or cousins living nearby. Downsizing to one or two kids per family in the eighties put more emphasis on material things. When I had my third kid…everybody in the family freaked out. We had to do with less or work harder to meet their needs, but they were worth it. MY daughter has three and I’ve tried to refrain from telling her what she can and can’t afford. Sometimes that’s tough when she wants gymnastics competition squad and ballet for her daughter and Grandma simply can’t afford the extras. Neither can she, but she cuts corners elsewhere and puts stuff on credit. It’s all gonna catch up with her at some point and I don’t know what I can do…nothing, I guess.

    • lOl….yep, and glad to get it. I’d pay more for them now if I can find the U-pick places. We just picked blueberries. We missed the peaches when we were on vacation.

  4. As a farmgirl myself, I could relate to a lot of these, but especially number 9! Hay bale forts and mazes were the absolute best! I must say, my brothers and I were quite the hay bale architects.

    • Good. I rode that bike all over town, explored many abandoned building, found forts built in the woods, made friends with kids not from my school…yes, it was a fun time. (I even wrecked it a few times that my Dad didn’t know about.)

  5. Love this list, though I didn’t get to do a lot of it (pecans in MN? Walnuts, perhaps), mostly because of where we lived (still rural, not a farm). Glad my kids have the experience of seeing me make jelly from wild black raspberries we pick and baking cookies from scratch. Amazing all the stuff we used to do as kids (out in the neighborhood playing with friends all day) that people call CPS for nowadays. Ah, the better ol’ days!

  6. Your list brought back so many memories. I remember picking wild strawberries in open fields, shucking corn with my father, or peeling patios outside on the front porch. And dawn to dusk describes exactly how kids played. Thanks for a glimpse of a your memories, and bringing back many fond yesteryear thoughts of my own.

  7. It’s not just that there aren’t any toys, the majority of your things on the list are based around nature, or things found in nature, which is lovely. I like to embrace the old with the new for my kids. I like that we live in a small village, and my kids have grown up being able to walk to knock for friends and go and play up at the park with them. My son (14) still does that now, they go and kick a ball around up at the park. But he also spends a lot of time on his X-Box and Playstation, but he plays online with others, and usually he’s very shy with people he doesn’t know, but through this he communicates with people around the world, and learns to handle conflicts and different personalities, so I see the benefits of that for him too.

    What I find more surprising is now a lot of kids don’t seem to get taught basic skills at home. I don’t wish to be judgmental because everyone’s busy and have different priorities, but both my kids have expressed that when they did cookery lessons at secondary school (so from age 11), there were kids in their class who had never cooked before. Things like that surprise me.

    • Nature was a huge part of my experience on my grandparent’s farm. Watching the weather and foliage for signs of planting and fishing. Grandmother always had her almanac. I am most grateful for how that was integrated into my spirit. My children had that also being raised on a farm and they carry it in their souls. However, my grandkids are city kids and can’t stand to even walk in the grass or get their hands dirty. I’ve got lots of work to do with them. You are spot on about skills. Cooking, cleaning and just seeing the physics of how things work. I was thinking about that last night…what I learned pushing and pulling and stacking those bales of hay. YOu could be crushed if one fell on you, so it was pretty critical to think things through. Kids with helicopter parents aren’t growing up with critical thinking skills. When I was precepting new nurses, I was always amazed when the patient was choking and blue in the face, but the new grad would say, “His o2 Saturation is 100%….well yes, but he’s going to suffer and crash quickly if we don’t remove this mucus plug from his trach!

  8. It’s fun and funny what we remember and cherish. I didn’t do most of the things on your list with my parents. My parents grew up in Philadelphia. My mom always took us to the library though, and we went to shows and museums. But I did pick fruit and make jam with my girls. We picked strawberries and then had strawberry shortcake for dinner, and I know that was something special. I did have beach vacations with my parents and other family vacations that I remember.

    • We all have our memories. I thought it sort of odd that I zoomed in on quailty time and not so much things I had. Really put things in perspective on what I need to be doing with the grandkids. Probably spending less on junk that’s broken in a week and more time just holding them close.

  9. Sometimes I wonder if my childhood would have been better if we had had the Internet and blogging and all that back then. And then I think of the lazy summer afternoons spent in my own head or in a book or both and think … Nah. Great list, Susan. Aside from the bike, I didn’t do much of those on your list (I was too much a loner and besides my grandparents were all gone by the time I was 8), but I appreciate the simplicity and the time to experience every moment.

    • I was more an outcast than a loner. My female cousins (except for Cory who was like me) were into girlie things. Aside from learning to sew, I was a tom boy and spent most of my time out and about exploring. It was a simpler time.

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