Remem-bering the past – and knowing our future might be a result of that past – is a wonderful way to spend those hours when you have nothing else to do.
When I write about my parents and grandparents, I do it from deep within my heart. I remember the little things, like Mom making bunches of flowers using crepe paper and a pair of scissors, and Dad trying to get some rest after working a double at the mill.
Dad very seldom slept more than a few hours because there was always something needing fixed and he was the only one who knew how to do it. When he had the time, he showed us how to do those things. But we didn’t learn too fast, and he had to finish up after he got home. Mom was always finding something to do, like cleaning house, ironing the clothes and talking to her friends over the picket fence.
In time, we kids learned how to keep the house clean and the outside chores, such as bringing in the coal and wood for the cooking and heating stoves. And there were always ashes to clean out of the bottom of those two stoves so that the fire could breathe better and keep the warm heat going.
We had lots of time left after homework was finished, and we used that time listening to the radio and our favorite shows. We would sit around the radio and look right at it like we were actually seeing what was going on. The Friday night fights were a favorite for Dad, and we boys listened to “The Lone Ranger,” “The Great Gildersleve,” “The Green Hornet” and Arthur Godfrey, among other great shows. On the floor, with Dad sitting right by the radio, we enjoyed the togetherness that all families should have.
In today’s world there are several televisions in the home and the family in different rooms, just so they can watch their favorite programs. Yes, we here in our home are like that, as we have different tastes in programs.
People don’t go on picnics anymore, as they seem to always stop at a drive-thru to get food for dinner and supper. Not too many homes have that special time like supper time, where all are home sitting down to a great meal cooked by that wonderful lady we all call Mom. And how many times have all in the family took just enough time to help Mom with the housecleaning?
It seems that everyone is just too busy to pick up anything. They act like they don’t see what should be picked up. Leave it for the next one who walks by. Yes, folks, we all are guilty of doing that.
When did we start doing these things that are contrary to what we used to do to help out, or just clean up our own messes? Have we changed that much, or is it our attitude that has changed? Our priorities have taken a different turn in our everyday lives.
We block out the past, live only in the present and we don’t worry about our futures. Will we pass this on to our grandchildren? I hope not, as our grandparents and parents are the ones who gave us the know-how of getting off to a good start in life. They maintained that watchful eye on us as we matured into what we are now. Thanks to them, we learned how to take care of ourselves later on in life and how to bring up our children so that they were able to get by.
All those little hugs and nighttime kisses went a long way in making us the lovable group we are now. I would say from deep in my heart that in the days of old, we were very fortunate to have been born in a family where love was an everyday experience that gives and gives every day for the rest of our lives.
• Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at email@example.com.