Life In Olden Times

On his 90th birthday his great-grandkids gathered ‘round old Granddad,
Begging him to tell them about the olden times when he was just a lad.
“How fast did cars go back then?” “A horse and wagon was all we had!”
“Gee, going anywhere must have been so slow, making traveling bad.”
Granddad surprised the children by reacting with a laugh, then a smile,
“Going slow simply meant, passing a neighbor, you’d stop and talk awhile.”

“Mommy says back then y’all had no TV, having to listen to a radio.
That sounds very boring, having only sound without the video;
Think of all that you missed seeing.” “More wrong you couldn’t be,
We developed our imagination, learning to visualize what you cannot see.”

“But, Granddad, you had no movies, no rock concerts, no hanging at the mall,
No computer games! It sounds terrible, life with no entertainment at all!”
“No way! We entertained ourselves. We talked, learning the art of conversation.
We played family games, teaching us all about person to person interaction.”

“Yeah, Granddad, but you were poor. You didn’t get an allowance every week.
How did you get any spending money?” “ Why, usually a part-time job we’d seek.
We’d work after school and after chores at home were done. As a consequence,
Having to earn our own money taught us responsibility and independence.”

“But how could you survive without credit cards and a deferred payment plan?
You must have had to do without quite a lot!” “Kids, you must understand,
Most people paid in cash; not buying if you can’t afford it is actually nifty.
Saving a year or two for what you want teaches you to be patient and thrifty.”

“Granddad, did you get lots of toys and games at Christmas back then?’
“Gosh, no! Each kid got one toy and a few clothes. We felt lucky when
Santa left bags of candy, apples, and oranges to be shared by everyone.
Quit frowning; this was good since we learned the lesson of appreciation.”

“Granddad, you sure had it tough back then. We feel sorry for you!”
“Kids, with conditions today, you have it tougher, if only you knew!”

Harry Edward Gilleland      12.24.01