Friday, February 29, 2008

Back in the Olden Days

I was chatting with a friend last night on google chat about life before computers or the internet, a life this person never experienced the same way some of us did! She then made some comment about how I walked to school uphill both ways with shoes that were too small.... and I said, "Well, I did!" She probably thought I was kidding, but I really wasn't!

Other than the fact that I grew up in Connecticut on the "Gold Coast", I would never have considered our family rich by any stretch of the imagination. When I was younger, my mom stayed home with us and my dad was a teacher. I wore hand-me-down clothes or sometimes clothes my mom made (not as uncommon as it might be today!) and I'm sure I wore plenty of shoes that were too small for me.

We were "walkers" and each day, with a group of kids from my street, we walked about a 10 minute walk to school. It really wasn't far at all, in fact, you can look down our small street and see the rather large, ominous "Ratfield Penitentiary", our petname, up on it's little hill. Having lived on "Church Hill" with only one house separating mine from the church, you might imagine the hill it sat on. We basically descended, crossed a busy road, walked down a side road, crossed a smaller street and then either walked up a small hill or a huge stairway to get to school.

On the way home, we descended those same steps, retraced our route and huffed and puffed all the way up the church hill, being ever so careful not to step on any cracks lest we break our mother's back! On the way up, we'd occasionally stop with our own back breaking backpacks to rest on people's yards (nowadays, we'd have been arrested for that!). When we finally reached the top, we'd cross the street at the top of the hill, unattended, and head for home. It's a journey that I doubt kids make alone these days, but we did that every day.

What was the worst thing about walking uphill both ways in small shoes? Probably the fact that it was close enough that my mother rarely felt the need to pick us up, even in the rain and snow. Other kids who lived farther would have cars waiting for them on those days. So many cars that I don't think my mother wanted the hassle of figuring out where to park. Not to mention, she had my little (annoying) brother at home! So, we conveniently had "rubber boots", you know, the kind that you put over your shoes. Well, maybe you don't know! LOL

Of course, all this was back before, before my mom spent any amount of time doing anything resembling blogging or surfing the net. You know, back in the olden days.....

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