Caught up in nostalgia

I’ve been taking a trip down memory lane ever since my friend, Dawn, sent me an email called “How’s this for nostalgia?”

The email goes something like this:

No  one ever asked where the car keys were because they were  always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were  never locked.

Lying  on your back in the grass with your friends… and  saying things like, “That cloud looks like a ___.”

And  with all our progress, don’t you just wish, just once,  you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace, and share it with the children of  today.

When  being sent to the principal’s office was nothing  compared to the fate that awaited the student at  home.

Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of  drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and  grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat. 

And  our summers were filled with bike rides, Hula Hoops, and  visits to the pool, and eating Kool-Aid powder with  sugar.

Catching  fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.

It  wasn’t odd to have two or three ”best friends.”

Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a  slingshot.

“Oly-oly-oxen-free” made perfect sense.

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a  team.

War was a card game.

Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a  motorcycle.

Taking drugs meant orange flavored chewable aspirin.

It ends with a request to forward it on … I double-dog dare you.

All of this nostalgia has had me thinking about the things from my childhood that aren’t around any more. A few of them I’ve explained to the kids, and it’s funny to see the blank looks on their faces or their extreme shock at the way I lived … way back when.

Some of my favorites:

» Rotary phones that you had to actually dial.

» My Brother typewriter I brought with me to college.


» The TV that took a while to warm up and had knobs to turn instead of a remote to press. We actually watched commercials.

» One-piece gym uniforms.

» Shoelaces as an accessory. We switched to designer shoelaces (think rainbows, happy faces, hearts) as often as we switched socks.

» Kissing Potion and lip gloss in a tin (my favorite was watermelon ice).


» Listening to music with a Walkman and a cassette tape. The tape was usually one we mixed ourselves by recording songs off the radio.

» Sleepovers and seances. No sleepover with friends (and there were a lot of them and with lots of girls) was complete without a seance. We’d take turns lifting the girls to the ceiling and saying, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.”


»  Roller skates that were metal, adjustable and required a key. They were dangerous but so much fun. Every girl on the block had the same pair.

» Going out to eat was a rare treat. We ate at McDonald’s only when my mom and dad were going out on a date.

» We had a record player and listened to much of our music that way. I remember listening to my dad’s favorite — Neil Diamond — and our holiday favorite, the Lennon Sisters.


» My free time as a kid was spent collecting stickers, doing latch hook kits and making friendship pins and hair barrettes with long ribbons.

It was a wonderful childhood. It’s fun to look back, reminisce and smile. I hope my kids have the same happy memories when they look back as an adult and get caught up in nostalgia.

What are some of the things you remember from your childhood that aren’t around today?

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