Nobody enjoys recalling the good old days with family and friends any more than me. Most of us agree that they were better, simpler times, when youth was still on our side, every day was an adventure, and we were yet to trade socializing in person for technology’s electronic version. Everything has a price, for sure.
We relive those days of yore in our minds and conversations, and though we can’t actually go back in time to experience them in person, what’s stopping us from reliving them as much as possible, literally? Want to go back?
What’s keeping you from playing “One potato, two potato” when you’re trying to decide something through the process of elimination with friends? Or think about this — is there anyone preventing you from making a bowl of chocolate pudding, eating it all yourself, and then licking it off the mixer beaters?
How long since you’ve went fishing? You may be old enough by now to not even need a license, so it may be time to dust off your tacklebox and rod, and go wet a plug. Or take your cane pole and drown some worms. Who knows — you may come up with enough for a “mess” for supper.
When is the last time you used chalk to draw a hopscotch board on the sidewalk or driveway, and played with friends? I do believe I think I still have a few hops left in me, and could pull it off. If that’s too physical for you these days, find a buddy and play a card game like “Go Fish.” Or even “War” if you have a long time. Who has an old checkerboard and checkers in the closet that needs dusting off?
Many these days are passing time with adult coloring books. Remember coloring side by side with a friend, and how anybody who had one of those boxes of 64 Crayola Crayons with the sharpener in the back must’ve been wealthy? That’s still good therapy, and whose to say that you can’t color outside the lines if you want?
Next time you’re working outside, get a cool drink of water from the hose and relive how that felt and tasted. Don’t forget to let it run for a minute, to get the warm water out of the way. That will quench your thirst, as well as the want for a taste of yesteryear.
Get that bottle of Elmer’s Glue from your junk drawer and squirt some in your palm to smear all over your hands. Give it a couple of minutes to dry, and then peel it off slowly. Remember how fun that was, and how cool it felt? Avoid the Gorilla Glue, like that gal on the internet did when she coated her hair with it. We did crazy stuff back in the day, but not that crazy!
If you still have one of those box fans that we used to place in the window (before days of air conditioning), use a monotone voice to speak into the back of it while it’s running and recreate the robot voice you used to enjoy speaking with. Trap some air in your armpit with your cupped hand and pump your arm to make those dreadful noises we used to delight in. I bet you’d forgotten about doing that, right?
Stay in your pajamas all day and pretend you’ve got chicken pox. Go barefoot outside. Look for shapes in the clouds. Draw a ring in the dirt outside and show your grandchildren how to play marbles. There’s no end to what memories you can recreate if you want to.
Then at the end of the day, visit a cemetery where family and friends are buried, and walk from one to the other, remembering and thanking them for being part of the childhood that you wouldn’t trade for anyone else’s in the world.
Just last week I turned a biscuit on its side, wallowed a hole in it with my finger, dabbed some butter into it, and then poured it full of syrup, just like my daddy taught me to when I was little. And I remembered him telling me that he did that often while growing up, wrapped it in a handkerchief and carried it to school for the only lunch he could afford. I tasted a memory that evening, and it truly was the best part of my supper.