Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's a Different World

When I was a kid, growing up in the 60's, life was a lot different. As a child, I had a lot of freedom.  I walked to school alone from first grade up to seventh grade.  As I grew older, I began making little side trips on the way home from school. I would wander around at the market buying penny candy if I had any spare change.  Or perhaps, I would go to the drug store on the corner and see what new items they offered.  Nelson's drug store is where I bought my boy-watcher sunglasses and my Date Line clutch!

During the summer vacations or on the weekends, my mother certainly never had things planned for me to do.  I was on my own for entertainment.  (I don't mean that I had no supervision at all, I just mean SHE did not have my every hour scheduled. I was free to do as I pleased - within reason.  I certainly knew my boundaries.)

If I wanted to read all day in my room, that was fine.  If I wanted to sneak around the neighborhood pretending to be a spy, so be it. I could ride my bike anywhere around a two-block radius anytime I wanted. Looking back, I realize what a blissful time I had without even knowing it ...

When I was in fifth grade, we moved to Tampa, Florida, and lived in a subdivision for the first time. School was now an 11 block walk. Now, I had much more freedom!  I rode my bike everywhere.

Our sub-division stretched from the elementary school 11 blocks away from my house to the high school which was about 6 blocks from my house in the other direction. Each street was at least 4 blocks long, so we are talking roughly a radius of 68 blocks.  Think of it - I would roam wherever I pleased in those 68 blocks.  Anything could have happened!  
Google Images

My favorite thing to do was to find wherever there were homes for sale hosting an Open House.  In those days, an Open House meant exactly that - the house was open for anyone to come in and view.  No owners or realtors were there, you just walked in and viewed the house, and if you were interested, you got one of the circulars left in a conspicuous place in the house and took it with you to contact the realtor.

I entertained myself by visiting these homes, walking through them and imagining if I were going to buy the houses and how I would decorate them.  Sometimes, for fun, I would draw the floor plan when I got back home and then looking through magazines or catalogs pick out furnishings for a particular house.  Then I would make up a story about the home as if I, or perhaps a character I had created, lived there.

I whiled away many a happy hour doing this imagining.  I'm wondering if that was a clue that perhaps being a decorator, writer or at the very least - a home stager - was the career for me.

Of course, when my kids were growing up, thirty years later, I would never have let them do such a thing. Think of all the horrible things that could have happened to an 11-12 year old girl wandering around in empty houses!

Life was much more free back then ... and safer.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 4.) Something you got to do when you were young that you would not let your children do.  If you would like to join the fun, link up at Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.


Dianna said...

Oh my things have changed! My grandson and I were talking about this very thing when he was here a few weeks ago. I lived on a dirt road one mile from the elementary school and church that I attended...and I walked. That dirt road is now paved (many years ago) and it isn't really safe to walk it. Yes...times have changed.

betty said...

You are so right, life was so much different back then. I think that would have been fun to go wondering around those open houses! Now some realtors here wait out in the car for people to come to open houses or have several realtors working it for safety purposes. It is interesting too that us growing up we knew our boundaries, we had the freedom, and we didn't have cell phones for our parents to check up on us. How did they ever manage not to worry?


Melanie Cook said...

Certainly times have changed. My two oldest kids (now in their early and mid 40's) had that kind of freedom. Now, it's a much different world. I remember walking to our little neighborhood store to buy penny candy. Great memories!

Anonymous said...

I totally know what you mean! I grew up in the 80's, and my parents were pretty strict, but I STILL had more freedom than I would let my kids have now. I wandered our neighborhood and the woods around our house all alone, and like you, I didn't even realize at the time how much glorious freedom I had.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and those glasses were hilarious! ;0)