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Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings.

How different it is now, as opposed to when I was a kid.  And how alarmed I am to be saying that!  The further away from my childhood I get, the more I realize how precious it was.  Sit-down dinner at 6 PM sharp with the entire family.  Elbows off the table, good manners at the ready, wonderful home-cooked dinner and discussion.  Of course, we also got the 'word of the day', which always made me roll my eyes.  We had to use it in a sentence at least twice the following day.  Our television viewing was greatly curtailed - the Mickey Mouse Club after school, all the National Geographic, Jacques Cousteau, Jackie Gleason that we could handle and an hour of cartoons on Saturday.  Mostly, it was out the door!  We had an allowance that we earned, and for those special things we thought we would absolutely DIE without (such as: a black English racing bike - no gears - no handbrakes), we had to earn half of it.  After it passed the parental "merit test", that is.  No talking back.  No calling adults by their first names.

My father loved to make us work for things - in a good way.  Every summer we would pack the Dodge/Chrysler and drive way up to northern Ontario where we spent a blissful month (two weeks with our Uncle Mimmy and two weeks with Dad - and ALL weeks with Mom) in our paternal great-grandfather's hand-built log cabin on a tiny, pristine lake - no electricity, no plumbing.  (I will muse further about this idyllic spot at another time. I am at great risk of blubbering at the very thought of it.)  During my dad's two week stint we had a Treasure Hunt.  Oh, great glory, was it fun!  Dad would write up a whole series of linked clues and hide them all over the place.  We had to start at point A and noodle our way around to point X, the spot where the treasure was hidden.  Of course, it would have been a lot more fun if I hadn't been the eldest and the bossiest, but I was and we all lived through it.  My sisters are still talking to me, so I rest my case.  The Treasure usually consisted of inexpensive things that we could enjoy all summer - water toys, things like that.

When I turned 21, they had saved up and bought me a brand new Singer sewing machine.  Feeling badly that they had only gotten me one thing, Dad decided to re-enact the Treasure Hunt.  There was just one teensy problem with that - my birthday is in January and we lived in Ohio.  After spending an increasingly frustrated hour, going from clue-to-clue, top floor to basement (he actually suspended one clue on a long string down the laundry shoot, fercryinoutloud!), my "prize" ended up being locked in the trunk of the latest Dodge/Chrysler - outside.  And the trunk lock was frozen.  Dad intervened when he saw me grab the tire iron.  "Game over!" he said.  "Kit, put on the kettle!"  A half hour later, it was mine.

p.s.  Why, pray tell, for a person who is fast and loose with "ie and ey and y" - Scrappy, Cookie, Bernie, Ropey, Squirrely, Reggie - is it so darn hard to say, gulp, "Veggie"?

16 comments:

  1. Now that just made me nostalgic for some of the fun we used to have as kids. Remember snipe hunts?

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  2. I was a military brat so our treasure hunts generally involved multiple moms and a dozen or more kids. It would run through the entire neighborhood and take hours to solve. Gave the moms a chance to sit down together and enjoy some adult company while keeping all of us kids busy doing something besides getting in trouble.

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  3. I have been wondering about the 'veggie hate' for a long while now. What did a cute little veggie ever do to deserve such a shun? I used to have a boss who really did not understand what being a vegetarian is and he used to tell people " oh yeah, Jane there is a veggie." He was not one of those bosses that it was worth explaining the error ;)

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  4. Charade - OMG! Those were the best!

    Maxine - What a great idea! I bet the moms enjoyed it as much (if not more) than the kids.

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  5. Jane - Oh, for goodness' sake. If Veggie is good enough to be your moniker, then it's good enough for me. Those new, little radishes ARE awful cute. Most people I work with think that Vegan is a pagan religion.

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  6. Have you ever gone back and visited the log cabin?

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  7. I love this post. What a fun childhood you had.

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  8. TWH - It was, for the most part, blissful. We were very lucky.

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  9. Sylvia - I haven't been back for years. It's now in my Uncle's hands and I believe he's going to sell it. 'Progress' reached our little Eden and it was never the same.

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  10. LOL - when I turned 21 my father bought me a tool box full of tools! And also gifted me some $$ and one of his exquisite wood carvings.

    Never did egg or treasure hunts and have never had the energy to organize one for my children either.

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  11. Susan. Get. OVER. the veggie thing. It will save you tons of anguish. Although I do agree with Jane; did you have a horrible childhood experience with a "Veggie" or were you slighted by a certain vegetable while in line at the grocery store?

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  12. Ya'll didn't watch Hee-Haw on Sunday evening?!? That was always such a treat when we went to visit grandma! :) I must admit, hubby and I watch it in reruns NOW on RFD-TV on Sunday evenings and IT.IS.STILL.FUNNY!

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  13. I loved this post/walk down memory lane! Now on to the other thing - do you know that I am uber-conscious of writing veggie on anyones posts/comments that I know you are following LOL? I just got done spelling out vegetable on Mama Pea's I think a minute ago! Now have you tried replacing it with the "y" you are fond of instead? VEGGY :)

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  14. OK, so I came and read your post twice today. I enjoyed reading it both times, and see where you are coming from. Our kiddos are being raised to be respectful and polite and actually can have a conversation with an adult! They don't watch tv. Just certain movies, we are fairly strict in what they watch. I know both my husband and I were outside a lot as kiddos, and our kiddos are outside a lot too, and enjoy it! They have great imaginations too!

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  15. Jenyfer - I still have the hammer from a tool kit I got for Christmas (from Santa) when I was six.

    CR - It must have been the fact that our Dachshund wouldn't eat the grey, soggy Brussels sprouts we tried to foist off on her.

    Candy - That show was always so much FUN! You had the feeling that they had a blast working with each other.

    Nancy - Ah, yes.

    Erin - UNCLE! I give in. It's veggies/veggys from now on.

    SLF - Sounds like you and your hubby are doing a wonderful job of raising some great kiddos. Left to our own devices made us very creative (albeit very dirty as well). I worry about those kids that are tethered to devices - TV, computer, game thingys.

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