A blast from the past

Lately I have been watching streaming programs from Britbox. Many of them deal with live in the 50’s and 60’s. It has brought back so many memories.

I grew up in the time of poodle skirts, penny loafers, saddle oxfords, sweater sets, blue jeans lined with flannel and rolled up to reveal the lining, long pencil skirts and so many other things.

Films were strictly censored….there was little violence or nudity…no foul language. Life was really different. It was kinder in some ways and not in others. Anyone getting pregnant in high school had to leave and go to a different school. They were considered beyond the pale.

We wore “bobby socks” and had sock hops. Socks were worn to protect the gym floor. Proms were held in the school gymnasium and were highly decorated by the students. A king and queen were crowned. Punch was often spiked by boys wanting to show that they could.

During my college years was the era of the folk singers. The Kingston Trio, The Limlighters, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Mamas and the Papas, Joan Baez. I loved that music. Songs like Tom Dooley, Blowin in the Wind, and all the ones that came throughout the sixties. had learned folk song early in my life and absolutely loved those songs. We went to concerts in gymnasiums and sat on the floor.

In 1962 I graduated college and got married. This was the time of mini skirts, knee boots and psychedelic colors. A real change from the fifties. I saw people become “flower children” and live in communes. Birth control pills gave women the freedom to choose to have sex if they wanted and free love was the thing of the day. Women felt freed and the Women’s Liberation Era began.

Things have changed a lot since then. Some good some bad. People in general were kinder and more mannerly but women had more set roles and received less respect in the man’s world. Some people from my era have moved with the times and some not. It is a different world and interesting to live in. I would love to see the future ahead but know that I won’t. I am in the waning years but I will enjoy them fully.

Older and Wiser

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.  Anon

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We will never know what is coming next. At least I don’t want to know. Not knowing can be scary as in the quote above but knowing may be worse. Life moves ahead and what comes will change us one way or another. It is no good to stress over it.

Most of the things that I have learned from the experiences of my life have been used later for something unplanned. For me, life has taught me things that can be shared with someone or used in some way myself.

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Just like the “Ugly Duckling” what comes may be a huge surprise and who knows ….it may be wonderful. Even if it isn’t it may be useful and help us to grow. I don’t know if life has made me better (since I can’t judge me) but it has certainly made me wiser.

Memories and emotions

Where families are involved life can treacherous. Sometimes the most innocent remark can be twisted into a major conflict. I suspect this is because there is history and much emotion involved. Often the negative reaction has nothing to do with what is going on at the moment. It is rooted somewhere in the past where the emotions are stuck.

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I have never forgotten that our emotions are tied to so many things. A piece of music from our past can have us experiencing the emotions we felt at the time. These past connections can emerge at the worst moments and skew our perception of the current experience.

Many of us have been taken straight back to our past feelings by a song, a scent, a person, or a scene. We don’t realize what is happening and our responses are not appropriate to the moment. This is doubly true for those we spent a lot of time with growing up. We are creations of our environment as well as our genes.

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It takes real strength to look inside and connect with the past so that we can disconnect ourselves from it. Most of us don’t want to relive the negative things that formed out emotional responses. It make take talking with a counselor to root out those emotions and at least understand them. Hopefully doing so will allow us to reconnect with those we have turned away from. Maybe not. Some we may not want to but there can be some that can heal connections that will change our hearts.

Two worlds

The Two Worlds

 

Gonefront porch

Summer nights

Gentle breeze

Smelling grass

New mown

 

Seeking cool

Savoring twilight

Resting outside

Quiet after day

 

Life is sweet

Neighbors close

Porch swings rocking

Voices mingling

 

Time for friends

Chatting simply

No distractions

Evening settling

 

Time past

Slower, calmer

In tune

With the earth

 

Here

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Today’s time

Faster, hurried

Evening coming

Unnoticed

 

Media blaring

Phones beeping

Family each

In confined space

 

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Conversation?

On line

Can’t see

Faces

 

No listening

Mind cluttered

Little calm

New world

 

Choose!

Do I live in the same time?

impatience downloadYes, life continues to surprise and challenge. The tile is finished in the bathroom and looks great. The vanity is in (sans sinks) and now we wait for the countertop people to come and make a template. We thought that would go quickly but not so. They will be here next week and will take a week to make the countertops. Oh well. That means at least two to three more weeks until we are done. I just want to run away until it is over. Anyone for a three week cruise? Not happening since all our saving was for the bathroom.

Patience….the magic word. I knew this would take time but I didn’t expect this long. Of course the hurricane didn’t help. We lost a week.

Patience…..something I am not noted for.

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We live in a world where everything seems to happen immediately. Reaching friends and family on cell phones means we can get them FAST. If they don’t respond we are upset. If we get an illness we expect to get a medicine that will fix it NOW! We don’t do well with waiting.

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When I was young things were slower. We were less impatient over minor things and didn’t expect everything to be done immediately. We could be impatient but the timeline was much different. I think we were less stressed Sometimes I feel as if I have been transported to a world where time is sped up. Some kind of alternative universe.

 

57 years

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary. It is almost impossible to think that we have been married for so long. Where did the time go? It really doesn’t seem that long ago…and yet a lot of people have no idea what life was like in 1962.

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For me it seemed ideal although looking at it now I wonder how. My husband was a new officer just graduated from West Point and beginning some training. He was in paratrooper school and went on to ranger training. During ranger training he was gone. How in the world did I think that was ideal. I guess I was living in a bubble of newly wed happiness. I think the saving grace was having other wives going through the same thing and us becoming friends. Friends were made quickly as we all needed support. We were lucky as our husbands had known each other at West Point and that made it easier.

Our life in the service was challenging. We moved often and I was alone a good bit. Some things were wonderful…the birth of our first child…language school in Monterey…living in Panama, Central America.

 

Times were also tough with spending two different years alone with children while my husband served in Viet Nam. I don’t know how I managed the worry but I seemed to cope with the stress and loneliness. Children are wonderful companions but they don’t replace a beloved spouse.

Our last tour was a joy. My husband went to graduate school and then taught math at West Point.  It was an amazing experience.

There have been many years and many different jobs for each of us since his retirement from the military and life has been good. Our three adult children, their spouses, our six grandchildren, one great grandchild and one on the way have added great joy.

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57 years. Amazing!

For a better world

In some of my recent reading I came across an interesting fact. As a Christian I have learned about original sin….the sin that came from the mistakes of Adam and Eve. However, the history of this idea was not originally connected to Jesus. It was not know in the very early church. It was not a doctrine accepted by either the Jewish faith or Islam. It is another doctrine that was hammered out when the early church was struggling to keep some cohesiveness of ideas.

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Several communities of Christians developed ideas that others saw as heading the wrong way and tried to wipe out what they considered heresy. The struggles led to the Council of Nicea where many church fathers sat down to come to some agreement. Many doctrines of Christianity came from this meeting.

The interesting thing to me is that things we have been taught as “truth” may have a different beginning than we realized. It shows how what we learn from those around us can be colored by their viewpoint.

Reaching back into time to find the history of concepts we have learned may bring a different perspective entirely.

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Not too long ago I saw a program that had people tell about their backgrounds and explore some of the prejudices they had about those from different cultures. countries, and races. They then had their DNA tested and it was interesting to discover that many of them had DNA in common with those they thought were different from them. It was, for them, a wake-up call to re-examine what they had been taught.

Never be afraid to explore the birth of customs and ideas. We may find that their beginnings are not what we thought. If, by doing so, we could discard some of our learned prejudices we may create a better world.

 

Remember when?

A friend and I were reminiscing yesterday and I wanted to share some memories from the “ancient person.”

I remember lying in front of our fireplace and listening to the radio. Yes radio! Fun programs like “Let’s pretend, The Shadow, Fibber Magee and Molly, and many more. There was something enchanting about picturing the stories in your own mind.

I remember watching TV for the first time. Of course black and white, tiny screen.

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I remember playing outside in the twilight..Kick the Can, Hide and Seek.

milk truckI remember visiting my Aunt and seeing the horse drawn milk delivery truck. The horse knew the route and moved to the next stop while the man took the milk to the door and picked up the empty bottles to be washed and used again. She lived in what was a small town at that time.

 

I remember standing in my front yard (on a main highway) and watching convoys of military vehicles going to a nearby post. I was quite young but still remember this from WWII.

I remember hanging clothes on the line outside to dry and running to bring them in if it started to rain.

I remember, in my teens, taking a bus to Washington DC, (we lived in the suburbs) and visiting the museums and Smithsonian. Taking the bus home and being perfectly safe.

I remember watching the McCarthy hearings and being upset that people could be treated that way.

It was a different view of the world.