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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.
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.
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.