Anyone over 60 can probably remember living "the simple life." To me the simple life was before we had to start worrying about high gas prices, the job market, keeping up with technology, remote control, and keeping Social Security solvent. It is remembering when the Beetles first came to America and were on the Ed Sullivan Show or going to the county fair in the fall and riding everything two or three times. We really looked forward to the fair.
Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s was not bad for me. As I look back I am sure my parents were worrying about "life" and feeding all of us, but they did not let it become a worry to us. We knew at meal time there would be something on the table. When the ballgame started, we would be dressed in our clean suits and they would have us there on time. When the school bus went by we would be on it unless we were very ill. When we flipped on the light switch, the light would come on. We had no idea an electric bill came due every month.
We didn't know fried food was not good for us, and we always had a banana pudding for Sunday dinner. Marbles and jacks were the games of the day, and we walked to get there, not to exercise.
On Sundays Mom would take us to church and in the summer we would be chopping cotton in Grandpa's fields. When we were not working or going to school, cousins would be over for an afternoon of playing. We played ball, cards, other games or just walked down the country roads talking about what we would do and where we would go someday.
When I got a little older I would go to Sunday matinees at the theater in Manila. I especially enjoyed those days and the old movies. I still have a love of old movies.
Recently I watched Sandra Dee and Troy Donohue in "A Summer Place." A few weeks ago I caught the end of "Peyton Place." To me the old movies are the best. I also loved the movie magazines telling all about the stars.
I never had plans to become a movie star but I did enjoy reading about the stars and watching their movies. They were the beautiful people. Many weekends we would load up the car and go to the drive-in movies. I don't remember thinking it was too hot to be there or the sound was not too good even though I am sure both would have described the experience.
A real treat was stopping by the little drive-in restaurant and getting a cone of soft ice cream we called custard. I am glad my dad liked ice cream. Here again, it was a simple time. Dad didn't ask us what we wanted. He just went to the window and said six vanilla ice cream cones. It was fine with all of us.
Life is still good but we don't seem to have time to catch our breath anymore. There is no down time. Today we have better cars with air conditioners, we can go and come, we have color television, eat out often, have push button appliances, and still can't keep it all done.
I also think life was simple when our children were small. I only worked part time and got to stay home with them and watch them grow to school age. We ate dinner in our kitchen every night as a family and when we got into the car to go somewhere, we all went together. We spent afternoons at the park while the kids played. We visited grandparents at least once a week.
We can't go back and really we wouldn't want to, but we can enjoy those memories and catch a few old movies from time to time.
In reality we can't live in the past or the future -- today is what we have, so we just have to keep on trying to figure out the new gadgets coming our way almost every day.