Vintage Lifestyle: Bring Back the Good Old Days

About the Author

I was a child of the 1950s and 1960s who was fortunate enough to hear stories by grandparents who loved to talk about their own "good old days."

When Were the Good Old Days?

"The good old days" is a relative term. For most people, it refers to their years of childhood, but for others may have been another special period during their lives.

No matter what, most of us yearn for those vintage times--whether they were full of excitement, special family times, or particularly fruitful times.

One nuance that stands out in almost everyone's remembrances of better days was that life was simpler. But simpler doesn't always mean easier.

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Simpler Times, But Still Hard Work

For my grandmother, the vintage years of her youth were lived in the 1920s and 1930s. To get milk, someone had to milk the cow.

For the family's butter, someone had to churn and churn and churn that cow's milk into smooth creaminess--often the youngsters of the family. Life was simpler, but a lot of physical work went into obtaining daily basics.

My parent's good old days occurred during the 1940s and early 1950s. They, too, grew up with daily chores. Heat was supplied by heat or coal stoves. Getting up in the morning, no one lingered to get dressed--bedrooms were cold on winter mornings.

Everyone gathered in the kitchen, the warmest room of the house. News and entertainment still came by way of the radio. And the ice man visited regularly to bring the blocks of frozen water that allowed ice boxes (early refrigerators) to do their work.

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I recall the pleasure of black and white television, Alan Shepard's rocket flight and roller skates that fit on my shoes.

I heard my parents and grandparents talk about the good old days, but when they described what life was like back then, it sounded anything but vintage to me. No TV? Cars you cranked to start them? Heating curling irons on the cook stove? Yikes!

This is exactly the same feeling my kids and grand kids express when I talk about my childhood. How did we manage without color television, computers and remote controls? Did I really wear matching gloves and hats to church on Sunday? And what were you thinking, Mom, wearing bell bottoms and mini skirts?

When were your vintage years--or are they still ahead of you? It isn't always childhood that provides the most nostalgic period of our lives. Perhaps retirement will bring you joy of untold proportions.

Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard | Source
Icebox
Icebox | Source
Wringer Washing Machine
Wringer Washing Machine | Source

Vintage Lifestyle

I miss more than the simplicity of days gone by.

I miss the times when parents were able to raise their children without interference from the government. In no way do I condone abuse of any child, but I also don't believe that the little bit of physical discipline I received as a child came anywhere near the definition of abuse.

Before video games and computers, kids played outside gladly--anything to get out of the house and out of parents' hair.

Kids could play tag and dodge ball and jump rope and baseball without any of these activities being designated as "too violent" or opening up schools or other organized activities to lawsuits.

I miss when our society accepted that some things really did happen by accident; when no one would have ever considered suing another person over spilled hot coffee.

Doctors more freely practiced the art of diagnosing based on experience and perhaps a few labs tests, rather than having to follow protocol of insurance companies. Family doctors were more abundant and there was a good likelihood you would have the same physician from the time of your vaccinations to the time of your children's vaccinations.

The time has passed when nearly every family sat down to dinner together. Both parents work outside the home more often than not so it's not as practical as it used to be to have a home-cooked meal with everyone sitting around sharing their day with each other.

In so many ways, family has taken a backseat to just being able to pay the bills. Kids and parents alike may have more activities now than a few decades ago, but all too often those are activities that take each family member their own separate way.

A British Couple Live Vintage Lifestyle

Time to Revisit the Good Old Days?

However much we may like to, we can't turn back the hands of time.

We can enjoy vintage things such as clothing, jewelry, automobiles and furniture, but filling our homes with these things won't replicate times past.

Some of that is good--who wants to re-live the Depression of 1933, the Vietnam war or the cold war?

Do we really want to chuck our remotes and go back to the days of "watching" radio?

Can we imagine our lives without the security and instant availability afforded by cell phones?

For me, it isn't about the objects that have changed, as much as my perception of the seeming simplicity of the world when I still lived at home with my parents and the world came to me through the filter of safety and security of home.

For that reason, I hope my own kids look back with fond remembrances of their childhoods. If so, as a parent, I fulfilled a large part of my responsibility.

I hope you have your own vintage years and memories--and that your children will too.

More by this Author


Comments 29 comments

bigjohn442 5 years ago

Nostalgia is always a nice place to visit.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

BigJohn, nostalgia is a nice place to visit--we can't live there any longer but a mental vacation is a pleasure.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I agree with much of what you say. However my brother always used to talk about the good old days. I think I told him that he would have died as an infant in the old days due to the fact that he was a "blue baby" and they would not have been able to treat him.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Dahoglund, that's it exactly. When we think of the good old days, we tend to do so with rose-colored glasses. No way to I want to return to the times before vaccinations and penicillin--or churning butter for my toast.


Tim 5 years ago

Very well written, but no sense living in the past....it's all about survival these days.Stop sending your children to college, we know longer have an economey to that can employ them! Life is what it is right now this second/ minute/hour. The past is just that.....gone forever.And remember one thing "KNOW MATTER WHERE YOU GO..THERE YOU ARE!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Tim, I think visiting old memories gives a respite from the troubles of the moment, but as you say, life should truly be lived in the moment.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

I enjoyed your hub. I was particularly struck by your comment "....my perception of the seeming simplicity of the world when I still lived at home with my parents and the world came to me through the filter of safety and security of home."

I think that hits the nail on the head. If we are lucky, we are oblivious as children of the challenges of life as an adult. Even in the dysfunctional home I grew up in, where money was often short and my parents argued frequently about that and other stuff, I wasn't the one who had to make the decisions that would affect 5 or 6 other people.

Anyway, I enjoyed your hub and voted it up.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Danette. I think most families are dysfunctional in one way or another, but as kids we don't see the dysfunction. We think the whole world behaves as does our household.


Memories1932 5 years ago

Great article!!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Memories1932, so glad you enjoyed.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

A nice hub and I have to agree with you about the days of accidents being accidents. When did the population (not all, but many) turn into mindless idiots that can't slow for a corner, or be careful with a hot cup of coffee, without needing a sign to tell them!?

I also think that the ideas of abuse and danger have gone to extremes. No one can decide what is best for their own child, or even for themselves, instead laws are trying to dictate everything and aren't doing a very good job so far.

SHARED, up, awesome, tweeted and pinned to Pinterest.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Brett, I could not agree with you more. The government has no business in family affairs; it can't even get its own affairs straight.

I appreciate wholeheartedly your enthusiasm for sharing and thank you for SHARING.

I am yet on the waiting list for Pinterest; you go Brett!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I like the antiques of the vintage lifestyle, but prefer living now. Voting this Up and Interesting. Thanks for SHARING.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

A great read! Things change with every generation. Life WAS harder but in some ways better in the old days. I got a chuckle about the discipline issue. My parents would probably have gotten locked up. But the spankings were few and far between and hurt less than mental abuse!!


Gracefulwriter profile image

Gracefulwriter 4 years ago from Northern Virginia

I didn't get to read your article, I got inspired by your graphics & now I'm off to write my next hub entry. I'll come back to read your hub, but thanks for the inspiration, which is really the point of the article, huh? A picture has insired 1000 words.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Alocsin, the truth is, there is no way to recapture times past beyond the physical aspects. The culture as a whole was different in the past, just as the culture today will one day be looked back on fondly someday.

Thanks for SHARING.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

RebeccaMealey, so glad you enjoyed the hub. I do hope that our society can return to the day when parents were allowed to raise their children without governmental interference because I don't think it has strengthened families at all. I know we'll never turn the clock back, but perhaps we can learn from the way things are currently.

Thanks for SHARING.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Gracefulwriter, I'm so happy you received inspiration from the graphics in this hub. Happy writing to you!


Gracefulwriter profile image

Gracefulwriter 4 years ago from Northern Virginia

Well, I came back & read the article. You talked about my vintage years. I, too, grew up in the 50s & 60s. It was a wonderful time to grow up. But I was a city mouse, no milking cows for me. I walked past herion addicts while eating orange popsicles or buying Pepsi & a bag of chips, both for a quarter. Not only were these years full of new, wonderful inventions (princess phones, dishwashers, eventually color tv), making it seem as tho' we were the most modern people ever. We had the best folks to follow in the early days of tv ... I loved watching the Kennedy family, curious about their lives. I still mostly watch black 'n white tv ... Lucy 'n Ricky, Laura 'n Rob (my favs), June 'n Ward (my role models). I gained my sensibilities about life from these people. My bff (we became friends at 7 yrs old - still best friends) and I talk about this all the time. It was also a time of tremendous change, much like this time for my grandchildren, tho' they can't see what's changing yet. I grew up watching the debates of the Civil Rights Movement. My parents, aunts 'n uncles & their friends sat around the dining room table and debated non-violence vs more militant actors. I formulated my desire to attend Law School out of the images of NAACP lawyers litigating the legality of brutality. Oh, yes, I am a child of the 60s.

Can you tell this topic gets my blood flowing? I'll stop now ... maybe I'd better put the rest in my own blog, my own book. You're still inspiring me. (:


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

GracefulWriter, I enjoy your enthusiasm. Any time period is special for those who were children during it. As kids we see the world through very different eyes than the ones we have as adults.

Thanks for coming back to read and comment.


viking305 profile image

viking305 4 years ago from Ireland

Great article and brought back some memories. Mt family moved around a lot when I was a kid. There were 5 children so we usually kept each other occupied. I grew up in the sixties too.

I remember we all loved reading as kids, no laptops or internet then, lol. My self and my sister would save our pocket money and buy an Enid Blyton book between us. This was every Friday.

I would read one chapter then my sister would read one and vice a versa. Ahh the things we had to do as kids to get by

Great to read about the old times

Thanks for SHARING Up and Awesome


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Viking305, reminiscing is good now and then, I believe. In fact, it is a form of therapy for older adults with memory impairments. This isn't to say it isn't just plain wonderful for the soul, too.

I appreciate you sharing a bit of your history and fond memories.

Thanks for SHARING.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

As I've aged, I find that I'm drawn more to heirloom and vintage pieces (some clothing, furniture, jewelry), mostly from the early 1900s.

And there are days when some of the simpler aspects of days gone by are attractive - but not all:)

Very nice hub!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Kris Heeter, thanks for the read and comment. I have to agree -- not everything about earlier times is attractive. I have no interest in outdoor plumbing, for example.


Gracefulwriter profile image

Gracefulwriter 4 years ago from Northern Virginia

Just like relationships, we choose not to recall the details of the past and bring to the front the things we remember fondly. I wouldn't want to go back to waiting by the phone so you don't miss a call, "rabbit ears", life without antibiotics, plastic, Jim Crow laws or infant mortality, but that's not the conversation. What this hub celebrates is gentile conversation when people said 'please' and 'thank you', children listened to their parents and girls were chaste.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Gracefulwriter, you bring up a valid point. It's easy to have rose-colored glasses when thinking of the past. There are many modern conveniences I'd rather not have to do without either.

Thanks for the read and your insightful comment.


thebiologyofleah profile image

thebiologyofleah 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Nice article, it seems as though we can keep the 'good' from the good old days in spending time with family, with encouraging kids to go outside and play, and for everyone to unplug for a while and enjoy the company of family and friends and the great outdoors.

Great hub, thought-provoking!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Thebiologyofleah, thanks for reading and for your comments. I apologize for the delay in replying; a family member had a health issue that required my attention.

I agree with your assessment that families need to spend more time together, doing enjoyable activities together -- with "together" being the key word. As you've said, sometimes just getting away from all electronic gear and getting back to the basics can be so rewarding and enjoyable for people of any age.

Thanks for SHARING.


Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia Allain 21 months ago from Central Florida

I'm so glad you preserved some family memories here. Hopefully families can preserve some of the best of the good old days, like eating real food instead of fast food or taking time to play outdoors with their children.

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