Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So, I’m old enough to know the words to all twenty-one verses of Don McLean’s American Pie and the interpretation thereof. And I saw Disney’s Alice in Wonderland when it first hit the movie theaters. I grew up on a dairy farm so I had a childhood rich in fertilizer, but short on store bought toys. That does not mean I didn’t have toys. My siblings and I could spend a whole afternoon entertaining ourselves with a good mud hole, some rocks and a couple of sticks. It got even better if we could involve the dog and a few chickens.

Over the years I have tried my best to keep up with the technologies thrown at me at an increasingly dizzying speed. When I first started working in graphics everything was done with an xacto knife and markers. When a computer was put on my desk I struggled through the software and the upgrades, loving the way drudgery was diminished and hating the frustrations that came with learning new tools.

I went from a tape player to CD’s to mp3’s. I figured out how to use a cell phone, a digital camera, a video camera and have combined music and pictures into short movies. Each new gadget came with a book of instructions that were boggling, frustrating and confusing. However, it has been worth the effort when the technology became familiar and fun.

R. D. Hales said, “Never dwell on the past or attempt to protect your comfort zone against the changes required to meet future advancements. Past learning creates a valuable foundation of experience upon which to build; not a comfortable place to dwell for a lifetime.”

That being said, I still think there are now way too many technical gadgets and not nearly enough playing in puddles.


KBlack said...

What a great picture. Thanks again for a great visit. The kids miss you already.

Elizabeth said...

Puddles rule and always will!
For a story about a 1950's childhood check out my story
Jane in Winter see side bar. You can read the first 10 pages online!
Real life will always trump electrical ggets though I do love my computer.

Joseph said...

I've only ever counted seven verses to American Pie, but I guess it depends on how you split it up.

When I played on that farm, mud holes were off limits; so I played with broken cars and dead cows.

Linda Sue said...

I think that you are so ahead of the game- I still haven't yet figured out the four remotes, each for something different to just turn on the TV! And my mp3- forget it, I have my son do it for me. I am way lame!
Your childhood sounds perfect- Toys are so defining and a stick and a chicken can lead to just about anything imaginable!
I so enjoyed reading this post!

Sarah said...

I haven't visited since the moose post, saw your picture on Linda Sue's blog and thought I would. Weirdly enough, today I have been to observe a 'Forest School' session at a local environmental centre. I am learning to be a Forest School Leader(a few posts back on my blog are a few photos and a bit of info. One of the best things I saw today was a group of kids spending a happy time splashing in an extremely muddy puddle(wearing waterproofs and wellies) without an adult going 'Don't do that' They soon got over the initial splashy phase and extended the play in all sorts of ways. The best thing was the pure delight in the great and squishy mud!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely photograph Leenie - and I love the metaphor of not enough playing puddles. Great post.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I do so agree with you. I like gadgets and am up with most of them (although no way near as up as my husband who is the gadget king) but there is far too little playing in puddles, damming streams, building dens in today's world. Keep gadgets for adults and let children play free.

Leenie said...

Joseph, the trick to getting away with any forbidden thing is to not get caught or be willing to take the consequences. Old cars and dead cows are also good toys. hehe

Linda Sue: my rule about the stack of remotes is the same as the one for outdoor grills. Don't learn anything about them so you won't have to deal with them.

Woman in a Window said...

Are you reading my mind?

Not only do I long for those simpler times, I think we're fairly close to living them, just minus the chickens and cows. I wish we had it all.