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#275: Longing For Times Past

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Problems require wisdom, and wisdom requires perspective. Other people provide that perspective." -- Bill Russell

* * * * *

One thing I greatly miss now that I am the oldest in the family is spending time with my dad or uncles or aunts or grandparents. We grew up in a different era when the pace of living was slower and there was more emphasis on family connections.

Whether it was rocking on the porch, sitting in the kitchen talking over a cup of coffee, sharing time in a boat on a lake or making home-made ice cream, the times then are precious ones I will not forget.

Now, there is no one older to ask advice from when there is a problem. When I try to describe the feelings of family back then to my young nephews and niece, they look at me as if I were describing meeting aliens. They do not understand what those times were like. My brother, who is 20 years younger, has no ties to or memories of people who had passed on before he was born.

Remember when neighbors were asked to come for a visit and play cards or have dinner then relax on the porch or in the living room and just talk? Or when the pastor was invited to dinner and our best manners came alive?

Much of what we learn comes from observation. But a great amount of our knowledge comes from conversation, a sharing of memories and experiences. I miss those times and I miss having the wisdom of my elders readily available.

Life today is different. I know things are constantly changing but often I wish for the slower pace of years past, when relatives related stories of their lives while the youngsters listened attentively with awe as we realized they had been real people with problems like those we were facing.

Yes, life today is different. But is it better? Sure, modern conveniences have improved our living and working conditions, but along the way have we lost the sense of family and camaraderie we enjoyed in the past?

And, once lost, can it ever be recaptured?
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  • no profile photo CD5002230
    Andy Griffith take me away.
    3986 days ago
    When I was growing up we set down and ate supper together as a family. I am not sure today how many families still do that. My Grandmother lived with us not in a Nursing Home and I am glad she did - I learned a lot of important life lessons from my Grandmother. Joy
    3986 days ago
    I went through a period last summer when I found myself almost "grieving" for how things used to be. I felt such a feeling of lose and filled with such sadness. I know things in my life will never be like the memories I have.

    Judging from my grown children, this generation is loosing the desire to be together as families. It just doesn't seem to be important to them. They are too busy doing their own thing. For any of you out there that haven't experienced that, well, you're lucky. I remember it used to be, Mom said we are all getting together on a certain day for whatever function,and you know what? We were all there, no question. Now, I get a list of excuses as long as my arm and if they do come, I'm stuck doing all the work in the kitchen by myself. It's like they don't know how (or want) to pitch in. Just isn't like it used to be.

    I've decided for me, I need to keep making my own memories of things and times that are important to me . . . and really "live" in each moment, and make them good ones right now. Seem to work for me.
    3987 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/1/2010 9:49:26 PM
    I want to say something positive here...

    Were bygone times really simpler? I'm sure they were in many ways.
    You are right about the communication between, family, friends and neighbors. People did take the time. This certainly has changed, but you don't necessarily have to go with the flow.

    I know plenty of families here who still practice this very valuable skill. Even though I have to admit that it takes a lot more effort to get this accomplished in these times. And yes, I do think this can be recaptured as well.

    Keep telling your nephews and nieces about the good old times, even if they look at you like you're from Mars. They'll listen.

    I know what you mean though about being the one that's looked upon for wisdom and not having anybody really that you can look to. It's a bit lonely.

    PMA - remember the good old times but live in the present. It might be much different but the present, too, has much to offer.

    Here's to celebrating life ongoing...
    3987 days ago
    Lou, wonderful memories of long ago last forever. I remember going to my aunt's house for Christmas Eve and all the cousins came and slept on the floor. Parent brought food and we had so much and opened presents.

    I remember Christmas Eve at my house when my mother cooked fish and my aunt spinach pizza. I remember opening my carriage and doll.

    I don't know if you remember putting your milk out in the snow because there were no iceboxs? Do you remember putting a sign out for coal and ice? How about drying mittens in the oven? Did you ever have to carry oil up the stairs for the stove? We were the last ones on the street to get a tv.

    Life was so different then. Both my parents had to work and I came home to an empty house to do my chores. I think I would like to go backwards, maybe for a little while, and enjoy all those things again. Some kids today have everything in the store and don't know what it is to be poor, while others have nothing. It seems such a shame. Times before people in small towns use to help each other and store keepers let the bill hang, today they want it the day it comes in.
    3987 days ago
    I completely agree. When I purchased my own house in '94, I made certain it had a front porch for this very reason. It was so hard to find houses being made with porches you could sit on. I LOVE my porch. If I didn't have it, I wouldn't know my neighbors.

    Terrific post!
    3987 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    I so much agree with you, Lou. I remember and miss those times right along with you! Thanks for such pleasant reminders!
    3987 days ago
    You must have had a wonderful life with your family. G-d has blessed you.
    3987 days ago
    I so understand and agree. Today's young people are being robbed of SO many riches.
    3987 days ago
    What a wonderful blog. You are right; those shared times were so valuable.

    I definitely know how you feel . . . former counselors have gone on to God. I also miss their faithful prayers on my behalf!

    One of my own prayers these days is that I will be alert to an effective pathway to establish connections with younger people which will be beneficial to them in the same way older people blessed me in days gone by! The format may look different, but God can work in each generation.

    Just as an encouragement to you, a tiny example is that I read inspiring web pages by elderly persons who are uplifting to me. Some younger people have read blogs and websites I have worked on. I have such a fondness for the front porch and couch-side personal chats, but perhaps today we will have to be resourceful and find a way for electronic bonds to be more satisfactory.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3987 days ago
    Oh Lou; you have triggered some wonderful memories with this blog! I can remember being a little girl, spending a week with my grandparents on their farm every summer. My grandmother's brother live just two miles away, so they would often go there to play cards together. I was allowed to take a bag with grandmas coloring books and crayons, and a couple of other special toys. When I got sleepy, they laid me on the couch and continued playing until time to go home. When the whole family gathered, we used to spend time playing games as a family...all of us...grandparents, kids, aunts, uncles, parents; how I long for those wonderful times! Life has gotten so fast paced and high tech; wouldn't it be wonderful to recapture the days of long ago?

    Thank you for this!
    3987 days ago
    You and my husband, Lou, speak the same language on this subject. We, too, miss the generations before us! I am so blessed to have gotten to know his grandparents when they were alive, and to listen to their stories. We miss them... a LOT. emoticon
    3987 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    Unfortunately, I doubt we will ever recapture it. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Times sure have changed and I doubt for the better. I remember all the things you speak of. I'm 64 so it's just a different generation. Today's generation is the "ME" generation and it's not a pretty site.

    I long for the simpler, more quiet times and memories. I'm the matriarch in my family so I understand what you are saying.

    Wish it would change, but that's probably not an option.

    Thanks for the reminder of simpler times

    3988 days ago
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