The Good Old Days

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The Good Old Days

As someone who was born right in the middle of this time period, I really got a kick out of this. What I’d like you to take away from this is to learn to relax and not to stress about all those little things in your life. If you are stressed about these things, you should be on your knees thanking God for how blessed you have been because if you are stressing over the little things you have never had anything really serious happen to you. When you do, all those little things fade to no importance at all.


For Those Born 1920-1979
author unknown


TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, ate tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants &children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pickup on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends,
from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because…


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and it was OK as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day… and we were OK.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendos or X-boxes– no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms…

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment or improve their skills. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. Parents actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornadoes, out of control fires, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"


photo by:  qwerty9010


  1. Anonymous says

    Thank you SO much for your posts. They let me know that I am not alone and that there are others in this country that believe and think the way I do. May God continue to Bless you and your family.

  2. Frances says

    LOVE IT!!!! LOVE IT!!! LOVE IT!!!! Tawra and Jill, you both manage to hit the nail on the head every time. Thank you for all that you do on this site. Merry Christmas !!!!!

  3. barb~ says

    This is so great. I remember Kool-Aid stands, sleeping in a tent in the yard, catching ligtening bugs on summer nights, salads my mom made with a pear half, cottage chesse in the middle, cherry on top, served on a bed of lettuce (yuck!), sheets drying on the line, which smelled so great, popping popcorn in a pan on the stove, watching Spin and Marty, Annette Funicello (LOVED HER!) and Sky King on Sat. mornings, phones with a cord in the wall-remember the Princess phone??, candy dots on paper strips, etc………..

    Anybody have other fun memories??

    Merry Christmas to All!

    • says

      I remember all of those things Barb. I’m afraid I still do some of them like hanging sheets on the line and popping popcorn on the stove. I need to get with the times I guess. Most of all I remember longing for and finally getting a stretchy 20 ft. cord for my phone so I could walk all of the kitchen cooking and cleaning while talking on the phone. I thought I had died and when to heaven to have such freedom of movement. If I only had known what was to come – cordless phones. I laugh at my grandkids who have recently have gotten a corded phone. They don’t quite know what they are to do with it. When I ask to talk to mom they say ” I’m on the corded phone.” They haven’t figured out you just lay it down and go get mom. It is too funny.

  4. elizabeth says

    Love this! I was born in the 70’s so I still had some of this, thanks to my mom being old-school and as some would say, cheap. I love when I hear moms now talk about how much they spend on cheerleading practices, competitions, etc. I remember fondly practicing cartwheels, splits etc in grandma’s front yard when I was a kid, FOR FREE. lol

    And hours of fun with a laundry basket. It was a car, a bed, a cave, a table, all depending which way you turned it! We practiced whittling on bars of soap until we could work our way up to wood. My dad had me as a very little girl learn how to use an axe so I could help him control some of the bigger trees in the yard.

    Sadly, I remember when that poor little boy Adam Walsh was killed, it was in my same city. After that, mom got very strict about my outdoor play. My little sister, many years younger than me, rarely played outside and only with close supervision.

  5. gertrud says

    Just turned 70 today and how true is it all what you said. Lost 1/2 of a front tooth sleding down a hill, but it was still fun, also my mother nearly had a heart attack of this. Grew up in post war Europe and we still had less than you, but also much fun and very fond memory. Love your site.

  6. barb~ says

    Happy 70th Birthday, Gertrud! Where do you live now? What did kids do for fun when you were small?

    Jill-I am happy to report I spent less on Christmas than I ever have before. I give you and Tawra much of the credit for my success this year. It’s an awesome feeling to know there will be NO big bills coming in Jan.!!

    • says

      Way to go Barb. It does feel good doesn’t it? So glad you and everyone are slowly making their way back from what I hope was a wonderful Christmas week end. I spent most of yesterday in a daze surveying my wondrous mess in every room of my house. Are we sure there wasn’t a tornado that hit Wichita with in the past couple of days because my house sure does look like something hit it. HA!HA! Any one else know the feeling???? Does anyone have a spare fairy godmother they could lend me??? :) :) Have a good evening everyone.

  7. barb~ says

    I know just what you mean, Jill. My house is the same way! There is stuff everywhere. Besides all the Christmas stuff, I have clean but unfolded laundry. My daughter went to Aldis for me, which was really sweet. However, none of got put away except the perishables in the fridg. Everything else is somewhere between the garage and kitchen. I just looked in my guest bdrms. My grown kids left Sonic cups on the nightstands! They clean up at their own homes really well. I swear they revert to..”mom will do it” when they come home!!

  8. rose says

    hey jill and everyone . .its been a while since i have been on here .. so much to tell but first i would like to thank you for posting this …
    your post about the corded phone make me think of something of what happened to me not too long ago .. i was in a radio shack near my home and i wanted to get a headset to plug in my corded phone .. i asked the young man that offered to help me, i told him what i was looking for and he asked me “whats a corded phone?” .. i know he was young and i am not that old (and look alot younger bc i colored my hair) and i just looked at him and told him what a corded phone was and his response was “oh! one of those old fashioned phones!” .. i burst out laughing and he still looked at me like i had too heads and i told him to look online and see what a corded phone was .. his manager had a good laugh over that one too ..
    also, just about 10 days ago .. my daughter and i were shopping at one of those little clothing stores in a new strip mall that just opened up in the county next to ours (we are separated by a huge bridge) ..
    well, as we were being checked out, the cashier said to us (her manager was standing near her) and said “there is something wrong with the register.. i cant give change bc the register cant tell me how much change to give back to the customer” and her manager said it was working fine all day long and didnt know what the issue was .. so my daughter suggested that since her clothes totaled up to $32 + change, and she was giving her $40 to just count out the change and the same with the bills .. and then the cashier said she would need a calculator to help her with this ..
    jill, at first i thought we were on one of those shows that stump you for laughs .. and then i realized this wasnt a joke! .. the cashier couldnt count back .. and not picking on anyone here bc i know everyone learns at a different rate but yes i think we really had a better education bc we were made to think! and problem solve and not depend on any machines ..
    needless to say, my daughter had a calculator in her purse that she uses when she goes grocery shopping and just gave it to the girl ..
    and yes i would be an elf and help you if i lived near you .. i understand all too well when you need help with the housework ..
    now back to what i wanted to tell u.. 2010 has been one heck of a yr for us .. and frankly i want (and need) a break .. i have worked in and out of my home, taken care of this, that and whatever .. and i am truly exhausted ..
    for the new yr, i have told my kids i am not working outside of the home .. i will work solely at home and take care of their father and me! .. i am currently looking for other opportunities to do this..
    and bc i help my son in law and daughter at the dry cleaners (until they decide to quit, which should be soon, they are starting hteir own business) as of monday jan 3rd i have hired someone to help me and pay them half the pay (they will be doing half the work) and when my son in law and daughter start their own business i did tell them i would be helping them but that i would work at home typing up their orders or whatever it is called they need to be typed but i would want a fax machine for them to fax over the info i need (thus saving gas and wear and tear on my car) .. they agreed …
    i know, its another job but i will be at home and that is what i want and need ..
    sorry to go on and on .. but i realized when i read this blog/post.. times were simpler then .. now everything seems to be rushed and everyone in a hurry and not stopping to just enjoy the peace and quiet that should be around them .. i am not sure if i am feeling this way bc my hubby has leukemia and we are just thankful for the time we have left with him .. or i am just exhausted and i want to stop and enjoy the quiet myself ..
    i remember that day too when adam walsh was kidnapped and since that day, life as we knew it had changed! ..
    and its true .. anyone born after 1979, they really missed out on lots of good things .. i remember as a kid catching lightning bugs, or drinking the honey from the honeysuckles, or walking to a neighbors house without worrying about the bad person lurking somewhere ready to snatch us up .. times were simpler and easier i think (to some extent)..
    i remember reading an article about laura ingalls wilder, what she said, she was saddened bc even tho she saw alot of changes in her lifetime the worse thing that could be created was the tv bc it took away the want/ability/desire to go outside and really explore ur mind and use ur imagination and get fresh air and exercise .. she saw the tv as something that would eventually hurt all of us (in regards to our health, be it physical, mental or both) .. and yes she was right! ..
    sorry so long .. i am just tired and wanted to add my thoughts to this …
    i missed u all so much .. and again i am so sorry this is very long and winded .. its late and i wanted to say i and that i missed u all…
    ps i hope u had a wonderful xmas .. we did .. hubby is still with us, we have food, shelter, clothing, family, friends and our pets . … we feel truly blessed …

    • says

      So glad you are back too Rose. I have let my e mails etc. slide lately because I think I am feeling a little of what you are too. Way to much on my plate. I usually do though between gingerbread men and Christmas and re doing the web site I need a break. I need to practice what I preach huh. :) :)
      It’s okay if you are long winded. Ahhhh I know someone else with that problem once in awhile too (me!!!). :) :) Oh I was reading your e mail last night and had to chuckle. Remember when I first got on the blog and thought your name was Dee Dee. That was so funny and you were so sweet and tactful about it. Oh well I’m learning. :) :)
      Boy you have had your hands full. How is your husband doing? You know I think of you often and pray for you.

  9. rose says

    sorry for the long post last nite .. i was super tired and just seemed to be rambling on and on at the dry cleaners and online .. hhehehee 😀 ..
    i did want to share some things with everyone … it’s about the yarn dog and yarn shaggy dog .. i found the shaggy dog instructions at the website: (i typed in at DIY yarn shaggy dog and clicked on the first one that came up .. DIY dog necklace, etc… ) .. and this same page has the instructions for a regular yarn dog …
    if you go to and type in yarn dog, there will be a listings for this .. you can click on the one that says recycled wire hanger and it will give instructions and a pic of the finished product .. and if you go back to the page and click on making a shaggy dog out of yarn and scroll all the way down you will find a pic of the shaggy dog that i want to make … and i think that shaggy dog would also look cute as a cat too … 😀 …
    thanks for all u do for me and everyone .. i greatly appreciate it …
    i hope u r all safe and warm .. its really cold here in central florida ..
    but its a nice change from the excessive heat we always have .. i personally like the cold but i do not like the snow/ice ..
    so stay warm and safe .. 😀 …
    will post more later . and thanks for reading my really long posts ..

  10. Mari says

    I had to laugh when reading Rose’s post above about the cashier who was unable to work out how much change to give unless she had a calculator – about 2 months ago I went to my local chemist to get some plasters (band aid). I had a look around but could only see those mixed packets with all different sizes in them. The ones I wanted were much larger. I went up to the counter and asked the young blonde girl behind the counter if she had any large plasters. She went in the back and a few minutes later came out with one that was about the right size. She asked me how many I would like and I said, “Oh I’ll have half a dozen please”. She went in the back and soon after she came out again, empty handed. She leant forward and said quietly, “I know this is going to sound a bit “blonde”, but – how many is in a dozen, is it ten?” I don’t know how I kept my face straight…… :)

    • says

      Oh Mari! I don’t know how you kept a straight face either. That is to much. It is hard to decide whether to laugh or cry. I tell you it is so true both examples you and Rose gave. It makes you wonder what the world is going to be like in another generation and will they be able to function at all. It is almost scary to think of how in the area of basics and common sense we are going backwards.

  11. Cindy says

    Hi-I just wanted to mention that I too remember drinking honeysuckle and catching lightning bugs. My kids are fascinated when I tell them all the things people didn’t have when I was little. Or how stores were actually closed on Sundays and people dressed nicely for church. Only 4 channels and no remote on the TV. Spending hours riding my bike and playing with potato bugs in the backyard. Learning how to cook and bake at my mother’s side. Actually taking the time to read as much as I could and also to study. On a funny note, mu oldest son bought me an “old-fashioned” corded wall phone with a rotary dial for Christmas last year. The little ones keep calling Time & Weather just to watch the dial turn!

    • says

      My son has a rotary dial phone he has used for years. It is so funny to see kids who have never seen one ask how does it work and don’t know how to dial.

  12. Bea says

    It just cracks me up when people say or think young adults are smarter. Are you kidding me? Maybe on the computer, in some ways, but in nothing else. The media likes to push the idea that youth is so much smarter than maturity. I’d like to know since when? Youth has been dumbed down so much, and the poor things don’t even know it.

  13. Bea says

    Jill, I made the following items from your recipes on this site, and from the cookbook, the gingerbread cake, Nan’s sugar cookies, the peanut brittle, the sponge candy with the chocolate topping, the fudge with the mashed potatoes, the oatmeal raisin cookies, the pumpkin pie that uses the vanilla frosting, and I can’t think of anything else right now. I may have forgotten something. I have been giving these items as gifts since Thanksgiving and everyone thought they were great. In fact, one couple I know loved the peanut brittle so much they asked me to make more, and they would pay me for it. So I did. They said it’s the best they ever tasted. I just loved your recipes and everything was a success, and appreciated by the receivers. I didn’t get a chance to make the Million Dollar Fudge yet, but I will be doing that sometime in January. This website and cookbook made my giftgiving so much fun this year, and taught me new skills in candy-making and baking. I can’t thank you enough.

    • says

      Whoa Bea I knew you had been busy but you really really were. That peanut brittle is to die for. It’s my mom’s recipe and she has made it since I was little. It is Tawra’s favorite Christmas candy. My mom waits for the first snow to do hers and then she takes the brittle which is poured into the pans and sets it in the snow to cool quickly. She didn’t get any made before Christmas this year because they haven’t had a real good snow back there yet (she’s in Colorado). She called yesterday and said they might make a quick trip out here and bring Tawra some peanut brittle since she didn’t get any for Christmas.

  14. rose says

    mari i too have to ask how did you keep a straight face ? .. probably like i did .. i looked away and covered my mouth and giggled lightly .. not laughing at anyone but its true bea! .. the young are being dumbed down and dont even know it . .you said it exactly like my hubby does! .. and thanks for the compliment bea and everyone . i really appreciate it 😀 😀
    and thanks for enjoying reading my post .. 😀

  15. barb~ says

    Gosh,it’s wonderful to see everyone back in action here!

    Jill-I wanted to tell you about a great success I had with a recipe from you. I took a can of pumpkin and combined it with a spice cake mix. I added just a few sices-those you might use in pumpkin pie. Instead of making muffins, I spread this in a 9 X 13 pan to bake. I cut it in squares while still warm and put cool whip on each serving. It was really great! Reminded me a lot a gingerbread, but so much easier:)!!

  16. Bea says

    Jill, I was just so excited about all the wonderful recipes that I wanted to try so many, and I thought that so many people told me that they don’t want any more “stuff” cluttering up their houses, that food gifts would be appreciated, and they were. SO many people don’t like to take the time to bake, and so few have the skills necessary to make candy, that they are amazed by people who take the time to do it.

    And your welcome Rose.

  17. says

    I remember all of this well. If I had one wish it would be to take my kids back to this time. So they could see how great life was then. I try to instill in them this physiology. I’m glad to announce they have turned out to be 2 of the best kids a Mom could ask for.

  18. Sandra says

    Enjoyed your post. I know our kids need our protection but I feel like we have gone way overboard in the wrong direction. We are raising a generation that has no idea how to entertain themselves and in their boredom they are doing things that are way more dangerous than riding their bikes without a helmet. By trying to foresee every possible danger to them we have robbed them of the ability to see danger for themselves. Where my kids learned early on that if you take a stick out of the campfire and touch it you are going to get a painful lesson, todays kids have never had that opportunity to “play with fire” in small non-fatal doses, Kids today never see the danger and are apt to jump right in to risky behaviours that my kids would have had a healthy fear of at age 3.

  19. Sandra says

    You may have climbed 8 ft up the apple tree at age 5 and slipped and fell out, the landing was painful but rarely fatal and you learned how easy it is to slip and fall. Todays bored out of his skull kid is likely to get his first taste of climbing by climbing a forbidden radio tower on a dare at 15 and when he finds out just how easy it is to slip he is likely to die as the result. My kids learned about balance and messy landings by riding their bike down the hill with no hands and had the road rash and broken wrist to remind them. Todays city kid learns by “car surfing” on the top of a subway train. Between chores and all the activities outside with friends they didn’t sit around day after boring day trying to top the excitement of the videa game they just played. We are raising a generation of adrenaline junkies. If an activity doesn’t have their heart pumping 200/min. they are convinced that they are not having any fun.

  20. trina says

    Talk about kids learning life lessons, it reminds me of the time my son was stung by a scorpion. He decided if he picked it up by the tail it would be unable to sting him. Wrong. Another time, I told him to leave the wolf spiders alone because they are not poisonous. Never occurred to me to tell him they would still bite. Another life lesson learned.

  21. rose says

    jill .. i just came back from blockbuster and saw that movie “australia” and immediately thought of you …
    did you ever see it? .. just curious …
    i wnated to rent “conviction” but they didnt have any in stock .. in fact, the manager told me since the movie came out on dvd on feb 1st, he cant keep the movie in ..
    they had alot of movies on sale there too .. the harry potter 6 movie was there but about the same price for the used as it is for new (we are harry potter fans) .. so we will wait til it goes down in price …
    and if you ever get a chance to watch the new “cats and dogs” movie .. do watch it .. its very cute and funny .. its a nice family movie .. i thoroughly enjoyed it ..
    i love that mr tinkles! .. heheehe .. and i think from the way the movie ended there will be a 3rd one .. which i wont mind seeing (yes, i know its basically a kids movie but i love it bc its funny, family oriented and good for all ages) ..
    also.. the new “gnomes and juliet” movie is supposed to come out soon .. hehehee 😀 .. when i saw that i thought of tawra and the gnomes (remember a long time ago she and you and me were saying that the gnomes leave dust bunnies for us?0 . ehhehehehehe 😀 ..
    sorry so long .. just hoping u and the family are fine and warm tonite .. its really cold and damp here in central florida ..

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