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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
June 2013
Tam asked me to post this for her for June..She is on vaction . read and enjoy..

Summertime has arrived! There now will be happy, warm days to enjoy in spite of chores having to be done. Yes chores, but as I learned as a child on the farm, ‘life is not all work, and no play!’ Both parents and children seemed to have a good balance of the two in my day.

As I’ve written before, we had little to fear, and were quite carefree to roam as we pleased back then. We only informed Mom of where we were going if we would be outta earshot. On the flat lands between the mountain ranges of the Methow Valley where we farmed, a mother’s call could be heard for miles, but if we decided to ride our bikes the three miles to town, we always let her know.

Now, on these little exertions, we would pick up pop and beer bottles in the ditch to turn in at Gibson’s Grocery for a few cents, which would buy a whole lotta candy at the time. Yum! Can’t do this safely nowadays, even in the heartlands, because there are predators who wait and watch on lonely roads to abduct helpless children. “What have we come to in our society?”

Guess that’s why the post WW11 days are still spoken of as the best of the good ol’ days from nineteen forty-five to sixty-five before the Beatles arrived in long hair and smokin’ dope, and the hippie movement, and anti-establishment/anti war protesters marched in our streets against their own country. What a blight on our nation that was—free love, the pill, rebellion, communes, and on and on until we’ve come to this…

But, oh, the glories of safety and security we had those twenty years when I was growing up in pure Capitalism, Christianity, patriotism, and most of all—FREEDOM! We were truly the lucky ones to be born and raised during that time...

We ran the fields with neighbor kids playing any games that came to mind. We rode horses, our bikes, walked miles and miles each day, swam in the irrigation ditch, fed animals, helped in the garden, and were home and cleaned up for dinner by the time Dad pulled into the yard in his logging truck each evening. We always ate dinner together as a family, plus any meals inbetween when we could all sit down together. Television, (we finally got when I was eleven) was not allowed to be on while at the dinner table because it was family time.

We were well versed on the rules our parents laid down, and what to watch out for that would do us harm during summer months, such as; rattlesnakes, and black widow spiders—both of which were abundant in our area, and deadly if we were bitten by either.

We were made to respect other people’s property—one being; Dad’s gun case, which was never locked though the rifles and pistols stored there were always loaded.

Because our parents believed in the ‘golden rule’ the bible clearly set down, “Spare the rod, and spoil the child,” we were constantly reminded there were consequences for our actions. That included miss behaving at someone else’s house, or using and abusing someone else’s property. And don’t even think about stealing and lying, those two were not worth the punishment when your parents got wind of the misdeed.

Respecting authority was more on the line of FEARING AUTHORITY! We were scared to death of the town cop, our teachers, preachers, our friend’s moms, and our parents—they all had authority to send us home, or punish us in anyway they saw fit, and that wasn’t often pretty.

During my time, pregnancy out of wedlock was not glorified and accepted as it is today. If you made that mistake, you quickly married, or had the baby in an unwed mother’s home, adopting the child out to a home with two parents, (not of the same sex.) No abortions, no keeping the baby and returning to school where free daycare would be provided, and a government check would become the father-image provider. Teens were not allowed to even return to school if they were married, let alone expecting, and a girl was shunned as though wearing the ‘Scarlet Letter’, in a book of the same name, if any babies came unannounced without marriage. Whew! “Have we come a long way, baby,” or should we have stuck to those rules, manners, morals, and consequences of past times? Because I’ve lived long enough to have seen the results of today’s child rearing, and had my own experiences in post war era child rearing—I choose the latter.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, (especially if you’re young)—another lecture about the good ol’ days from that ol’ crackpot who lives in the past! I’m quite sure my grandchildren’s very words, but I know of what I speak, and this liberal idea of; do what feels good, and mama and daddy will clean up the mess left behind with their pocketbooks, belief in abortions, and their “go along to get along” attitudes to remain friends with their teens and twenties children rather than be a teacher of right and wrong, and strong disciplinarian. The rewards being thus: when these spoiled brats are adults, they will never call home unless they need something, and will be unavailable when you grow old and need them. Mark my words—this I know!

Below is a poem about my happy childhood summers:


Bring back the days
of a carefree life
with play an’ laughter,
no worry or strife.

Let me swing so high
in the old apple tree
like monkeys in the jungle
screaming with glee.

I want to chase chickens
back into their pen,
an’ ride the young heifers
‘cross our land again.

Run in the sunshine,
play in the field,
hide in the sweet corn,
eat apples—unpeeled.

Rope swing into haylofts,
ride horses on roads,
wade ponds by the dozens
searching out toads.

Play baseball in pastures—
dry cow pies for bases,
tie legs together
in gunnysack races.

Have friends ‘cross the meadow
an’ just down the way,
more joy than imagined
packed into each day.

Summers so hot,
my skin will burn red,
once again be a kid
shooed off to bed.

Swim in the ditch—
water snakes galore.
Oh, just to catch
a slithery once more.

Discover new bugs,
an’ catch honey bees,
punch holes in a jar lid
so they can still breath.

Try to smoke straw
out backa the barn,
singe off my eyebrows,
then tell a big yarn.

Be pinched hard in church
for not sitting still,
not paying attention
to learn the Lord’s will.

Have winters fantastic—
I love snow piled high.
It provides such adventures
the more just to try.

Sleigh ride ‘til midnight—
big ‘tire-burn’ fire.
More fun on the slopes
is my heart’s desire.

To be tucked into bed,
on a cold winter’s night
hide under the covers
so boogieman won’t bite.


In my sixties, does it count
to still feel so young,
in my mind, bring back childhood,
not this life on the run?

I certainly hope so—
I have fields yet to roam,
before God calls me home.

Tamara Hillman

Any and all poetry, stories, or tall tales are the exclusive property of the author
and cannot be copied or used in anyway without written permission.

315 Posts
Hope you had a great vacation and thanks for the story and poem......mike

4,485 Posts
Tamara ,like me you have seen a lot come and go.
Changes come and go ,some good and some not.
Have a good summer.

Super Moderator
8,674 Posts
Great memories here Tamara. Lived lots of summers in just this way in my youth. Miss them lots :!: :!: :!:
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