Monday, December 19, 2005

Use Your Imagination

Parents have a way of making children think the family is flat broke with repeated use of such phrases like money doesn’t grow on trees. My parents were no different when I was little.

I grew up in a rural area surrounded by sugarcane fields on a farm where there were lots of animals, mostly chickens, but we also had vegetable gardens and cornfields. There was never a lack of food. And although I wore hand-me-downs, I never felt underprivileged or poor in any sense - until I started meeting new people at school and began the comparisons.

Take toys and games for instance. While others enjoyed an authentic Slip-n-Slide, we usually just slipped across chicken shit on the carport.

My mother would not allow us to stay indoors and sit in front of the TV all day, so out we went into the magical world of the cane fields. We ran up and down the rows, under the canopy of cane that not only provided needed shade, but also inflicted papercut-like scrapes all over that really burned like hell once the sweating commenced.

Instead of Hide & Seek like others played, my brother introduced a game called Swinging Statues – he’d hold us by our hands, swing us in a circle, and then let go, thereby flinging us across the yard. Upon landing, you had to keep your position for as long as possible. This wasn’t hard to do, considering the resulting aches and pains wouldn’t allow much movement anyway.

Boredom and ingenuity are a scary combination. One of my brothers had a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. He hid on the top shelf of my parents closet and waited for the rest of the gang to come in, sit down, and begin a séance. He and his glowing Spirit had me bolting toward the great outdoors within seconds. To this day, I will not step foot into that closet without the aid of every light in the house being on.

And yes, I'm well aware we don’t own stock in the electric company.

3 Comments:

Blogger JohnB said...

My mom had us all thinking that we were all dirt poor-I used to have to beg for pants that didn't ride up to mid-calf and have shingled patches down to the hem in front, despite my dad working as an electrical engineer with a PhD

4:10 PM, December 19, 2005  
Blogger ItsTJoint said...

I barely had any clothes because I went to schools that had uniforms. Although my parents had some money, that did not translate to me having any when I finally got a car and could legally work a part-time job.

I also grew up in a very outlying suburb, so outdoor activity was high. However, when I got to college, the TV became my primary form of entertainment and, if you can't tell from my blog, remains so to this day.

Great post!

5:24 PM, December 19, 2005  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

JB - parents must have made some secret pact or something - I also endured "high-waters"

ITJ - Thanks! I also watch too much tv and sometimes when I'm feeling frisky, I even sit right in front of it!

School uniforms started for me in 5th grade - thank God I didn't have to go through the wardrobe competition thing - that would've been a nightmare.

11:32 PM, December 19, 2005  

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