Growing up 70’s

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Prologue

Stingray

I grew up in the 70’s. It was a day and age when elementary school aged kids got up early, ate breakfast and ran out the front door of their suburban homes, hopped on their Schwinn bikes and headed out for the day to meet up with friends who lived down the block or around the corner. Or, across the way into the next neighborhood.

There were softball, baseball and kickball games played on dirt lots in neighborhoods that were not quite completely developed yet, making for great meeting spaces. …..”I’ll meet you on the dirt lot” …

old-basketball-hoop-thumb10588649We played four-square on driveways where we drew the lines for the game in chalk. There was tether-ball and hopscotch and tag. There were always groups of boys in the neighborhood playing basketball at each other’s houses. The basketball nets were mounted off of the part of the roof that hung over the garage.

There were no computers or cell phones. There was no cable TV or MTV. Gameboys, Video Gaming and X-Box systems were still many years away from being created by Microsoft. In fact, there was no Microsoft. Bill Gates was an unknown name. And Apple, well, that was a fruit you ate. We played outdoor everyday, all day long, often not showing up back home again until supper time.

For the most part, our moms stayed home and our Dads went to work. Later, as we grew into our Jr High years, some of the Mom’s started going back to work to help pay the high cost of raising a big family. Families were big back then. Or, they seemed to be. Maybe it was because I grew up in a mainly Irish/Italian, catholic area. Most of my friends came from families of at least 4 – 5 kids. And, it was not unusual to have friends that had 6 or 7 siblings.

Those were good days. Simple. Carefree. Easy. They were days when you formed unbreakable, life-long bonds with friends.1970s_schwinn_small_girls_bike_hollywood_blue_make_offer_peru_28526083There were strong family bonds and daily routines that helped to cement the family together. Chores on the weekends. Getting home from school, having a snack, playing outside for a while with friends, riding your bike or watching one of the 4 channels on TV we had. Helping out by starting dinner before your Mom got home from work.  Dinner in my home was always promptly at 6pm. Every night.

These simple times, these family bonds, were all tools that helped to form the adults we are today. They strengthened the ties between Dads and sons, as well as Moms and daughters. The family structure was well built and strong. I miss those easy days.

I ran across a blog this week that brought memories of the 70’s flooding back. They made me think about my siblings and friends from the old neighborhood, as well as my parents. Especially my Mom. Our bond was unshakable. We were close. Not so much through the teen years, which in my eyes, is a normal part of growing up, but more so after I left for college and especially when I got married and we lived states apart. I miss my siblings and my parents. These days, I miss my Mom. So much so that I find myself thinking about her day and night. So when I read this blog Im about to share, I smiled. I realized that those ties between a Mom and Daughter are never broken. The bond between a Mother and child is universal. And deep.

Sometimes I think back fondly and miss those days.  Always, I miss my Mom…….


Something Worth Sharing

Five O’Clock

Re-blogged and Originally posted by Teri Carter

old kitcen1-1

I miss my mother most at five o’clock.

When I was a kid and came home after school, the TV was my babysitter — Gilligan’s Island at 3:30 followed by The Brady Bunch followed by The Partridge Family — until five o’clock came and it was time to do the few chores my mother had left for me (as fast as possible) before she got home.  I stayed with my grandparents in the summers.  My mother, if she was working the right shift, the good 7 to 3 shift, would sit for an hour or so at the kitchen table with my grandmother, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and gossiping, until we went home, just the 2 of us, around five.  As a teenager, I would dink around with friends after school, knowing I had to be home by five, that my mother would be waiting for me to help her with supper.  It was our time, our hour or two in the kitchen, just the two of us, before her new farmer husband came in from working in the field and the night became all about him.

I miss my mother most at five o’clock.

I remember being in my 20s, away from my hometown and working in cubicles and traveling all over the country.  Feeling successful, but untethered.  I called my mother at the end of most workdays.  Hey mom, what are you doing?  Nothing, what are you doing?  Going to grab some food, you?  Making supper.  When I got married, became a mom, and quit my job — all in about a 6 month span — I’d find myself in the kitchen alone around five, trying to figure out how to make a not-boring, edible dinner for my family of four.  Husband not home from work; kids doing homework or watching “The Simpsons”; and me pulling random items from the refrigerator.  I’d pour a glass of wine and call my mother.  Hey, mom, what are you doing?  Making supper.  Me, too, what are you making?  Chicken.  How are you making it?  Well … fried of course!  And we would laugh.

I miss my mother most at five o’clock.

In my mid-30s, I remember thinking that one good thing about having a sick mother was that she was always home, always there, to answer on the first ring.  I would start dinner, pour a glass of wine, and dial.  Hey mom, what are you doing?  Nothing, what are you doing?  Making dinner.  What are you making?  She was no longer able to cook, so she cooked vicariously through me.  Sometimes I lied and pretended I was making things I had no clue how to make — Chicken Cordon Bleu — to change up the conversation, to give us something else to talk about besides doctor appointments and inhalers and the shortening of time.  I’d even make up the ingredients, the steps, the ease of making something new; anything to distract us, to entertain.  All chicken, I would say, doesn’t need to be fried!  

I miss my mother most at five o’clock.

These days, when my husband and I decide we’re getting fat and it’s time to cut back, he will suggest skipping dinner.  Often I’ll agree:  what a great idea that is, we can just have a little snack, nothing big, you’re right.  But I never follow through.  I blame it on the clock.  On time.  It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer, daylight savings or dark by five, I pour my glass of wine and open the refrigerator door, ready to finish off the day the only way I know how.  It’s five o’clock.  What are you doing?  Making dinner. 

53 thoughts on “Growing up 70’s

      1. Salve, sono una laureata in biologia (laurea ma)eltrasig. Volevo sapere se facendo il corso di abilitazione al prelievo capillare in Sicilia, il certificato che conseguirò mi varrà a livello nazionale e quindi anche in Campania, regione da cui provengo

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  1. Aunt Nancy

    This blog brought tears to my eyes. What fond memories!! Looking at that picture of your home was like I was there yesterday. I just don’t remember the little window between the garage and the end of the house. Could I have missed that all those years? Keep writing Peg, you have the flair.

    Love you.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. So glad you have aunt Nancy…:-) This post is still resonating in my heart from your earlier post about your mother…I have not forgotten it. I simply cannot focus on it just now…but I like these thoughts, Margaret. Your expression is vivid and lyrical and touching. ❤

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  2. I do a lot of journaling and this is so much my experience also. I’ve written over and over about those times. I guess we go back to what we love. I smiled at your neighborhood being Irish/Italian. One of my dreams was to open and Italian/Irish Pub. Great food and great Celtic music.

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  3. I am so glad you visited my blog today because it helped me find yours! I adore your blog and love this post. I, too, was a child of the 70’s and this took me right back to the days of coming inside when the streetlights came on and the days of being called to dinner from the back porch. And yes, I also miss my mom. Every holiday, even though it has now been 14 years, people look at me sympathtically and ask if I miss her. Of course I do but… it is times like you described, the intimate, everyday shared moments that are now forever changed when I miss her the most. ❤

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    1. There just does not seem to be a time of the year where I do not miss my Mom. Her passing was recent, just this pact February. The memories get sweeter. The void never seems to go away. But it’s wonderful to blog about all of those sweet memories and that somehow makes things feel a bit better.

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  4. Although my childhood was in England and I grew up some time before the 70’s this post resonates strongly with my feelings on growing up and how it has changed. Great post. I had never heard of a Schwinn bike which seems an unlikely source for Austin Power’s famous phrase…

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  5. Beautiful post! Loved reading it, and though I can’t completely relate because of how different my life was, it gives a beautiful picture of family (both posts, do actually) to me…what I hope I am instilling in my kids. I like the idea of getting a child to help with making supper, and I might just start attempting to implement that. I would love to have a bond and to have that sort of relationship with my kids when they are grown. Thanks to both of you for sharing what a stable family life looks like.

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  6. Hhmm, I grew up in the country and was very isolated, no one to play with except lots of imagination. How different your city life was from mine. I had a sting-ray bike with banana seat much like your picture, and although I watched Brady Bunch, Giligan’s Island, and Partridge Family, I must also mention Batman! I couldn’t go without him, or “Kato” (Bruce Lee), on the Green Hornet. 🙂 Found memories, indeed. (Thanks for visiting my site.)

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    1. How interesting that even tho were grew up in different countries and in very different circumstances, there are similar threads that made up our childhood – like, the Tv shows we watched and out Stingray bikes!!

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    1. Thank you for the kind comment. I agree that the youth of today are living in a very different world than what we were brought up in. there’s something to be said for the simple times we were brought up in.

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  7. Those were indeed innocent times on Crestview Drive. I too remember them with great fondness and appreciation. We were very fortunate to grow up in such a loving and nurturing time and place.

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    1. Oh Genny, I think about those times SO often and am so grateful for the neighborhood we grew up in, for our friendships and for the family structure we were all so blessed to be a part of. You were a HUGE part of my childhood. I have such treasured memories of our days on Crestview drive! xo

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  8. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, and I don’t remember my parents much because they both worked so much. My sister and I, and our friends, lived in kidsworld, much like what you see in Peanuts. We were unsupervised from an early age and taught “don’t get hurt.” I loved that freedom. I guess it’s better that kids are so closely watched over today, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to have such close ties with parents. I now regret not getting to know my parents better.

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    1. Yes, there is something to be said for having all that unsupervised freedom as kids and actually making it through just fine. Times were simpler. Kids are kids, but it just seems we were more innocent than the kids of today.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my post.

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    1. Yes! Emphasis on Family Ties!! It was a time of family and friends and innocence. Some of those very basic qualities are missing in today’s society and we are poorer for it.

      Thank you for the comment!

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    1. Thank you! OMGsh!! They WERE good times, weren’t they!! I have SUCH fond memories of the 70’s. We were so fortunate to grow up in such an amazing decade!! The good old days!

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  9. I had tears by the end too. You did a great job of putting us into your frame of mind, and for keeping it about your mother and how life changes but doesn’t change when she’s gone. I miss my mother too. And Bewitched came on first, so I usually missed the Partridge Family because it was time to walk home from the neighbor’s by then.

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  10. I grew up in the 70’s (and 80’s…will be 48 years old next month), too.

    However, this post is special. It captured something beautiful and timeless. When I go to the grocery store I take my grandmother with me. She went to Heaven years ago, but there she is with me as I push the cart, laughing and telling me her little secrets about what I should buy. This post touched me that same way. ❤

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    1. Im so glad you enjoyed it. I think we grew up in such a great era. Perhaps everyone says that about their own, but to me, there was just nothing like the innocence of the 70’s.

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  11. This post is beautiful. Whenever I try something new from learning how to ride a cycle to changing my second language at school, my mom would do her best at convincing me to give it a shot. I would think of things that could go wrong – a fracture, poor grades while she would only focus on the positives and soon I’ll be eager. I enrolled for driving lessons recently and I realized I spent 2 hours on the phone talking to my mother before doing so. I’m a 90’s kid, but somethings are timeless. 🙂

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  12. We lived the exact same lives. 3:30 in early fall reminds me most of the excitement of the first few days of school, the sudden dread that school would be nine months long and the soothing knowledge that despite school and worries my mother would have supper served exactly at 5 when my policeman father would come home on his break and we’d eat together EVERY night.

    Even back then I appreciated it and somehow knew it wouldn’t last forever, but like the piece you shared I wouldn’t be able to give up supper. So much has changed but I’ve been a stickler about family suppers and it’s one of the things my kids miss most when they leave.

    I really enjoyed this post.
    Thanks.

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