Do You Remember When?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What do children do for fun these days?

When I was a little girl I used to play hopscotch with my lfriends,

On the concrete sidewalk in front of the house, I would draw the hopscotch with chalk. We used a flat piece of glass for a marker but you could use a bottle top or a stone..

There were eight squares large enough to fit one foot and to make sure the marker thrown into the square would not bounce out too easily.

The goal was to complete the course with the marker on each square, and without stepping out of the square or touching the sides.

It' was a competition game that several people could play, taking turns.

It was a cardio exercise, good for conditioning, too..

And it cost nothing but a piece of chalk.

And remember ball and jacks? I remember when a card of jacks cost about ten cents That also included the rubber ball. As children, we played the game over and over again trying to individually pick up all the jacks in one hand as the ball bounced once. We had a throwing hand and a catching hand for the game. To begin, we would toss and scatter the six pointed metal jacks, then toss the small ball in the air, pick up one jack, let the ball bounce once, then catch the ball in the right hand. Then we would repeat the process with our left hand. Eventually, we would pick up two jacks at once, then three, and so on.

The game was inexpensive but challenging. Both boys and girls enjoyed the game of jacks. And several children could compete.

Other games we played that cost little or no money was jump rope, kick the can, keep out of the ditch, and hide and seek. All these games were competitive. Some games we made up on the spot but they usually involved some type of physical energy.

When we were tired from playing and it grew dark, we would lie on our back in the front yard by street light and look at the stars. Sometimes we could pick out the Milky Way or Big Dipper. Sometimes we could see the man in the moon looking down at us.

All those childhood games were imaginative, and cost our parents almost nothing;.perhaps the cost of a jump rope. We did ride bicycles which gave us exercise. I had a cheap second hand bike that my dad hand sprayed for me.. I never owned a new bike although I would have appreciated a shiny girl's bike .Mine was a boy's bike but I was proud of it.

This week I overheard some women talking about the cotton house dresses that women used to wear. Women didn't wear pantsuits or slacks. They wore a housedress, before women discovered the convenience of long pants. My mother always had half a dozen house dresses in her wardrobe.

Those little cotton dresses, simple and prim, could be bought in all department stores.

One of the women said that her daughter mentioned she would like to buy one of those house dresses like her grandma used to wear.

"Well, good luck at finding one, the mother answered.

After my mother-in-law died, I was given several of her house dresses. They hung in my closet for months before I decided to get rid of them. I knew I would never wear them. Some of them were handsewn, made from a pattern and material she had bought..

Remember the Monday morning wash....putting bluing in the rinse water to whiten the whites, then hanging the clothes out to dry on the clothesline? Then there was ironing on Tuesday, using a bottle sprinkler to dampen the clothes.

And mopping the linoleum once a week, rain or shine, daring anyone to walk on it before it completely dried.

Remember waxing the floors, on hands and knees, using a cloth to apply the wax?. Oh, but how the floors did shine!

Remember sitting on the front porch after supper, sometimes eating popcorn from a big dishpan? There was no air conditioner, just a window fan that didn't do much good in the daytime hours. So sitting on the porch, trying to catch a breeze, was often cooler than sitting in the house.

Remember listenting to the Grand Ole' Opry on the radio on Saturday nights and tuning in the St. Louis Cardinals baseball games on Sunday afternoons?

Yes, I remember when........seems like a hundred years ago.