For Those Born Between 1930-1979

Posted in Fun Forwards on March 3rd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The following words of wisdom came to me in an email forward.  However, I have to disagree with some of it since I was born near the end of the window and I did have some of the things growing up that the email says I would not have had.  So, I put my personal comments about this email forward in italics.

THOSE BORN 1930-1979

READ TO THE BOTTOM FOR QUOTE OF THE MONTH BY JAY LENO . IF YOU DON’T READ ANYTHING ELSE—VERY WELL STATED

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!!  (I can barely get credit for surviving the 70’s.  After all, I only experienced the 70’s for a year and a half!)

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.  (Well, ok, maybe everyone reading this survived some of that, but that doesn’t make it right, of course!)

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, 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 child- proof 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.  (that is definitely before my time.  I’ve never hitchhiked.  And the only people I know who have are either deceased or over the age of 50!)

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats , seat belts or air bags.  (Ok, I remember this – every kid I knew whose parents had a station wagon would ride in the back of it for long trips, no seatbelts.  I think kids should be buckled up, but I think the whole booster / car seat until they’re 8 years old is just plain ridiculous!  Ah, the effects those lobbyists have on Congress is purely amazing, isn’t it?)

Riding in the back of a pick up 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 WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!  (Well, a few people I went to school with DO have heart problems, but…)

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, 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, Nintendo ‘s, X-boxes, no video games at all (umm, I beg to differ.  My generation had Atari, Intellivision, the Commodore, the Tandy, the original Nintendo, and even some hand-held electronic games), no 150 channels on cable, no video movies (again, not true.  I remember the day my family got our VCR.  I was worried my big sister would be mad because she was at a sleepover when we got it and the whole event was so exciting.  We rushed right out to the video store to rent a video.  But all the good ones seemed to be in BETA, not VHS…) or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s (but we had records, casette tapes, and walkmans!), no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chatrooms…….

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.  (Nor did the gum we swallowed stay in our tummies for seven years – hehe)

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 poke 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.  Imagine that!!  (Nowadays, we’d be lucky to get enough kids to have to turn them away, not that we would, but the point is, many kids are busy playing video games or causing trouble…  or their parents are just too busy to let them commit to anything extracurricular)

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!  (Nowadays kids are charged as adults, so parents aren’t often given the option to decide what’s best for their own child!)

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, fires out of control, 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?’

For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us…go ahead and delete this.

For the rest of us…pass this ON!

Ok, I’m not a big fan of passing on email forwards…  But this one entertained me, so do with it what you will, and remember that my contributions are the ones in italics, so thanks for reading my commentary!

Fun in South Bend Indiana

Posted in Kids on June 16th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Of all the places to find fun, who would have thought that middle of nowhere, IN would be such a sight?  Every summer, we meet my mom there about 4 times to swap the kids.  She’ll take them for a week, twice a summer, so because South Bend just happens to be about as close to halfway for each of us to drive, that is where we meet.  We used to meet at a Wendy’s just off the expressway, but our horizons have broadened, and my husband and I have been venturing off the beaten path to discover new things to see and do in the area.  We found a good restaurant called Eleni’s with amazing gyros and saganaki, two of our favorite dishes.  We also found an authentic Greek restaurant called Elia’s right down the street, but oddly enough, they are almost never open.  They have more exotic Greek food like stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, and baklava, YUM!  Their food is excellent, though we’ve only been able to eat there once because of their strange hours and seemingly constant family vacations.  After eating and getting the kids back from my mom, we headed to the Potawatomi Zoo.  The zoo is a really cool size, perfect for our family of 3 small children and a now VERY pregnant woman.  Not much walking to do at all, yet it has a good amount of animals, native and exotic, all types and sizes from lions, tigers, and bears, to monkeys, bison, alligators, parrots, and red pandas.  I wil have to mention that the Potawatomi Zoo did not seem very well-kept.  A gardener in that place could have done wonders as there were many overgrown weeds, trees, and shrubbery, some even blocking what could have been better views of the animals!  One tree was so untrimmed it was blocking a drinking fountain!  But as I said, it’s a very cute little zoo, and they reciprocate with our home zoo, the Toledo Zoo, so our admission price was free and they don’t charge for parking.  I was surprised to see that the zoo wasn’t very crowded seeing as how it was a Saturday in June under 90°…  That zoo could really use a Jack Hanna to fix it up and get the publicity rolling – I see a lot of potential for it, but it does need some work.

After the zoo, we had kids begging for ‘one more fun thing’ (remember, they had been used to the fun of Grandma’s for just short of a week!), my husband whips out Mr. GPS, and apparently he has a phone book feature on him, so from your car, you can find gas stations, restaurants, and most importantly, fun places and attractions to visit!

So KUDOS belong to Mr. GPS this time!  Instead of getting us lost and chuckling at us electronically, he led us right to this strip mall that was like a step back in time, it was really strange.  It looked like it was right out of 1983.  I don’t know how to explain it – we should have taken pictures.  It would have been a great place to film a movie set in the early ’80’s, took me right back to my childhood.  Anyway, in this strip mall was a place called Mega Play.  From the outside, it looked closed down – they really need to get themselves a big bright ‘open’ sign.  But once inside, it was a huge space where they had tons of video games, pinball machines, indoor minigolf, bouncy castles and tunnels for the kids, lots of ride-ons for toddlers, and right out of 1983 – a ball pit!  The ball pit had a pyramid in the middle of it that the kids climb up with ropes and once they got the hang of it, they had a ball – cheesy pun intended.  That pyramid gave me a flashback of playing on the same thing when I was little.  I think they used to have them in KMarts, and my husband agreed.  It was neat to see vintage video games and pinball machines also.  The arcade ATARI games they had in one bouncy castle area were free to play – they had Kangaroo, Pole Position, Asteroids, and some shooting game I hadn’t heard of.  I walked over to the pinball machine area because days earlier, we visited this cool pinball shop in a suburb of Toledo.  The guy started it as a hobby, but it grew into a store, and he had all kinds of pinball machines, new and mostly vintage.  He had titles on display like Demolition Man, Star Wars, The Shadow, and Hercules (an older game – it was HUGE!).  He even had this Looney Tunes racing game (not pinball) that was really vintage and one-of-a-kind…  it was cool to see.  I wonder if the pinball guy outside of Toledo is familiar with Mega Play?  But anyway, back to Mega Play…  it was a huge, wide-open strip mall space that had tons of games, ride-ons, and bouncy castles packed into it – lots of fun there, but still spacey so you didn’t feel closed it.  It was the exact concept my husband and I had in mind for our own business of the same type we started a few years ago.  We ended up having to sell the business because it was too labor intensive for the time and staff we had however.  Too bad Mega Play is all the way in South Bend, or we could challenge our putt-putt-ing friends to the mini-golf course 🙂

After Mega Play, it was time to find something to eat, and before we knew it, we were out of South Bend and into the country.  The kids started getting crazier and crazier, and we vowed to stop at the very next restaurant we found before someone passed out or went insane – and some of us were close to either condition!  So, we stopped at a restaurant called Dakota’s in Elkhart IN, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever out that way.  They had the best cornbread, and their steak and cheese sandwich was simply AWESOME!  They also have barbecue items, and they happened to have karaoke the night we went…  it wasn’t too intrusive though.  They were in another room and we didn’t even know it was karaoke at first until the audience began applauding.  The DJ hosting the karaoke was singing a few songs also, and he was pretty good, so he actually sounded like a recording with a live quality.  I don’t how often they have karaoke there, but their food is great, prices reasonable, nice atmosphere, and the staff is amazingly friendly.  Keep in mind I say this coming from a super-friendly town myself, so we’re used to the usual chit-chat when we go out to eat –  but people in Elkhart were exceptionally friendly.

Overall, not a bad place to spend a day – fun and very inexpensive to boot.  Too bad with gas prices the way they are we can’t consider South Bend for a normal day trip for our family – there is plenty to do!  Maybe we’ll wander around some more the next time we meet Grandma there in July…