Boomer Childhood Memories

If you are a boomer reading this I hope it took you to a place of importance in your life. I hope you will share your story with others that will listen. Most of all, I hope that it has instilled in you the memory of what is really important. Simple can sometimes be the most priceless of things that we have! Ask yourself, is it too late? Maybe your family can still have some of this on a beautiful week end coming up soon.

As I awaken from a short nap today and sat enjoying a cup of cappuccino, my mind went back in time to my childhood.  I thought of the big city of St. Louis, Missouri where I was born.  It was a city not suburbs as some of us call city today.  I remember the two and four family flats around the neighborhood.  Most families rented.  The flats were not air conditioned.  Instead, a fan was placed in the window for cooling.  Neighbors sat on the front porch steps to cool in the evening.  Those buildings were very hot in the summer time.  Children played on the sidewalks such games as hop scotch and jacks.  Some kids were lucky enough to own a bicycle.  Our treat consisted of getting a nice cold snow cone from the snow cone man when we heard the musical sound of his truck coming. Our parents were blue collar workers. They were proud to have jobs in factories near by.  After a hard day of work some listened to the Cardinal baseball game on the AM station of their radio.  You could smell the aroma of home cooking coming the apartments. Dinner time was called super time and lunch was dinner.  A hearty lunch consisted of half a bologna sandwich and a can of Campbell’s chicken and noodle soup.  Super usually included some form of potatoes, a meat and gravy, peas or beans.  Children did not complain about their meals and Mom’s enjoyed cooking them.

Week ends came and some Dads might have a beer or two.  Mothers did the weekly grocery shopping at an outside fruit and vegetable market.  Meat was purchased from a butcher at the meat store.  The butcher was a friendly sort of chap with meat blood stains on his apron.  He always cut and wrapped a generous good portion in white freezer paper. The butcher knew all his customers by a first name basis.

Some times families enjoyed the parks on Sunday.  I remember the bright colored plastic table clothes spread out on picnic benches.  Huge bowls of potato salad, slaw and all the fixings were there for a wonderful picnic meal.  Adults and children played softball, badminton and shared a lot of laughter and fun.  At the end of the day we were relaxed, a little tired, sometimes sun burned, but happy. That was life in the big city.

Later I remember the move to a small town.  It was a much slower pace.  The town has one grocery store not a butchers shop.  There was a town square that sat right in the middle of the town with the stores around it.  You could see the old cotton gin where farmers brought their cotton in wagons to be ginned and bailed.  Sometimes there was country music players in the square for the town folks entertainment.  It was very important to get to town at the right time on Saturday evening for the town drawing.  I remember waiting anxiously to hear who would win the prize for the week.

On Sunday most folks put on their go to meeting clothes and attended church.  Everyone’s shoes were shined and dressed in their best clothes.  You could see men’s faces freshly shaved.  Women looked as though they just walked out of a country fashion magazine.   Hats were properly taken off prior to entering the building except for the ladies.  Of course they displayed their hats proudly on their heads clipped on with hat pins.

Sunday dinner was a big thing in the small town.  Tables were prepared with the best dishes.  The windows of the houses were open.  Curtains were swinging back and forth in the windows.  You could smell chicken and okra frying.  Potatoes were being mashed with real butter.  The gravy was simmering in the skillet. Fresh pies were coming out of the ovens.  Beautiful red tomatoes were sliced from the garden.  The families gathered around at the table and enjoyed a feast.  After dinner some nodded off for a nap while others just relaxed as if there was not a care in the world.

If you are a boomer reading this I hope it took you to a place of importance in your life.  I hope you will share your story with others that will listen.  Most of all, I hope that it has instilled in you the memory of what is really important.  Simple can sometimes be the most priceless of things that we have!  Ask yourself, is it too late?  Maybe your family can still have some of this on a beautiful week end coming up soon.

Originally posted 2011-08-09 20:39:20.

Boomer Memories: A Visit to A Brother in FL

Go deep sea fishing with Working Boomer and her brother and discover the adventure of a lifetime and their treasured monster catch. Boomer stories.

The alarm clock went off at 4 a.m. and I jumped out of bed ready for my fishing trip in South Florida.  This time I had learned a few things from the day before.  I cut off the jeans in my suit case and made shorts to wear along with a halter top.  My carrying bag was full of sun tan lotion.  I was good to go.  By 4:30a.m. my brother and I were at the boat.

It was a nice large boat with a bathroom, table,chairs and an umbrella to keep the sun away.   I thought to myself, ” this is going to be one relaxing fishing trip.” We headed out into the ocean until there was no land to be seen.  The sunrise was beautiful!  My brother stopped the boat so we could begin fishing.

First of all, I could not believe the size of the hooks.  The line was not at all like the line for river fishing  but instead looked to me more like big cable wire wrapped around a huge roller looking thing.  Paul attached a hunk of meat or something on the hook.  Now I had never seen nothing like that before so I figured I had better just do some watching and learning. After casting this large thing out into the ocean, my brother stuck the pole in a big round object and we waited.  It wasn’t long until I saw a large fish in the distance fly up out of the ocean and back down again.  “Wow, look at that!,” I exclaimed to Paul as I looked down at this fishing line which was moving.  Paul responded, “Sis, that flying fish is on your hook.”

Trying to wind in that line was like trying to pull in a bulldozer.  The darn fish got away.  The next fish that hit was a 28 lb. barracuda which Paul caught.  It flopped on the line as it landed on the deck of the boat.  I took a look and  for a moment there, swim or not, I almost jumped overboard.  This fish had big ugly TEETH. Paul said, “Now Sis, don’t try to take the hook out of this baby’s mouth like you do those Missouri fish.”  He didn’t have to worry about that because I was already safely hiding in the bathroom peeking out the door.  Then Paul took some kind of spear looking thing that he called a gaff and stabbed the fish.  Blood went all over the deck.  Now Paul caught a few more barracuda.  I made more escapes to the bathroom.

Then we came upon a group of Red Snapper. He reeled in a lot of those.  Paul really enjoyed snapper catching. Red snapper have BIG red eyeballs.  By that time the sun was drilling down and I was sweating like a big dog, blood everywhere but this was fun.  That is until I had a yank at my line and it took off so fast that I didn’t know what to do.  I tugged, reeled, fought, and was determined to get the fish into the boat.  After what seemed like an hour I had to ask brother for HELP.  It was a Big One!  Now it was at the side of the boat.  I looked down and yelled.  It was Jaws himself.  As you might have already guessed, I was back in the bathroom again.

I finally got brave and came out.  Jaws ate two gaffs.  I threw soda cans down his BIG mouth and the he still wouldn’t die.  We didn’t have a shark gun so Paul made a lasso like you rope cows with and lassoed the shark.  I took the other end of the rope and tied it around the table legs so we could get jaws head above water. Jaws then gave up the fight and went peacefully to his maker.

After hours we headed back to land with Jaws attached to the side of the boat.  We docked. Oh my, what an adventure but the work was just beginning.  We weighed Jaws. It was only a little 6 ft. baby shark but I wanted the shark teeth.  So Paul cut into the shark. Oh  what a smell which sent me running again. Now, I am here to tell you I have never seen so much blood.  In addition, we had to clean the boat before we could return home.

Finally jaws was cut up by a saw and iced in a trash can.  The teeth were cut out gums and all.  So fish, myself, and brother were finally headed home. I was a bit traumatized, hot, tired and ready for a good nap.  That is when I realized that 1p.m. until 4 p.m. was good napping time in South Florida during the summer.

Later, my brother who was a chef, fried up a mess of those red snapper.  Man were they good.  I ate until I was about to pop as my brother encouraged me to eat more.  After I could eat no more Paul asked,  “Sis did you enjoy your fish dinner?”  Now he had that sly grin on his face again.  I said, Oh yes, that was the best fish that I have ever eaten.”  He said, “I’m glad because you just consumed over a $100 worth of fish if you had bought them at the store.”  So once again I learned a little bit about red snapper, barracuda, shark, salt water ocean fishing, big boat cleaning, and was preparing for my next adventure with my brother Paul.

So if any of this interests you then check out vacations and places to live on this site boomerplaces.com.  If you are lucky you might even find a good smoked fish recipe under the title recipes.  Yep, if I had it all to do over, I would not change a thing.  Those were great times and good boomer memories. More Boomer StoriesBoomer Vacations

Originally posted 2010-12-29 21:39:14.

Boomer Memory Of Strengthened Faith

Boomer memories: A get-away turns dangerous when a Winter storm hits, trapping the girls in their cabin at the top of the mountain. Memories are to be shared and Working Boomer lets up know the rest of the story that she always will remember.

It was late March, a beautiful early spring day, as my friend Lou and I set out for the Ozark Mountains for a much needed get a way. I had received one of those free offers to a resort for two nights and three days as guests to view a vacation community. Since funds were low this was an opportunity that we just could not pass up. The sun was shining bright, the sky was crystal clear as we pulled into the resort entrance where we were met by a Realtor who graciously showed us to our condo. It was much more than we had expected. The view from the balcony looked down on the quaint village nestled at the bottom of the mountain.  It was a dream come true; a place for rest and relaxation, no stress, no worries, no responsibility.  For two gals in their early 30’s it was an escape from reality; a little peace of heaven on earth placed there for our enjoyment.  Yes, 1984 was going to be a good year.

Lou and I were ready! After taking our cooler and bags from the car we jumped into our comfortable pajama pants and long sloppy tee shirts. We tuned into our favorite radio station and brought out our manicuring sets, facial masks, curling irons, chocolate candy bars, chips and soda pop. Of course, Lou had her favorite love story book while I had my mediation and inspirational book to read. Lou flopped down on one couch with her legs hanging over the end as I spread out on the floor with my feet and legs in a chair. After pampering ourselves for a few hours, we decided to go to bed early to get some much needed sleep before our sightseeing trip that we had planned for the next day.

After sleeping for about two hours I woke up to a pounding sound on the window by my bed.  I pulled back the curtains to see sleet, ice and snow falling all around. The driveway was covered in ice and of course we were at the very top of the mountain.  We were iced in a snow storm to be remembered! Old man winter had returned in full force. I awakened Lou.  Immediately she started to panic.  She was crying as fear over took her.  We both were due back to work within two days and could not afford to miss any pay.  I had a fear of driving in bad weather and always avoided it.  After listening to the weather news, we learned the snow was suppose to continue for two days and there was talk of shutting the highways down.  I felt scared, powerless and out of control.

Lou was not into meditation and prayer but I was. I asked if she would pray with me.  She agreed and we held each others hands while I prayed.  A since of peace came over me that words can not even describe. The answer came!

Some how we de-iced the car and I drove it down the steep mountain. We made it to the highway where there were no vehicles in sight. Along the way, we stopped at a gas station for a fill up.  A truck driver asked us if we were crazy for driving in the weather.  I smiled and replied, “ No Sir. There is something more powerful than me behind the wheel of this car.”  We then continued on our way.  It was a fourteen hour drive which in normal conditions would have only taken five hours.  I remained calm during the entire trip.  My fear of driving had been removed.  My faith had been strengthened. We arrived safely back in the big city.  Lou now prays and meditates.  As for me, I have a story.  I have a memory.  It may not have been the escape that we wanted but it was the Gift that we needed.  It was The Power Of Faith and Peace Within.  The Gift was priceless and now it is being shared with you!

Originally posted 2011-02-26 09:11:27.

Night Time Foot Warmers Never Change

It’s a bit chilly outside this morning which took my mind on a series of thoughts.  As a country gal, we only had one little stove which sat in the living room.  The rest of the house was with out heat.  Now talk about a cold bedroom.

The bed had lots of covers.  There were the flannel sheets and at least six homemade quilts.  My mother made those quilts by hand.  She used fabric from discarded dresses, curtains and so forth. Then the fabric was cut into little squares and sewed together.  For a lining she sewed in old army blankets or sometimes cotton from rolls.  Now this was warmth.  Once you got into bed and found a comfy spot that is where you stayed for the night.  There was not much tossing about because the covers were so heavy it was difficult to turn over.  Then of course there was the problem of keeping one’s nose warm.  In order to breathe it had to come out from under those covers.   I can even remember wearing a cover over my head which helped keep the ears warm.

Today quilting is a hobby.  There are quilts in the department stores with beautiful designs and colors.  If one chooses to have cotton sheets those can be purchased also but are much different from the old days.  Now they are smooth and fit the bed tightly.  Back in the day each morning it was an ordeal picking little cotton balls off ones flannel nighties after arising.

Now we turn the thermostat just to the right temperature.  The ladies deck out in silky sexy attire and they even have those silky pajamas for men.  For true warmth there are electric blankets with his and hers separate controls on them.  Even the family dog has a fancy cozy sleeping bed of its own.

If you still have a bed partner there is something  that still hasn’t changed; COLD FEET! Cold feet are just cold feet.  Now I don’t have a partner so I really don’t have to be concerned with that today but I still haven’t forgotten.  Back in my early first marriage I headed for bed ready to sleep.  Then here he came and over came those COLD FEET.    Now much later in life with the nice heated blankets and temperature controlled bedrooms here he came  with those same icicle COLD FEET.

So the bottom line to this story is just this.  If you have a partner at any time in life that you still sleep with make ABSOLUTELY SURE that there are nice warm HIS and HERS socks for those Cold feet.  After all they can be removed when the body temperatures start to rise.  If you are a house hold of one like me, just jump in the bed drift off to sleep and thank the lucky stars that you don’t have to get that shocker coming your way of the COLD FEET.

Originally posted 2010-12-26 17:28:23.

Boomers Remember When

Boomers Remember When takes a look at how things have changed in our lives. A look back to soda for a dime, drive in movies, 55 Chevy, fishing, vacations, and more.

Remember when a soda was called pop and came in a small bottle called cocoa cola for only a dime.  Then there was the fountain drink that came in the paper cone sitting in a tin container as we drank it and listened to the jukebox at the corner drug store.  Today that coke cost a dollar, comes in a can from a machine as we listen to music on our I pods.

Remember the 55 Chevy that we loaded our families in to take that much needed vacation 250 miles away.  We packed a cooler, made sandwiches and stopped at a picnic table on the side of the road to eat.  Today we pack the mini van or catch a jet to fly to interesting places.  We eat at the finest restaurants and stay at beautiful hotels by the beach.

Remember when television had shows like Gun Smoke, I Love Lucy, and no remote control.  Now we have Who’s the Biggest Loser, Law and Order, Dancing With the Stars and a remote that we are constantly trying to figure out, that is if we can find it.

Remember when we went to drive in movies, rolled the windows down in our cars and sat the lawn chairs out.  Today we watch movies on our computers or go to the big cinema’s and wait for hours just to get a ticket to get in.

Remember when going fishing meant picking up a cane pole and digging up a few worms for bait and heading to the nearest water hold.  Today we shop at the Bass Pro shop for the best, the finest and travel far to find a lake that just might have some fish still in it.  Then of course there is deep sea fishing that takes a large crew on board with fine dining, nice bathroom facilities, and someone to bait your hook.  No longer do we have to be lazy sitting under a shade tree, listening to the birds, and taking a little nap waiting for a fish to bite our hook and take the bobble down.  That was disturbing since it sometimes messed up a good lazy dream.

Remember when we played marbles, checkers, horse shoes and monopoly.  Now we find the greatest games on our I phones, walk miles to play golf and ski from the top of the highest mountains to entertain ourselves.

Remember when there was a party line on the old land line telephone.  Now there is social media.  You can just sign in and read a long instead of ease dropping on a conversation of your neighbors down the street.

Yes, we boomers remember.  Was it more simple?  That is a good question for at the time we did not think so.  In 60 years I won’t be around but I just wonder about some things.  What will the youth of today remember?  What will their story be?  What mark will they leave on the world?  Will their grandchildren be fishing at all?  Will they travel on a road or highway?  Will there even be a thing called a television?  What kind of a container will hold a soda or will there be soda?  Will there still be a place called a movie theater?  Will there be a clean beach to play in the sand?

Yes, I wonder.  What will be the stories?  What will be the memories of tomorrow in our ever changing world?  Let us not forget!  Let us remember when.

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Originally posted 2010-12-19 05:22:01.

Boomer Stories: The Parrot Was Set Free

She put him in his cage as the blood ran down her finger and had a few words to say to the parrot. These were her words, “You are just like one of my ex husbands that bite the hand of the person that feeds you so guess what? I am getting rid of you just like I did him!”

Now I do not claim to be a bird expert and this story will tell you why.  Many years ago I took my yearly vacation to visit my brother and his wife in Florida.  On arriving at their house I noticed a beautiful parrot had been added to their family along with Albert and Duchess the great Danes.  Unfortunate for me they had to leave for work soon after my arrival.  That was the beginning of my bird story.

I sat down in the lazy boy chair to do a little relaxing. The next thing I knew the parrot was flying around the room making a lot of funny noises.  Now I didn’t know parrots had such big wings.  So I stood up.  The parrot came right at me.  I ducked. Then here it came again.  I took off to the kitchen.  Here came the parrot.  The next thing I knew it landed on my shoulder and was snapping at my ear.  This was not very pleasant since I really needed my ear.  When I would raise my hand toward the bird it would snap at my finger.  By this time I was getting a little fearful because the bird had taken up permanent residence on my shoulder and had no intentions of leaving.

Since Albert the Great Dane was brave I decided to solicit his help.  I slowly moved to the floor, laying on my stomach with bird climbing down my back.  I called Albert over thinking he would take care of this bird situation but instead the bird snapped at Albert and Albert took off.  Time passed and my nerves were quite on edge not knowing what to do with this bird on my shoulder that appeared to have a taste for my ear.  I looked for a work phone number to call my brother but none to be found.  My shoulder was aching, my heart was pounding and over an hour had gone by with bird still attached to me.

At this point I was willing to try anything so I found a telephone book and called an exotic bird shop to see if they could give me any suggestions of getting this dog gone bird off of my shoulder.  I was somewhat hysterical when I made the call.  The person on the other end of the telephone line was of no help at all and was very concerned that I was going to hurt the bird.  No way.  Hec, I couldn’t figure out how to even get my hands on it without coming up with a missing finger or something.

Then I came up with another idea.  I got a towel out of the linen closet and slowly folded it over my lower arms and hands.  Now the last thing I wanted to do was upset this bird that was still checking out my ear.  Slowly but surely I raised my arms, threw the towel over the bird, made a quick move and off the bird flew but oh was he mad.  He was diving at me again.  I took off to the kitchen and grabbed a frying pan for protection but I didn’t want to hurt the bird.  Plus now how would that have looked to my brother when he came home seeing his parrot laying in a frying pan.

Well I guess the parrot got tired of playing his silly game and went to his cage which pleased me very much.  Cautiously I slammed the bird cage door and finally after many hours I was parrot safe.

Now that was a story that my brother truly enjoyed with his sense of humor but we made a deal  parrot stays in cage or I go to a hotel.  Now the only thing we could figure out was the parrot just loved my red hair.  Who knows.  Maybe he thought I was another parrot or something.  Anyway, my sister-in-law came home from work not knowing of this happening because she worked late at night.  The next morning, I came out of my bedroom to once again be greeted by a flying parrot.  Lucky for me this time my sister-in-law grabbed the bird but it was not lucky for her.

The bird took a large bite out of her finger.  Now I am here to tell you parrots make mistakes too and that was a BIG mistake.  She put him in his cage as the blood ran down her finger and had a few words to say to the parrot.  These were her words, “You are just like one of my ex husbands that  bite the hand of the person that feeds you so guess what?  I am getting rid of you just like I did him!”

Now that is the end of my bird story.  My sister-in-laws finger healed, the parrot got a new home and my ear returned safely to the city of St. Louis.  Oh and by the way, I have no desire to own a parrot even though they are beautiful birds at a distance.  Every parrot has its place and that place is not with me!  So now that I am almost 62 years old I just prefer watching a Robin sitting in a tree.

Originally posted 2010-12-22 15:27:22.