Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Good Ole Days

I love nostalgia. I am not really sure why. Years ago when I worked at a fabric store part-time they began making fabrics that replicated the feed sack prints from the 1930s. I fell in love so deeply that before the year ended I had collected dozens of scraps of 30s prints and made myself a quilt.

I love chenille and old fashioned looking kitchen appliances and fifty year old overly loved baby dolls and anything that looks like it is at least twenty years older than me. Finances and space requirements have kept me from having out of control collections littering my house. I admire from afar.

Maybe it's because it reminds me of simplicity. Things I remember seeing in my own childhood take me back to a place where I didn't know the meaning of the word mortgage and the price of fuel was not on my radar. Mom and Dad seemed to have things under control and my biggest decision of the day was choosing between the grilled cheese and the Sloppy Joe in the school cafeteria.

Being married to a man with a double degree in History and Antiquities (who knew there was such a degree?) makes me very aware of the realities of tales from the 'good ole days'. Times were simpler. There was no MTV. No cell phones. Little decent TV programming to suck you into the couch.

Heck, back in the really good ole days there were very few cars to take us shopping for things we didn't need and the farm life led families to pray together and stay together. It sounds so pure and good and desirable.

But history-wise hubby reminds me that the things that make me sane in my day to day life were also non existent. Let's make the short list - microwave, dishwasher, vacuum, washing machine, internet banking, tivo.....

Okay, that's the long list.

But it's a list I wouldn't want to live without.

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I was thinking about the good ole days. My hair smelled of smoke and my body was weary from a full day of activity.

Early in the day yesterday we watched a van with Missouri license plates pull into our driveway. The doors opened and four people we love very much piled out.

Two of our very best friends from college, who made it very easy on us by marrying each other, stopped by for a visit on their way back from a trip to Massachusetts. This is one of those rare couples where both of us love both of them. No awkward 'putting up with the spouse' so you can see the person you do like. We adore both of these friends, and the two great kids they have produced.

So we spent the afternoon tromping through our woods, swinging from our tree swings, playing dodge ball in our front yard, and then playing charades around a huge glorious fire pit. (fueled by the scrap 2x4s from the basement gut....so there, evil Basement force.)

We stayed up way past bedtimes and as Baby boy fell asleep in my lap we tried to ignore the inevitable conclusion to a perfect day.

The van with familiar plates left our driveway just before midnight and we all collapsed into bed - smoky and content.

And it occurred to me that the numbers on the calendar pronouncing a new millennium in no way dictate that the good ole days are over. Its about friends, family, health, great sunny days, kids who mingle easily, good food, a day without work obligations.

Its about laying my head on the pillow at night smelling of campfire smoke and having a heart full of new memories to file away.

No chenille or tin toys or thirties prints quilts necessary.

These are the good ole days, my friend. These are the good ole days.

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