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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I’m thinking of Simpler Times

Well, good morning! Now we get down to it. I woke up this morning thinking, "What will I write about today?" With that question in mind my eyes and ears are open more than I can remember in a long time. I woke to the bugle sound wafting from the camp down the road—which immediately took me back to my childhood. The sun is shining; it is summertime and the next thing I hear are the birds chirping outside the window. Ahhhhh…

I rise to meet the day and start to think of how things used to be—and then I think, "Ugh! Isn't this what old people do?! Remember 'how it used to be…in simpler times'?" Uh oh. Oh, what the heck, I'm giving in….

I remember getting up in the morning and the choices for the day were few but friendly. Play with the neighbor kids, run through the sprinkler, maybe get lucky and someone will be home to play in the small, but adequate, pool in the backyard. We "made our own fun", and, yes, got into trouble from time to time. When we did need a ride somewhere, it was with a car full of kids to the local rec department class, or, in my case, everyone in the neighborhood decided on Swim Club. The evenings brought Little League games and an ice cream treat. It brings a smile to my face.

With economic times the way they are right now, I do see a number of "us" embracing that old life. Our kids are out in the backyard, we can hear the squeals and squabbles from our open windows. As I talk with friends near and far, I hear the same resonance—times are tough right now, but, we're making the best of it. Friends seem closer in heart. We are trying to get together for the potlucks, the local festivals, and in the backyard. I "borrowed" some rhubarb from the neighbor and took them a pie in return. My daughter, the teenager, took two eggs up to a friend the other day so she could finish the brownies she had started making. The kids are walking to the park and spending the day "outside"…

The parents are quietly pinching pennies and telling the kids to "use their imagination" if they are bored! The summer meals are perhaps a little sparse, but, no one is noticing as they reminisce about their day over the fresh baked pie. Which begs this question: Are we sure we aren't richer in these economic times? Are we, perhaps, now giving our children something that cannot hold a candle to the designer shoes, ipods, manicures and elite summer camps?

I heard somewhere on the radio the other day that "frugal is the new cool". Maybe I'm just tricking myself into thinking that as we save our pennies (literally) for our "fun fund", but, maybe, just maybe, that bugle this morning was the beginning of a day that was already full of all the right things. And maybe we're all richer than we think.

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