My friend Jennifer and I went to an antiques mall this week, and it's always a little disheartening to see things *I* remember from my childhood in the '70's and 80's displayed as "vintage" pieces. C'mon!? Eight tracks...those aren't...well, OK, those are kinda old. But, surely, macrame purses with wooden handles. I mean those can't be more than...all right, you've got a point. Oh, but what about these Smurf figurines, and these Fisher Price sets? (Boy, they do look pretty grungy.)
All right, all right, so I'm something of an antique now. And while the accoutrements of the 70's and 80's are looking very dated and, face it, ugly, I do have some wonderful memories of those times, especially the summers...just not the bell bottoms and feathered bangs.
1. Summer weekends at my cousin's lake place on Lake Lizzie, where I wore my bikini for days, ate sour granny smith apples and red Twizzlers, skipped rocks on the water, and caught sunnies off the dock.
2. Driving through Lindenwood Park with my parents on a Sunday afternoon, watching the stinky, skinny hippies play frisbee in their tight jeans with their car radios blaring hard rock songs from Q98.
3. The joy, the utter and complete joy of Saturday morning cartoons.
4. Trips to the candy aisle of Stop-N-Go on Sundays, where we got to pick out three pieces of candy as our treat for the week. Until my brother got six cavities. Then no more candy (thanks a lot, Pete!)
5. Backyard games with friends like kickball, Green Ghost, Whiffle Ball, Slip-N-Slide, Jarts (aka Lawn Darts), and a game we made up called "Museum," which involved spinning the participants and buying statues.
6. The smell of a blow-up vinyl pool and hose water on a hot July afternoon.
7. Popsicles that you have to break in half before unwrapping (and trying to see through the wrappers to make sure I got grape or cherry, and not orange.)
8. Sitting on the front lawn reading with our dog, Kasha (a part chow/part Small Colllie who was very cute, but a bit of a loner and a biter.)
9. Riding our bikes EVERYWHERE.
10. Fishing for golf balls after dark at Prairiewood Golf Course, just two blocks from our house. We'd go over in shorts with an ice cream pail at about 9 o'clock and feel around in the shallow end of the pond on hole nine with our feet. The best was finding an orange or a yellow ball. Once I found one that was half pink and half yellow.
The picture above is one my dad took in 1975 of my brother Pete and I (before he got all those fillings.) He told us to look up at him and pretend we were little birds waiting to be fed. Maybe this is how he saw us back then, when we were all young and had little money but a lot of love. Mouths waiting to be fed. But I hope he saw two fabulous future adults who were very happy and well cared for.