Then And Now

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with ...

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with Skippy peanut butter and Welch's grape jelly on white bread. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was young, my grandpa took an old hood off of a ford truck and tied it to the back of his tractor and pulled us kids down the snowy roads. Today, a sled cost big bucks. I used to wear pleated skirts, cotton blouses, and Ked shoes, with the red button on the back. Today you can pay two hundred dollars for a pair of name brand shoes. I had a Flintstone lunch box with thermos, which was packed every day with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, celery and carrot sticks, an apple, and a thermos of milk. Today, lunches are skipped, or bought out of vending machines. I got my first bike when I was 10 for my birthday. Bright blue, with black tires and white walls. I treated it with care, being told it had to last me forever. Today a bike can cost almost one thousand dollars, and many people have multiple bikes. For play time, I can remember so well, taking a blanket outside underneath the maple tree, spreading it out. Dragging all my babies and baby bed, clothes, accessories outside and playing for hours all by myself. Today, there are WII’s, computers, tech games. I used my imagination, today you don’t need one. I had to tell my parents where I was going and give them the phone number of the people I would be visiting.  Permission from the other parents had to be given prior to me leaving, and if I was late coming home, I was punished by my bike being put up for a week. Today some  parents don’t know where there kids are. When I was growing up, I knew that every Sunday meant a bath on Saturday nights, hair rolled or bobby pinned, and getting up early for church on Sunday mornings. Today, some kids have never been through a church door. When it was time to buy my first car, I was told that I had to purchase it myself, that I would appreciate it more. They would pay for the additional coverage on their auto policy. I paid one hundred dollars for it, and was so proud of my own wheels. Today, some kids are handed the keys to their brand new car. When I became engaged, my soon  to be husband had to ask my parents for permission. A dinner was followed for a celebration of an engagement. Today, many do not marry.  When I got married, one of our many goals was to start a family. There was not much thought put in to it. Today, people have to plan around careers, money, right timing, and maybe never find the right moment to start a family. I regret decisions I have made. We all do, but I am glad that I am where I am today. Without my parents being involved in my life, sometimes making me feel like they were being too nosy or bossy, I may not be here, writing this for you.

The Innocent Child

He stood in the window watching for grandpa to walk up the lane. He was getting the mail, and he told him  to wait here because the winds were causing a chill. He could see way down the lane but he didn’t see his grandpa. He saw the neighbor’s dog running across the field. He saw a bunch of geese flying over the tops of the trees. He ran to the kitchen to see what time the clock said. Ten minutes. Yeah, ten minutes grandpa had been gone. He raced back to the window knowing his grandpa was on his way now, but no grandpa. He sat down and rested his chin on both hands and waited. It seemed like he had been waiting forever. His tummy was starting to growl. He was getting hungry. He got up and looked out again. Grandpa sure was taking a long time. He walked over to the kitchen and scooted a chair up to the kitchen counter top and crawled up on the counter and got the peanut butter down. He jumped down and got the bread, a knife, opened the refrigerator door and got out his favorite grape jelly. He made himself the fattest ever peanut butter and jelly sandwich he had ever seen. Grandpa would never make it this fat! He poured himself a glass of milk and took both over to the table, and setting there in the bright sunlight, he ate his lunch. Afterwards, he wiped his mouth on his sleeve and took his glass over to the sink, and brushed the crumbs down to the floor. There, he had fixed his own lunch, and even cleaned up. He went back over to the big window he had been watching out for so long, and saw a bunch of cars with lights on top. The lights were spinning around like flying saucers in bright colors. He had to know what the excitement was all about. Maybe there was a parade and they were throwing out candy!. He got his little jacket on and his boots. He knew grandpa said to stay here because of the wind, so he made sure he put his hat and gloves on too. He walked out the door and scurried  as fast as his little legs would carry him down the lane. When he got there, his eyes got really big, then he started to cry. Grandpa, Grandpa, he wailed. He started running past all the people and just as he was getting ready to get real close, a man in a suit held out his hands and scooped him up. He held him way up in the air. The man walked around the other people asking if anyone knew who this child was. One of the neighbors walked forward and said that he recognized him. He was the four year old grandson of the man who had just been struck down. Silence fell heavy all around as people stood and stared at the officer holding the child.