Traveling Backward in Time

Traveling Backward in Time


January is a time for a new beginning–new year, new hopes and dreams. Or, do we polish off the old ones and keep them going, bright and shining?

My younger brother and I were the only children left at home; the older siblings grew up, married, moved away, and it was just Richard, Mom and Dad, and me during my growing-up years.

Would today’s children be bored with the kind of childhood I had? We had nothing else with which to compare ours, so we weren’t bored and I don’t remember being lonely. We had Mom, Dad, a horse, some cows, chickens, a pig or two, the dogs and now and then a cat. We had books and our lively imaginations which many times over-flowed into stories I would write. We also had chores to do.

In the summertime, we made roads in the dust for Richard’s small plastic and metal cars and trucks. We mounded up dirt for hills, put sticks in the mud for trees, made fences with rocks. And, I had paper dolls. Richard was not keen on paper dolls so I pretty much had to enjoy those alone. My paper dolls were mostly cut from catalogs or I drew a few on my own.

My brother had cap guns and holsters, cowboy hats, small toy cowboys and Indians. And I remember a headband with feathers and a small bow and arrow. We didn’t think of stereotypes or offending anybody and neither did anyone else. That was not a part of the world we knew. Nobody had ever heard of political correctness and we would have laughed, had we heard.

Richard had B-B guns and we both had bicycles. I had my old, upright piano and boy! Did I thump out a lot of tunes on that.

A long driveway stretched from the dirt road that led to town. That driveway was great for riding my brother Tracy’s horse, Chappo. I rode bareback a lot because I couldn’t swing the saddle up to Chappo’s back. I could, however, manage the bridle. What fun to ride with the wind blowing back my hair and the sound of Chappo’s hooves thundering.

Dad’s truck had a long, wide running board. At rare times, we could persuade him to let us ride down the driveway to the house on the running board. I remember holding onto the door, grimly determined not to fall off. It was exciting! Mom did not like that activity at all!

Riding in the back of the truck was commonplace. Our parents told us we had to sit down flat. Under no condition could we perch on the side. So, we rode sitting flat down on the bed of the truck many times. We had no laws against it. We had no seat belts. Looking back, I think we were a lot freer then.

Remembrances. I don’t actually tuck them away, as I do the Christmas decorations, for a whole year. They are always with me, kept within the trunk of memory. I bring them out any time during the year, dust them off, and enjoy those days once again.




  1. Carolyn Bayley says

    Sounds similar to my childhood days.

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