Do you remember when before mass recycling was a thing grocery stores had a corral of empty boxes you could take from? Furniture recycling was unknown, you fixed broken legs, upholstery restitched or replaced/ only when all options were exhausted did the derelict find its way to the landfill.
Do you remember when, shopping wasn’t done on Sundays? Grocery and department stores were closed leaving parking lots empty. Kids were taught to ride bikes, teens to drive cars. Only the little corner store remained open, kids would walk or ride bikes to spend their weekly allowance on pop, ice cream, and candy.
Do you remember when, clothes were handed down from sibling to sibling, sometimes ignoring differences in gender? Pants were hemmed if too long, cuffed bottoms allowing for growth spurts.
Do you remember when, Sunday dinners of roasts with all the fixings fresh from backyard gardens? With every family member seated round the kitchen table? Dining tables were left for only special occasions. Easter, thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s and the run of birthdays throughout the year.
Do you remember when, with homemade crabbing nets were constructed of branches shaped like a y strung with string? Navigating the barnacled rocks in old worn-out runners protecting the feet from pinchers. Taking home, the catch of the day to boiling pots and kitchens smelling of seaweed.
Do you remember when, long bike rides and staying out until dark weren’t scary and mothers calling their children home for supper?
Do you remember when, home baked pies and cookies competed with the smell of freshly baked bread? Spending all day inside with a hot oven even on sunny days?
Do you remember when, dishes were washed by hand? An assembly line of washer, dryer, and puter away.
Do you remember when, chores were divvyed up? A weekly schedule taped to the fridge or the inside of a cupboard door.
Do you remember lying in sleeping bags under starry skies searching for the big dipper and coming up empty?
Do you remember in the heat of summer, lying on the grass looking for pictures in the clouds?
Do you remember small towns and fewer cars, neighbours getting together for barbeques and picnics, kids building forts out of wood, make-shift huts to play store, house, or just sleep in?
Do you remember the impromptu ball games, freeze tag, kick the can, and Simon says?
Do you remember hanging with friends, sitting on doorstops, bumpers, and fences, nibbling on the sweet ends of grasses.
Do you remember water fights, playing war with sticks, and knocking on doors just for kicks.
Do you remember hopscotch, roller skates without helmets and pads, playing in dirt piles and kiddy pools, Gi joes and barbies.
Do you remember when cell phones replaced phone booths, tv sets shrunken to tablets, tv remotes now called Google and Alexa.
Do you remember when technology was Mechano, Lego, and etch-a-sketch? E-readers were made of paper checked out from libraries for free.
Do you remember running through sprinklers, swinging on swings, attempting handstands and cartwheels, and rolling down slopes.
Do you remember when the world was a much smaller space, a simpler place, a quieter place?
Do you remember when life was just beginning? The years ahead on an endless road leading to anywhere, everywhere.
Do you remember those days, the old days, the good times, the best times of days gone by? The days of youth, silliness, and fun locked away in a treasure chest hidden deep.
Ah, remembering the good old days, eh?