by Mary May Larmoyeux
“This reminded me of a wonderful way of life,” my friend Carroll Hertzfeldt said in an email, after reading about the birth of my new granddaughter.
” … Of course that was all before my mom ‘abused’ us by giving us a good lickin’ on the butt,” she said, “well deserved for defiance, lying … getting in trouble in school, saying ‘I hate you’ to a sibling, or eating all the Moon Pies she bought for school lunches.”
Carroll doesn’t think the “lickins” ever hurt … even once.
And when her brother Pete repeated a bad word, their big sister naturally followed Mom’s example. But instead of a “lickin,” she washed his mouth out with soap. Carroll remembers the time when Pete actually bit the soap. He “chewed it up and swallowed it right in front of her,” she says, recalling their horror-stricken sister who was crying and yelling,”‘Spit it out!'”
Today Carroll and her sister laugh when they think of that memory, and so many more. At times tears come to their eyes and they long for the “good ole days.”
And when they recall their brother Pete’s wonderful sense of humor, Carroll almost always thinks about the nose story. “Mom would be yelling seriously at the three of us as teens over whatever. That’s when Pete would say, ‘Mom, I know you are really mad, but your nose is laughing.'”
That’s when everyone started laughing, even Carroll’s mom.
Now, back in those day, the kids actually listened to and respected the other parents. “If Miss Bert, Miss Lil, Mrs. Hallowell, or Aunt Elsie reprimanded you,” Carroll says, “you got it again when you returned home.”
Carroll loved being a kid and thinks that her brother Bo had it right. He always said they lived the quintessential childhood. “Out at first light, in by dark…unless we were catching fireflies in the yard with all the parents, and every so often we would have watermelon outside—in the dark.”
Ahhhh … sweet memories … captured through simple stories.
What favorite story do you remember about “the good ole days”?
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