Friday, October 12, 2012

Thoughts from the pool

I have ranted about the hot weather since we got here. It was above 90 and into the 100s for weeks.  The last week it has been much cooler, pleasant, nice, foggy.  All the things I like.  Yesterday a storm came through, and is still lingering.  It is in the low 60s, very cool.  This would be nice except for one little thing, the pool.

Nearly every day I am in the pool exercising.  Today was awful.  I went on the back porch to get my bathing suit, it was wet and cold.  Rain during the night had blown in and the suit was wetter than when I took it off.  I pulled it on, cold, cold and went down to the pool.  Cold air + wet suit = frozen Janet.  I plunged in and started walking.  Finally I warmed up a little.  While working out I thought many thoughts.  None very deep.

How did I survive my childhood?  How did anyone in my age group survive? 

I grew up in a very small town in the Appalachian Mountains.  At a very young age of 4 I walked alone 2 blocks to the grocery for things like bread or milk.  Today my parents could be arrested for that.  I would walk 6 blocks to my Grandmother's house crossing streets very carefully.  One street I wasn't allowed to cross, the only one with a stop light, go figure.  I would stand on the corner and Grandmother would tell me when to cross.  Today people don't let high school students walk alone.  It was a better time I guess.

We played outside.  We roller skated, climbed trees, swung on vines, rode bikes . . . all without helmets. We would get on the big big school swings. Next we pumped ourselves as high as we could.  Then, we jumped off, it was like flying.  Of course the landings were a little hard.  We all had bloody/scabby knees. 

We played with cap guns, when caps were more powerful.  We didn't need the gun either, a hammer on the sidewalk worked just fine.  Fireworks were easily accessible. We had sparklers and played with them in the house.  The big kids had firecrackers, some had M80s- those are the kids missing fingers. 

At that time DDT was our friend.  The adults would close up the house, spray DDT, and we would leave for several hours.  We came home, they opened up, and we went to bed in I guess what were contaminated bed covers.  Today a hazmat team would condemn such a house.

Seat belts, we didn't need no stinking seat belts.  We had the arm of steel that whacked across our chest at every quick stop.  I am sure Mother could restrain the child in front and the two in the back with no effort.  That arm would cover the whole car.  I can remember thinking that hitting the dashboard would be less painful.

The most dangerous thing we did, we rode in the back of pickup trucks.  We were told to sit down and hold on.  And we did.

How did we survive? 

1 comment:

Kakers said...

For one, you are FAR braver than I, getting in to a pool in that temperature. As much as I love to swim, you would never see me do it (without a hot tub nearby)
And people survived back then quite easily really. I mean, I kind of feel sorry for kids today. The adventure has been drained out of childhood. We're so paranoid about... everything. ~Katy