I’m not sure why I’m reminiscing more this week than in times past. I’m exhausted, and it’s only Tuesday. Perhaps it’s the 100+ degree temperatures we have been having in Tallahassee.. or possibly related to the first day off I had on Sunday, the first in more than about 6 months. I spent that day with my folks,..floating in the pool in the home where I was raised. For the first time in a very long time, I put business down for a day, and I was as relaxed as I was when I was a child.
I had a few thoughts that I just needed to spill. As far back as I can remember, I have had a roof over my head. My father had a job, my mom made dinner at night and my sisters and I played in a yard,…every day. I don’t remember hearing about famine, about unemployment, about the threat of socialism or foreclosures being on the rise. I don’t remember a time when there was a need in my not-so-long-ago rural community, that families did not gather to “tend” to those in need.
As far back as I can remember, people had work to do, suppose that’s why I dont mind it or even think about the hours I put in as a single mom. I was raised in a middle class.. or what would now be considered lower middle class family I suppose. Plain and simple, everyone I was exposed to had a work ethic and a sense of moral dignity and community. Times may have been “tight,” but there was food on my table. (Much of it home-grown or given to us in trade for work my dad may have done for someone. I’ve put up more peas and corn than most have seen!)
When I look around today, I see a different society. Kids don’t play outside much anymore..they don’t build forts in the woods and they are never out of their parent’s watchful eyes. Father’s and mothers both work, and spend much of their time involved in costly night-time activities that are deemed “necessary” for physical and emotional development. I see the elderly shoved into homes because they have no families to care for them or either the children are fighting over who must “take on the job” of caring for them.
I’m not feeling very sorry right now for a few people I know who are using up their sick time before they loose it.. or complaining about kids driving them crazy whining and complaining. I think we’ve done a few things wrong along the way, plain and simple. Perhaps it’s not so bad to look back once in a while.. to sit and reminisce with the old folks, or to even look back to where we were a few decades ago.
The Tallahassee Board of Realtors is starting another Habitat For Humanity House in the fall. My pledge is $100 for each closing I have and to work on our build days. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be really. Every home-owner of these houses that I have met, has been hard-working, many raising their own children, grandchildren or someone else’s children. It takes a village, it means a home. I think most of us “get-it” now that this could be any one of us. What we don’t know is who would be there if we fell.
These may very well be “the good times.” These may be the times we gain control of our lives and reach out to those around us once again. Sure makes you think, huh. Today, I’m simply grateful for the 100 hour work week and the homemade blackberry jelly my friend Jay dropped off last week. Time to return a favor.