Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
When I was a child our playground equipment was trees. Trees to climb on or to swing from or to hide behind in hide and seek games. Sometimes we were lucky and the trees would have fruit for eating too. What fun it was to climb up into a peach tree, lean back on a branch, and eat a ripe peach just picked.
As we tired of the trees we turned to the dirt for more entertainment. We could make trails for our rock vehicles. Piles of dirt became forts for our stick people where the heroes fought off the invading enemy. Dirt could become mud pies filled with pebbles or grass as the fruit filling. Dirt became clay for molding all manor of sculptured items. Like dishes for our corn cob dolls.
Tiring of dirt and trees we could always turn to exploring bugs. Bugs could be found just about everywhere. Red ones, yellow ones, green ones, there were all colors of bugs. Crawling ones, flying ones, under leaves or under rocks. Bugs were fascinating things. But watch out for the stinging and biting ones. Handle those carefully.
Then there was nature itself to explore. We asked all manor of scientific questions then tried to find the answers. The questions didn’t really need an answer because it was just fun looking for it. Why did the red flowers have only a few petals and the yellow ones have hundreds? Why did fruit trees have fruit but maple trees only had sap and not maple flavored fruit?
Sometimes it was nice to just lay under a tree and look up at the sky. Clouds could be fluffy art sculpture to look at or the sky could be completely cloud free. Laying under a tree to read a book undisturbed was very nice. Oh, and there was our swimming hole down at the creek shaded by trees on the hottest summer days.
Chores were sometimes fun too. Fishing was fun but it was also a chore. The fish we caught became our supper or were dried to be used in winter months. Picking berries was a chore but the reward of all those berries was a cobbler or two and plenty of jars of fruit for winter pies and cobblers. We ate as many as we put into the bucket. We didn’t even mind watching out for snakes in the berry patch. Gardening was a chore but it was also lunch. What’s better than taking a break from weeding the garden to eat a sun warm tomato and some green beans? Even an ear of corn eaten raw was delicious. We didn’t use any pesticides that had to be washed off because we picked bugs off the plants with our bare hands. Bugs were put into an empty canning jar. The chickens got great treats from kids after garden chores.
Children today live in a too sterile world. Stay out of the sun. No climbing. No digging. Do not get dirty. Don’t eat it if it didn’t come in a store plastic. Geeze, no wonder kids have become overweight couch potatoes or have become the neighborhood delinquents destroying other people’s property. Their natural imaginations have been taken away.