Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Who's not ready for fall, holler "I!"!
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
When I was growing up, I lived at 111 Ridge Rd. One eleven, Ridge Road. Our street had eleven houses on it, with houses neatly lined up behind ours, and so on, with proper little blocks to walk and ride bikes around. There was a steep hill, which was too much fun on bikes and rollerskates, once Casey went over the handlebars of his bike and split his chin open. We had a few vacant lots in the neighborhood, with scrawny trees growing, excellent for playing in the woods. One of the lots had a little creek, oh dear, that was a heavenly place to play. We learned how to start fires there, a useful skill for any child ha. I've driven through my old neighborhood, and wouldn't you know it? They've stuck houses in on those empty lots, the poor kids, where will they play "living in the woods"? Here's a recent pic of Baby Tennyson Paul:
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Life was more local when I was a kid. Different regions were truly different, not united by the pop culture of today, the social media. I had cousins who lived an hour away, but they called soda "pop", and their tv didn't come in properly, so they barely knew what I was talking about when I spoke of Fonzie or Bobby Brady. Communication was vastly different. You called someone on your rotary dial phone, the one with the two foot cord, which afforded no privacy for calling boys and hanging up, if I were to guess, ha. My older brother installed an illegal phone in our basement, back when Ma Bell had the monopoly, and you had to pay for each line. That phone was the glory of my teenage years. We liked to make prank calls, and we would look up cute boys' phone numbers...oh dear, things were different. If someone was long distance, you waited until evening or the weekend to talk to them, my mother talked to her sister on Saturday mornings, and not every week, either. It was a big production, she would announce, "I am going to call my sister." We kids would position ourselves within hearing, so we could hear her "uh-huh", and brag about us. When one brother was in the Navy, we would get a collect call every once in a blue moon, and just wonder and imagine where he actually was most of the time. My other brother was in the Air Force, and he and his wife once surprised us by coming into town, getting dropped off at the corner, and walking into the house unnanounced. After school, we changed into our play clothes, and went outside. It wasn't snack and tv time, not for us, unless it was terrible weather, much more terrible than my own kids' definition of terrible, mind you. Or, if we were sick, we could watch Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, I still associate that with being allowed to have a candycane from the tree for my sore throat. A red and white striped one, none of those sweet tart or Hershey's mint flavors back then. We would go outside, and find our friends. No phone calls to arrange play dates, there was not such a thing. In the winter, we stayed outside until our mittens or boots or both, were soaking wet, then went in and sat in front of the heat duct while our stuff dried in the dryer, and back out we went. My mother made those awful mittens with the idiot strings, but they were warm and plentiful. I would have rather had storebought, back then, because I remember that fitting in was important. Our dinners were simple, my mother was no cook. She'd make pancakes and fried sliced Spam (sometimes she put canned corn in those pancakes, to make them more healthy. Eeeeew. I did not like corn as a kid, maybe this is why.). I still remember the taste of her pancakes, she made huge-0 ones in the iron frying pan. Sometimes we had scrambled eggs, sometimes tomato soup and grilled cheese (Velveeta!), sometimes tomato soup with pasta in it. We also had the detested tuna fish in mushroom soup over toast. I hated both mushroom soup AND tuna, so blah. But I ate it. somehow. We didn't complain, and we didn't waste food. We had our own individual piece of chicken or pork chop on pay day, or the day after, then it was back to casseroles. We did have boxed mac and cheese, and fish sticks, and frozen pizzas, and goulash, which I loved. Goulash: pasta, meatsauce, beans, all mixed up. I just picked around the beans, and sneaked them into the garbage. One dinner I loved was oatmeal and toast. Slow cooked old fashioned oats, from the stove top. Once I was playing with my friend from across the street, and she asked if I could stay for dinner. I could! I ran home and asked through the screen door if I could, my father answered that he didn't care, so I skipped back across the street, and oh my goodness, they were having grilled steak, and corn on the cob. They only had two kids, two little girls, and I was the sixth of seven...when WE had steak, it was ONE steak, fried up, cut into little pieces, and we got a few tastes, then dipped bread in the pan drippings. So this was amazing, we got our own steak and had to cut it ourselves. hmmm. It was the seventies, with double digit inflation, and things like orange juice and bacon were prized in our house, rare and doled out. We had enough to eat, we weren't dirt poor, but we weren't rich. My dad worked for the county, my mom had a few part time jobs (Kmart! Tops grocery store! When I was really little, General Electric on the assembly line.). My mom saved all of her money, and we got a new camper when I was four. They also saved up and we bought a camp on Lake Ontario when I was ten. We lived in a decent little Cape Cod house in a decent neighborhood, and had a decent station wagon, that fit nine. But we appreciated things. We really did. I remember wanting a new warm-up suit, one like Nadia Comaneci. I had to clean the car and sweep the driveway, to earn it. We didn't get spoiled with things through out the year, but Christmas at our house was splendid. Santa gave us each a good stack of gifts. This is getting boring, I'm starting to bore myself. Oh, one more thing: I went on a field trip in 4th grade, to the planetarium in Rochester, NY. No school buses, no sir, we drove in the back of some kid's mom's station wagon, in the WAY back, not even buckled in! Ah well. Sonja is off to college for an Anatomy and Physiology exam, cross your fingers and say a prayer, she's so nervous! Jonathan is leaving today for a two week trip to Oregon to visit Kathryn, Darius, and Achilles. We're hoping for a safe trip for him (all by himself! He IS 16, but still...). Wildfires and riots in Portland, ugh.