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A Time All But Forgotten

Hello Faithful Reader,

I hope this month's edition of the Black Bird's Eye View finds you well and in good Spirits. I am well. There is an interesting energy in the air. This month I intentionally planned on writing whatever came to mind. I have been reflecting this morning. I am reflecting on a time that is all but forgotten.

  • There was once a time when we did not need everything big. What made a home beautiful wasn't how big it is. It was about the love in it. People loved to work in their yards, and they took pride in it. When I was growing up, I do not know one family that hired a landscaping company to cut their grass and maintain their lawn. We liked working in the yard. As a child, I remember cutting the grass. I loved the smell of fresh-cut grass. It was a natural thing to do.

  • There was a time we were not obsessed with name brands. You had some kids that dress real nice and others that were more basic. The child that got teased smelled bad or was dirty or had on old clothes that is not the right thing to do), but they were not teased because of the brand of their jeans. There was a time when people owned sewing machines, and it is the norm to create a garment. I think what the world views as fashion came to Chocowinity North Carolina late because the way people are now about name brands is unnatural.

  • There was a time when there was not a restaurant for everything imaginable. People cooked and ate as a family at the table in the dining room.

  • There was a time when we were not concerned if the restaurants closed because we ate what was prepared at home with our family.

  • There was a time when there was not a store on every corner. People had gardens and farms and animals. The store had the basics.

  • There was a time when people ate fresh fruit and vegetables that grew in the fields and trees. There was not a concern about the chemicals they grew in. There was a time when the colors and the flavors of the fruit and vegetables were more vibrant than they are now. Tomatoes were red, and watermelons had a bunch of seeds, and cucumbers were prickly. To me, nothing looks or tastes the same.

  • There was once a time when television did not have hundreds of channels. There was no such thing as on-demand or cable. You watched whatever was on TV. People were not slaves to a tv screen. The media was less effective. Children played board games, read books, and used their imagination. Children were not obsessed with video games. They played outside, "red light green light …mother, may I?" Children invented games and got dirty playing hard outside relay races and hide and seek. Children played outside without the fear of being kidnapped. I can appreciate all the gear that comes with buying a bicycle these days, but children just got on the bike and rode in my day. If they fell, they got back up and shook it off and rode some more. It was natural to get fresh air and exercise. The norm now seems to be that parents do not want their children to get dirty.

  • A thing I notice is that nowadays children stay up late. When I was a child, I went to sleep at the same time every night. There was a routine that only got broken when something special was going on. Nowadays, you can call a friend at 11:30 at night and not be surprised to hear children in the background. Sleep was a part of a health routine growing up. Parents felt that sleep was needed for the child to perform at his or her best. If you think back real hard, there was a time when children did not get sick as they do now. I made the perfect attendance every year except one. I do not remember taking any medicine other than cod liver oil and something called 666 in a spoon. I do not remember ever taking antibiotics. Nowadays, it seems that young people are on as much prescription medication as older ailing people are.

  • There was once a time when the phone was attached to the wall, and if you missed a call, you missed a call. This was before cordless phones got big. You could not take the phone outside or to the store. The phone could not take it anywhere because it was attached to a wall.

  • There was once a time when you could be in a public setting, and everyone's eyes were not glued to their phone texting or surfing the internet. People went on outings to talk and entertain each other. There was no such thing as "taking a selfie." People did not plan to do stuff to post it on Instagram or Facebook. Everybody did not know everybody's business. There was no catfishing. People dealt face to face.

  • There was once a time when hard work was a given. Children did not expect a handout, hook-up, or instant gratification. There was an expectation of excellence or the best you could do. The feeling of entitlement that I see in a lot of youth today was nonexistent. Children did not talk back, and adults did not negotiate with children. There was a reverence towards adults. Parents were not trying to be "friends" with their children. They understood their role as the parent. A child could not talk back or slam doors. It was not happening in any homes that I knew of. Children were children, and adults were adults. There was once a time when elders were elders and told stories and tales while children listened.

  • There was a time when the village raised the child. The child knew that someone was always watching. Nowadays, parents catch an attitude if you correct their child. They catch an attitude if you say anything that questions their parenting skills. The new norm is to "mind your business and don't worry about this over here."

  • There was once a time when it was natural for a man to open the door for a woman. Nowadays the man may be met with a frown for displaying chivalry, as some women view it as flirtation.

I recognize that there are exceptions and that many people practice the old ways of doing things and have not gravitated to this quick pace lifestyle that the masses have adopted. The reality is that children born today inherit technology, and it is their norm. It is not unusual for a toddler running around with a tablet or some form of electronic. Many children learn to use a laptop or tablet before they learn to communicate with words. Many parents say that the tablet helps the child learn. That may be all true and well, but children have been living and learning without the extra bells and whistles for as far back as I can remember.

Until next time



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