Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tender Years: Zoo, never been to one.




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson



Peeling back the layers.



So, I am cheating a little today.  I have never visited a real, full zoo in my life.  I did go to Astroworld in Houston quite a few times growing up.  And they did have a small petting zoo inside there.  We never loaded into the car and went on any rambling vacation staying in motels, either.  We went to visit relatives when we took to the road, and if we stayed over night, we stayed with them.

Ninety percent of our meals were cooked at home by Mama.  Both Daddy's lunch and mine were made each morning, by Mama.  Occasionally, Daddy would take us all out to eat.  Sometimes family or friends had us over for a meal.

We took real "Sunday" drives on many Sundays after church and lunch.  We'd take off and go down any road that caught Daddy's attention, stopping in at anyone's house we passed that we knew, to visit a minute, have a cup of coffee.

For fun, we'd sometimes go see a movie, do something at or with the church, have family or friends over, go swimming or have a picnic.

Mama and Daddy almost always tried to have me in the bed by 9pm, and they would stay up long enough to finish the news at 10 most nights.  Mama always got up first, made coffee, fixed breakfast, and put those lunches together.  She got Daddy off and out the door and then would get me up, if it were a school morning.

Life was simple and uncomplicated.  There were three TV channels and if nothing was on you wanted to see, you turned it off and did something else.  Read, talked, played a game.  There were enough conveniences to make life easier, but no devices to drive our lives and obsessed us.  People and conversation mattered the most of all.

I thank God I had the childhood I did, when I did, and I am very grateful that I was able to give my son and daughter a very similar childhood. even on the heels of innovation and technology.

Was yours a simple childhood?

Please share your thoughts with me!

Barbara


36 comments:

  1. How interesting not to have seen a zoo! But then I was lucky in living in San Diego area with the San Diego Zoo and in my youth kids up to age 15 got in free with a parent, so it was a "cheap" thing for my mom to do. She could take the three of us children and only pay for herself and with us bringing our on lunch and snacks, a fun time with little expense.

    My childhood was complicated by the fact my mom was a widow at such a young age with three young children. Her anxiety and stress I came to inherit although God was always so faithful to take care of us all. Somewhere in my early teens I realized she needed to be taken care of so I took a lot of responsibility upon myself that I probably shouldn't have, but she welcomed it. In turn, when raising my kids I let them be kids perhaps longer than they should have been.

    You had a good theme for the challenge! I didn't read them all, but the ones I did I enjoyed.

    Congrats on finishing!

    betty

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    1. I'm sure you were a blessing to your mom at a time when she really needed it. That is an honor and a privilege. I know after Daddy died when I was in high school, Mama turned to me to be her "other half" in decision making.
      I'm glad you enjoyed your time here. The only bad thing about the challenge is too much good material to read and only so much time to do it! ;)

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  2. i think my boys never had the type of fun that we had as kids, with little technology and complications around.

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    1. I'm sure they had their own brand. Yet, I think it is a shame that more and more children don't get to enjoy the simplicity of just being a kid with an imagination.

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  3. I can't imagine not going to a zoo. I went several times as field trips in schools. Simple and uncomplicated are great things.

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    1. I'm not sure why we never went to a zoo. I suppose I just never had or expressed any interest in it.

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  4. We have a lot of the same childhood experiences. (I was born in 1956.)

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    1. Ah, four years older than I. Yes, I suppose that leaves us with a lot of memories in common or very similar.

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  5. I never saw a zoo either, as a child. And we never went on a vacation, not even to visit relatives. Too poor!! I very much enjoyed your A to Z. Congratulations on the finish!!

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    1. Thank you, Paula. All of our relatives lived within a days drive of us, so all it took was gas money and gas was cheap then.

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  6. I think you should visit a zoo sometime. It's cool to see all the different animals, usually animals you will never see any place else. I've had fun visiting your blog this month. Great thoughts and insights.

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    1. I've seen dolphins, whales and all types of sea life at Sea World in Galveston. I've road an elephant. I've seen big cats at the circus. I've seen a monkey or two at peoples homes. Who knows, maybe I'll go to one with a grandchild?! ;)

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  7. That's interesting that you've never been to a zoo. I've been to multiple zoos in Arizona and 3 in Oklahoma. My family likes animals a lot! These are great memories of a simpler time. I'm glad I spent a lot of time outside as a child- just me, my brother, and my imagination, and some friends every once in while. I wish I could have visited your wonderful A to Z theme more often, I may have to casually peruse through your lovely memories over the summer :)

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    1. Sounds like you have been blessed with some wonderful memories! I'm glad you've enjoyed your time here!

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  8. We live close to the San Francisco Zoo so I have been many times. It amazes me that some people have never been, but then again, living so close to the Pacific Ocean, it amazes me that some people have never seen the ocean either. Yes, I had a simple childhood and I loved every minute of it! Thanks for sharing your insights during the challenge. I've found a few new blogs to follow, yours is one!

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    1. I think proximity had a lot to do with us never going to the zoo. But, then, like you said, many times people ignore what is basically in their own back yards! I'm glad you have enjoyed this blog!

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  9. I could talk for hours on this subject with the way me and my siblings grew up. There were so many things we never got to do either. One incident I will say, Daddy took us all for an ice cream cone for a special treat. (very rarely) There were seven of us siblings. We all went in for our one scoop at the Dairy Queen and then sat down on the curb by each other next to our pink station wagon and ate our special treat. My guess is why we sat there is because our parents didn't want the mess in the car.

    I have enjoyed your A-Z Challenge and will continue to stop by from time to time.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

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    1. The number of children probably limited how much your parents could do at any given time. Yet, your Dad, found a way to make a simple treat a special memory. I do want us to stay in touch!

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  10. My time spent at my grandma's house was much simpler than at my Mom and Dad's house...and even that was RELATIVELY simpler than today.

    But I did love a zoo...

    You completed the A-to-Z! Congrats, my friend!

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    1. There have been times I felt my life was a zoo! LOL I's nice you got to spend good times with your grand parents. I've loved the AtoZ, but am glad it is over.

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  11. You are right. Life was so uncomplicated before. I cant seem to give my children what I had. But I sure try to reduce gadget usage and get them to read a lot more.
    Again, very nice theme. Childhood is something we all miss.
    #AtoZChallenge - Z is for Zzzzz

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    1. Thank you, Seena! I'm glad you enjoyed your time here. I think always and forever, to feel loved, cared for and secure is the most important thing for any child, no matter what the time, or the lifestyle. I think yours will do fine.

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  12. In some ways, my childhood was simple. We played outside, chased lightning bugs, was the Koolaid house for the neighborhood, Blue Birds, baseball, all the good stuff. All four of my grandparents lived nearby, so I saw them very often. The same with the cousins, with a few exceptions (some lived in VA and others in WA).

    But, alcoholism and domestic violence complicated matters. We never knew from one minute to the next where we would be spending the weekend (me, my twin brothers, and our little sister) or, if when Daddy left the house, if he was coming back or not. Love and hurt grew to be intertwined in our lives.

    Still, we had freedoms back then that our own children were not able to experience in their own childhood. I wish that they could have had the good parts of my childhood, but this is a different world and we're in a completely different area, one not as safe as the area where I grew up. And, sometimes doing the right thing pays one back with more heartache (a very, very long story). Because of this, there was a constant threat of kidnapping. Well, sorry to get onto that note.

    I want to say that I have really, really enjoyed your posts in this challenge and plan to be a regular visitor to your blog. What a great theme you had! Are you going to print these posts into a book for your own children? I think that would be a great thing to do!

    Have a blessed weekend. :)

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    1. It's a beautiful blessing that you can look back to your childhood and see the good and happy things about it. Too many grow up and focus only on the bad things, becoming bitter and resentful. Every life, and every child suffers some kind of pain, some disappointment, some loss. I'm so glad you have enjoyed these posts and I'm thrilled we have gotten to know each other better. Right now, my children just say yeah, Mama, you told me that, remember? LOL

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    2. Even with all the bad, and regardless of how he treated my mama, I knew that Daddy loved me, and I was able to forgive him a long time ago.

      I sure hope you're going to print these memories for them anyway. I know I would have to. I'm already mega forgetful. Right now it might just seem to be repetitive stuff to them, but some day they will treasure having these memories in your own words. Record them, too, so they have them in your own voice. Wouldn't that be great, knowing that some day your grands/great-grands, etc. know the sound of your voice? We need to give to our children what it is too late for us to have ourselves...the answers to questions...before they can no longer get the answers because we aren't here to give them.

      Easier said than done, I know. :)

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    3. I'm so glad to know you got to experience the closure of forgiveness! For without forgiveness there is no closure. As to your suggestions for my posts, that is food for thought. I may take the lazy, easy way out and simply download and save them to some medium. ;)

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  13. Simple? I don't know. I think we all think our childhoods were simpler times. I did, however, get to go to real zoos as a child. We had relatives in San Diego, so we went to the San Diego Zoo a couple times when I was a kid. It was fun.

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    1. That's two votes for the San Diego Zoo I've gotten! You have a good point, Liz. Perhaps more than anything, the fact that childhood is remembered as a simpler time comes from the fact that we are shielded from many responsibilities and problems when we are children.

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  14. I think we've commented before on rather similar childhoods despite you in TX and me in PA. We did visit zoos - my dad loved reading every informational sign. Here - Ray and I have been to the Dallas and Ft.Worth zoos - really nice animal habitats.

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    1. Well, there you sit close to the Metroplex, of course you have!

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  15. Growing up as a child of the fifties was very simple - played outside, got dirty, drank tap water, hated sprouts, had loads a fun!!! No computers or phones! Not even a house phone. No snacking between meals. Eat or go hungry, was the motto then. Wouldn't change any of it... And yes, went to the local zoo with the school.
    Http://cazgreenham.blogspot.com
    @CazsBoojs
    #a2z

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Caz! Sounds like a great childhood! Thanks for sharing.

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  16. "Zoo" is usually the first word that comes to mind for Z, since I typically write about cities I've lived in... but I really don't like zoos! I do remember taking several trips to the Brookfield Zoo (in Chicago) growing up, and like all kids, I enjoyed seeing all the different wild animals. But once you're an adult, and start to realize that those animals don't belong in cages, zoos start to seem quite cruel. It's funny, though, because I don't feel the same way about aquariums (unless they also house mammals like orcas or seals/sea lions). Maybe it's because folks say fish don't have feelings?

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    1. I think that's probably why my parent's never suggested it and why I never asked to go! I'd much rather see all the diverse wildlife around my home free and wild.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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