When We Were Wee


Remember the good ole’ days? Specifically, I’m speaking to the 45+ crowd (or so…). We didn’t wear seat belts, there were no air bags; wearing a crash helmet whilst riding your banana bike would get you beat up…or at least laughed at.

Computers were the size of an entire building and our telephones used a little turn-thing called a rotary dial. If you were lucky, you had a ‘private’ line rather than a party one. The concept of smart phones, the internet, texting, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

Yet…

Social media? Was that some sort of Tupperware party for newspaper reporters? Our cars were big, our dreams were even bigger. Mine were humongous.

No one had a cow and thought you’d die of poisoning (possibly within seconds) if you drank from the garden hose. In fact, it kind of tasted good; it had an interesting bouquet with a hint of sunshine and July-rain notes and was warm and earthy on the palette. It tasted like summer holidays, hot afternoons, oh, and rubber.

I grew up on the Southern Alberta prairies. For fun there were no video games, iTunes, home theatre entertainment or any of that sort. We built forts in the dirt and weeds. The day consisted of being covered in mosquito bites and smelling like stink bugs. Oh, and we had a fine coat of dust from the clay dirt; it was very windy in my town.

In the winter we froze our little bums off – again building forts but this time in 10’ of snow.  Fort building should have been a career choice for some of us. I hung out in alleys playing games of hide and seek with a group of 8 or so, friends. Our territory extended for about 3 blocks. We had a game of monopoly going for 6 weeks straight.

We had fun.

Life wasn’t glamorous but it wasn’t hectic, either.  I liked life, back then. We got hurt, dirty, were bullied but we learned to fight back. In third grade, a boy stole my hat and smacked me in the dead of winter. When I caught up with him, not only did I get my hat back but I nailed him in the kisser (with my fist, not my lips). He never bothered me again. And if he did? I had a big brother who was 6 years my senior.

We dealt with things and life in an almost wholesome way. I didn’t swear for fear that somehow my mother, who had ears like a cat, would find out and I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week. We got spanked and then we learned to behave. I had the fear of authority in me and I respected it.

I didn’t grow up to become a killer or victim and I didn’t die from rubber poisoning from the garden hose; when I fell off my bike, I healed.

Despite not having Facebook, seat belts, electronic readers, smart phones and every other wonderful thing that we seemingly can’t live without when I was young – I’m actually thriving!

Go figure.

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