Recently a friend of many years dropped by to chat and we spoke reverently of the “old” days and how lucky our kids are, not having to live through the hardships that we endured as children, living and conquering a depression, having to walk where we wanted to go instead of riding, about all the good foods and medicines that we have access to today and all the great things that television has done for our lives. Now we have the internet that gives us instant access to each other’s mind as soon as anything of importance or even some insignificant happening occurs.
We spent a couple of hours and drank a couple of O’Douls and I am sure he felt better, having visited someone confined to his Scooter and apartment most of the time. I was more than grateful for the hours we talked, mining the facts that lay buried in the crevices of our 80 plus year old brains. I dug for more reasons to delay his departure but it would be getting dark soon and as is the case with a lot of us oldsters, his eyesight did better in the bright sunlight so he had to depart, with a promise to return again.
Agnes Mary Miller Langrehr, my beloved mother, mentor, teacher and hero, taught me that you always listen to other people’s opinion about life but you still draw your own conclusions and never would you insult someone who had been invited under your roof by arguing with them about the way they view life. Now, there are many things that we spoke of that we all benefit from like medicines, safer foods (not counting the Listeria laden cantaloupe), better means of communication, not sure where television fits in, better housing for most and social programs that encompass the less fortunate.
I could not remember that we were totally unhappy as children, growing up on an isolated farm, lighted by coal-oil lamps and heated by a wood stove. I could have asked him if he remembered how thrilled we were, sitting with ears glued to an old used radio when electricity came to our 10 acres and the Lone Ranger said “Hi Ho Silver Away” or we cringed in fear when Jack, Doc & Reggie on “I love a Mystery” relayed a tale of ghosts and goblins. Old wooden headed Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen who pulled the dummies strings gave us many evenings of laughs.
If you have never tasted a Black Raspberry as you plucked it from the vine or an apple that has ripened on the tree or a peach that is about to fall to the ground, filled with juice that runs down your chin, when you bite into it, then you have not tasted everything and you are still in for a treat.
When was the last time you took a drink from a spring, cold, pure water that has been running from an underground stream for 100 years, not something in a plastic bottle that came from Chicago? When was the last time you pulled “sugar” corn from it’s stalk and ate it within a few minutes or ripe tomatoes from the vine to have for lunch?
In no way, shape or form, (as the old saying goes), would I want to go back and relive those early days. Living was hard but by the same token (another old saying), I remember far more good things from Bradshaw than bad. I hope if my old friend reads this, and I am sure he will since I told him of my new-found family in the ZONE, he will come back and see me more often. I have a new supply of O’Douls and plenty of conversation.