Nostalgia

Just there to make us depressed?

As you know, I’m not a great lover of modern kids. Or, for the most part, of kids. In all probability, I was not a good mother because I never mollycoddled my kids. I suppose they blame me for not making sure they have well prepared and well thought out packed lunches, or home cooked meals, starched linen and towels that reminded them of home…

That being said.

This is not a lament of what a bad mother I may or may not have been.

This is about the things I remember growing up with that most kids of today don’t even have an inkling of. And, as great as technology may be, it has hampered kids of today in many instances.

Theo and myself were talking about getting old – I was invited to a fiftieth birthday party and that made me realise that I have 4 birthdays left including this year, before I, too, turn the half-century!

His sage answer to this remark was “Nah. We’re not getting old, we’re just getting more experienced and wiser” Sure. And old 😉

But he reminded me of all the things we did as kids growing up. The long distances we would cover either on our bicycles or on foot. The food we ate – invariably home-cooked – we did not do the fast food thing as often then as we do now.

We’d spend more time outside than inside. Garage parties. Two week long camps with the school, learning all manner of things, remembering not much but the experience. I can still remember waking up at night, in my sleeping bag, shivering with cold. Did I die? Not quite. The whole experience was better than one night of sleeping cold.

Listening to Casey Kasim on 702 every Sunday. Taping Human League and Adam Ant and Olivia Newton John – getting all uptight when the family would talk while I was taping!!

Holidays spent on the farm, we would sit with the Grand mom, listening to Radio drama’s. Helping my uncle milk the cows. Playing in the abandoned pig sties. Hey – they were empty at the time and made a perfect spot to play house-house in!!

When I was cleaning out my boxes last week, I came across a whole bunch of letters written to me by various people over the years. Something so much more satisfying in unfolding a letter, smelling the old paper, seeing the hand writing, than  in opening an e mail, don’t you think? Reading the words, in that person’s hand, knowing they took the time and effort to pen this, just for you. I have a card given me by my dude, the Yank. It’s in my Bible, and I take it out ever so often, and reminisce. It gives me better memories than any of the e mails he ever sent me. And that is the power of the written word.

It literally transports you to a time and place when you were younger. Less damaged. More optimistic. A different time. A different place.

We remember typewriters. Bicycles that had brakes you had to step on instead of pull with your hands. Drive-in theatres and road houses.

When a Saturday afternoon was not spent in front of the TV watching some mindless sport, but spent in Johannesburg – at the JHB library, inhaling the reverence of the library. Watching the water pour over the little gazelles in Joubert park. Alas. Those things are no more. The gazelles have been demolished by vandals, the copper sold for whatever they could get for it. The library – it might still exist, but not as I once knew it.

And on that note, I’m readying the topic for my next blog. The New South Africa.

My little trip down memory lane was not as broad as it could have been – doing the blog at work does have it’s draw backs, but i hope you can see some of the things I saw while i was thinking of the many things we used to do and experience when we were young. And if it’s a bit disjointed, bear with me. It’s been a while since I typed up anything longer than a 3 line e mail!!!

Until next we meet, long days and pleasant nights…

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9 comments on “Nostalgia

  1. I may be considered a young one but I’ve actually done quite a few things that you’ve mentioned. It’s a shame that kids nowadays don’t get to really experience that

  2. You’re right. |We learned all manner of jobs because we had chores and friends and talked and moved. Today’s kids sit. Will they grow fat by 25? Will their thumbs seize up? If their ‘toys’ can’t be recharged for whatever reason, will they know how to add or subtract? And on and on.

  3. Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end
    We’d sing and dance, forever and a day……………..
    Ja I often lament that the times have also not allowed our children the freedom we used to have……………..

  4. So true. i miss the days spent on the farm, no electricity (but a generator) so entertainment was up to you … building pony jumps in between the orchard trees and making the long suffering dogs jump over them again and again….
    And yes, hand-written letters. I have a collection of ones that i have kept for over 20 years and every now and again take them out and read them … i miss writing letters to people … xxx

  5. Um, when did I last receive a letter or write one? The shame of it. When I was young (how often do I find myself saying those four words these days?) I used to have a lovely zip-up pigskin writing case containing a pad of Basildon Bond paper and matching envelopes, plus my Parker fountain pen and some postage stamps.

  6. Joubert Park used to be so lovely, and we spent many happy hours there with our little daughter. I remember the wonderful Christmas decorations they used to have. It’s such a shame how everything has been so spoilt, and that children can no longer, ride their bikes to school or play outside in safety. As for sending letters; how can they be delivered when the Post Office is always on strike? 😦

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