I miss this too — it is called grass sledding? Tom, Tracy (in diapers?) and Mike. Not sure what is going on but we sure are cute. Love the buzz cuts.
- Inviting neighbors over to share our homemade ice cream churned by hand – I remember my job was to sit on top of the churn when it was hard to turn so my dad got good leverage on it to finish it off. My rear end would burn from the cold of the ice and salt combo. The ice cream was made from cream we had purchased directly from a local dairy. Yummy.
- Writing letters to family members and friends with lots of details and illustrations and in our own handwriting – I miss seeing handwriting and their creative expression and the secrets they reveal. Remember when you first dotted an “i” with an open circle or heart? Remember how PERFECT your Mom’s script was or is?
- Scavenger Hunts – we would knock on stranger’s doors and ask them for random items like a piece of gum, a straight pin or a book of matches to complete our required list and then all race towards home on foot to win the game. Nearly everyone in the community was willing to help out in the hunt.
- Halloween Night when we would knock on any door (even Mrs. Sprigg’s house) to trick-or-treat without the fear of poison or evil-doers. Remember getting home-made treats from neighbors like popcorn balls and caramel apples?
- Playing Bridge – my parents played this game usually when my grandparents came for an extended visit. I learned it from my former business partner in my 30’s and it is a game that you never really master. I loved the rituals of the game, the partnership, the bidding and the snacks! I have an old musty bridge book and little pencil that makes me happy whenever I stumble onto it in the cupboard. When she moved away, we stopped playing because we would not find another partner as perfect as her.
- More front porches – I live in a neighborhood with a lot of front porches but they are in decline in many communities replaced by gates, back driveway entrances and expansive outdoor kitchens and decks. These are nice but I love seeing more people in their front yards and porches so I can yell “Good evening”, “hot enough?” and “Did you hear about…” when I take my evening stroll.
- Fireworks. I loved launching bottle rockets with red hot punks, setting snakes on fire and running around like a crazed child with my beloved sparkler. When you live in the city these activities are verboten and dangerous but I still hanker for it every 4th of July. Of course, one of us Hauck kids always got injured this time of year as Main Street turned into a war zone for independence.
- Playing in non-chlorinated water – either in the gutter after a rain, in the tiny Medicine River muddy with the local red dirt or private ponds or springs. We swam with the fishes, the snakes and all of nature’s critters. We swam and splashed wherever we could slip our way onto a property. We swam sometimes in our street clothes or sometimes in our birthday suits. No one thought anything about it because it was so darn fun. Today, we worry the water is too dirty or someone will get hurt and there will be a lawsuit. In Texas, you are likely to get shot trying these tricks since we love to fire our guns so much.
- Sharing perennial plants and flowers with our neighbors, friends and strangers. My parents rarely bought plants from a commercial nursery. They would offer to help a neighbor prune a garden and then if there happened to be an overabundance of lilies, iris or other prolific plantings they simply dug them up, put them in a brown sack or in a wheelbarrow and brought them back to our house for planting. They remembered where they had picked up each plant and always updated the donor of the status of the transplant. These updates usually occurred at church in the fellowship hall.
- When “calling on friends” actually meant stopping by for a personal visit in our private homes for a cup of coffee, some cookies or other special treat. These visits often happened unannounced and homes were always stocked in anticipation of a couple of visits a week. If you called on a friend, it was expected that you returned the invitation at least once. My parents were great at hosting friends, workmates, neighbors and new residents in our home. My mother always took a small token of appreciation to the host and I still carry on this tradition in her memory.
Do you have activities that you miss doing like me?