The simpler days....

A return to simplicity.

I hear this sentiment a lot. "I want to be more child-like". "Oh, for the innocence of my youth." "I wish I could return to the days when things were much simpler." "Oh, to be a kid again." Whether it's speaking of child-like faith or Christ-like love, what we're really wishing for is the ability to unlearn what we've come to know and return to the place where we didn't over-think ourselves into an obsessive, premeditated frenzy. A place where we just were. A place of being. A place of unadulterated presence.

I will have flashbacks sometimes of such days as I've mentioned. Days where I lived without this invasion of thoughts about how I was living. Without the intrusion of inner dialogues questioning my motives or others'. Without the pestering prospection, introspection and retrospection that brings wisdom, but also brings over-consciousness and with it hyper-analysis that leads to hyper-paralysis.

I remember just climbing a tree. Or just exploring for bullfrogs. I remember running through the woods at full speed challenging myself to not slow down no matter how dense the forest. I remember praying for God to help me find my way home when I had lost my sense of direction. I remember crossing into our neighbors property hoping to find adventure. I remember cutting wood with my dad and dragging out the logs with our little eight end tractor. I remember watching Leave it to Beaver with my siblings after school. I remember jumping off the barn and dunking the basketball. I remember climbing into the attic and hoping to find something left behind by the previous owners that led me to a stash of cash. I remember going into the barn and watching the blow flies mindlessly crashing into the windows eventually joining their pilled up brothers and sisters on the windowsill who died trying to get free. I remember pouring gas down bee holes with a line of gas poured to about 15 ft. away so that when I lit it the hole exploded like a grenade in a bunker. I remember walking bare foot on our grassing trails. I remember eating wild berries and finding a wild cherry tree and climbing to the top to find the ripened cherries. I would sit in the crotch of a couple branches and eat until I had a stomach ache.

I remember going out at night and laying in the shadows of the barn on the lawn so that I could see the brilliance of the stars. My favorite was Orion. I would talk to him. I wanted to be a warrior like him. I remember playing snow football with my brother and sisters when we would have a day off of school. I remember eating concord grapes that grew on the old apple tree down by the quagmire. I remember mowing the lawn with the bush hog. I remember eating sumac berries with their firry fruit. I remember taking care of homing pigeons in the woodshed out behind the burn pile. I remember ice skating in the Ash tree grove that flooded in the fall. I remember felling pine trees just so that I could scream out "Timber". I remember cutting down a huge pine tree and cutting off the top for our family Christmas tree. (Charlie Brown tree for sure) I remember building a log cabin with my friend Art out of poplar trees. They were giant linking logs. I remember catching a baby rabbit and playing with it one summer afternoon. I remember having a lot car that I would drive around our property. I remember riding my buddies dirt bike that we were storing for him in our barn. I remember climbing to the top of "my cherry tree" and swaying with the wind until dinner time. I remember discovering an old junk pile in the woods and happening upon a stash of old bottles. I remember laying in bed at night in my bedroom which was furthest from the wood stove, piling covers on me until it felt like I was under a lead blanket. I remember waking up in the morning and seeing my breath as I put on clothes for school.

I remember watching my dog have puppies. I remember picking up our dog after he got hit on Rt. 104. I remember running to work and the smell of roadkill. I remember stealing onions from the muck fields. I remember riding my bike to the gun shop for 22 shells. I remember picking drops for apple cider. I remember riding my buddies scooter at age twelve on the road. I remember the smell of pesticide spray and crop dust from the helicopters blanketing the potato fields. I remember getting gifts from random people at Christmas. I remember dad getting a Christmas bonus from work and going to Ponderosa afterward to celebrate. I remember going to Bev's Ice Cream on the loop overlooking lake Ontario. I remember the resplendent sunsets that would cover the western sky that I took for grated until I moved away. I remember the Nuclear plant towers and the billowing clouds of steam that they would emanate. I remember getting hurt all the time, but getting used to it.

I remember the sound of my father's voice waking us up in the morning..."Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory..." I remember playing circus in the living room for family nights and then singing around the piano. "God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He's so good to me." Then we would read picture books of Bible stories with dad on the couch. I remember Dad broke all the stereos to only play 102.9 WMHR Christian radio. He made the tuning nob to not work on any of our radios. I remember going over to our neighbors and asking if we could watch the Yankee game with them since we didn't have a television. The Shafers house. I remember hearing Syracuse basketball on the radio as I was trying to go to bed. Dad would listen to it on AM radio in the dark. I remember my Mom's apple pie and cheese.

I remember alot of stuff about my childhood.

Those were simpler days. Or maybe these things are still happening an must become a simpler person.


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