Where dreams are born

Yes, yes I did :)

Yes, yes I did 🙂  Google

Growing up in a farm family of five kids we not only rode in the back of a truck, we drank from the hose and the tap down at the barn.  We lived in a house with lead paint, climbed trees, jumped off barns, tied a toboggan to the back of the snowmobile and let ‘er rip, rode our ponies bareback and more.

I remember being around 12 and thinking it would be cool to smoke a cigarette – ick – glad that habit never stuck and no, I never smoked more than 1 or 2 puffs of it.  Cough! Gag! Sputter!  Bet you’ll never guess our hiding spot while we tried this out?  The hayloft.  Dry as tinder – surrounded by bales – and it made perfect sense at the time -but I shudder about that one now.

I also remember swimming in a fast moving river,  skating on a (mostly) frozen pond, snowmobiling by moonlight, mowing the lawn in flip flops and running quickly through the bull’s pasture.

We did it all and lived to tell the tale   My kids have only done a few of these things and the grands, even less. Somehow I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.

The freedom I grew up with gave us opportunities to make decisions for ourselves – good and bad.  We learned the consequences of our actions.  We saw what can happen when things go terribly wrong.   We saw what can happen when …  they don’t.

When my brothers and sisters and I reminisce about these adventures, Mom just shakes her head and covers her ears.

How about you? Did you survive … or thrive?  What was the last thing you did that made you feel like a kid again?



Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Where dreams are born

  1. I thrived! Riding bicycles barefoot and with no helmet, playing on monkey bars with only cinders beheath, walking the railroad trestle down at the park… The one ironclad rule was: when the street lights come on, come home.

    I had a friend who’d eat dirt for five cents per spoonful. You could buy a lot of candy down at the gas station for a nickel.

    • Eat dirt for $.5? wow! I can honestly say I have never heard of that but you’re right, you could get a LOT Of penny candy at the store for that price!

      We had a similar childhood 🙂

  2. I’m guilty of many of the same adventures!! How many tetanus shots did you get as a kid? I think I had as many as the law allowed, considering the multiple cuts, scrapes and rusty nails sticking up through barn boards that I stepped on!! 🙂

    • In my experience, being farm raised meant a firm foundation and consistent values sprinkled with a healthy dose of (neglect) freedom. We were taught what to do and we did it. We had chores and responsibilities. We were trusted to figure things out as we went. And did we ever.

      Yes I had at least two tetanus shots and I remember stepping on a nail in an abandoned building and the feeling of being “nailed” to the floor – it didn’t hurt till I lifted my foot up – and boy did it hurt then.

      Were you my cousin? Pretty sure we had the same childhood, RR 🙂 Lucky we were MJ

      • Blessed, absolutely!! Those guardian Angels of ours earned their keep!! ;). I was particularly adapt at finding where Dad had recently moved the electric fence too. Once found I didn’t make the same mistake twice.

      • it was a good thing we never had one of those — barbed wire was enough to deal with!

  3. I guess I sort of led a sheltered life — although I did occasionally drink from the garden hose! This was a neat post!

    • Well there were just too many of us to corral … most of my cousins had 5 kids in their families, too — there would be entire herds of us and our mothers favorite words were “take it outside!”


  4. add to that list, chasing after the mosquito fogger (spraying DDT) on our bikes, hunting with real shot guns @ an early age,driving a tractor, way before I was old enough to get a permit, so my long answer is thrive…recently…hummm how about chasing after a mean rooster (or 3) I love it when they come after me. I can have them upside down squawking in about 5 seconds.

    • I forgot shooting guns long before a legal age and of course, driving under the age of 10. 🙂

      The roosters never bothered me too much but my cousins had farm geese *the white ones?* and they were mean as snakes. They’d chase us and bite. Lord I was scared of them!!

  5. Like you I broke most safety rules as a kid. In fact, today social services would take me away from my family. I lived in a neighborhood with lots of relatives. Every one of my aunts and uncles could discipline me (not physical but loud verbal). Everyone’s doors were open and we could eat anywhere. Smells of cookies wafting through the neighborhood meant kids would gravitate to that house on some pretense or another. Oh yes, we were outside all day in the summer and part of the day in the winter. The only time we were in was to do chores or read a book. TV wasn’t on until I begged for American Bandstand! It wasn’t a bad life!

    • Yep – we were community raised, too … our farms were close together so we could ride our ponies or bikes to one aunts or another (or Grandma’s) and enjoy hospitality along the way. We had to be in by suppertime, or sooner if there were chores to do.

      I remember lots of winter nights playing outside, too, because it got dark at 5:30 – but we were out there 🙂 Magical – yes it was, in many ways.


      • Kids today have so many great advantages that we didn’t but they don’t have the freedom we did. My parents were realistic. They knew I wasn’t perfect and they knew not everything was my fault but there were no threats and parents didn’t go nuts at sports events. Yes, magical!

  6. We were told to “go out and play” so taking chances, climbing trees, riding bikes, roller skating, smoking behind the playhouse,playing ball in the streets. We just had to be home in time for dinner. The good old days of an unsupervised upbringing. Your wonderful post certainly does bring back memories. Thank you.

    • There were adults around who kept an eye on us – Dad was in the workshop or an auntie could always telephone home to let Mom know where she’d spotted us – knee deep in the slough (pond) or riding on the highway (forbidden). We had boundaries (sort of ) and had to be home for supper or sooner if we had chores.

      I feel lucky to have had such a childhood, I really do. But sometimes I do wonder how there weren’t more broken bones 🙂 MJ

  7. Drank from the hose, rode my bike without a helmet and rode miles from home with no way for mom to reach me. Survived metal swing sets and whirly birds without cutting off fingers. But still… I kept my kids on a much tighter leash!

  8. It was a different world when I was growing up, too. My mom never put sunscreen on us, she let us walk to the grocery store by ourselves, we’d ride in the car without seat belts . . . Me and my siblings are still standing.
    I can’t say that I’d allow my own kids to do the same. I’m not a helicopter mom by any means, but walking to the grocery store at age nine would be a HUGE NO NO!!

    • So, so true, Anka. I drove a truck at age 9, not kidding. No seat belts, no sunscreen, no big rules other than “don’t make me come in there” and “be home by suppertime.” MJ

  9. I rode my bike with no hands down the middle of a hilly road…lucky an unsuspecting card didn’t run me over. But that was the best way to ride with no hands with the momentum of a downhill ride to keep me straight. I climbed lots of trees and never fell out, jumped out of swings and never broke anything. Stood on the balcony all by myself at age 8 at my grandmother’s high rise apartment… I had the sense not to jump…sheesh. I’ve learned not to relate the last one, as it strikes some folks as a dangerous thing wondering where my parents were to “allow” such a thing. Fun post, MJ.

    • Oh that reminds me — did you ever ride on the handlebars when someone else was pedaling?

      We took a lot of risks but not enough to get seriously hurt (at least I didn’t — but I also had 4 ahead of me to learn from 🙂 )

      Thanks for the visit – and the memories ~ MJ

  10. Pingback: The desire to be whole again | Emjayandthem's Blog

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