Times certainly have changed since I was a kid. In many ways, I would love to go back to some of those days just as oakview mentioned.
I remember thinking my dad was old when I graduated from college. He was 42. I also remember the day that i realized that I was older than my dad was when I graduated from college, and I was devastated. I remember thinking that my life must be almost over.
I think I was about 5 when we got our first TV. It was a black and white ( of course) and many of the neighbours came over in the evening to see this new phenomenom. One thing my parents insisted on at every meal time, was that we were all seated at the table until everyone was finished eating. There was never an excuse for eating in front of the TV ( unless the World Series or the Flintstones was on). Meals were at 12 noon and 6 pm every day except during harvest. No other exceptions. And again, you were expected to be there on time and be sitting at the table. My uncle was the first in our commumity to get a colour TV. I can still remember dad hooking up the team of horses to a cutter and heading over the 2 miles to watch Bonanza on colour TV. We would sit there and watch TV until it went off the air at 1 AM, then bundle up and head home.
Sunday meals.... now that brings back many memories. My mother literally prepared a Christmas dinner every Sunday, or any other day that visitors were going to be here for a meal. We were expected to be at church on time and we were expected to be dressed up.I have probably wore out more suits than some of today's kids have even seen in their lives. Even when we had 1500 head here, we were expected to be at church ON TIME. To my parents, being late for church meant arriving and finding more than 3 cars in the parking lot. I used to hate Sundays, especially in the winter as it usually meant we had to be outside doing chores in the dark at 6 AM so that we could have the animals fed before we left for church. Usually , we made an effort to do as much as we could on Saturday to make our Sunday's a little easier.
We had a party line until I was 15 years old. When we got a private line , we thought we had made the big times. Unlike some people on here, we had electricity here since 1927. My dad who is now 83 can not remember not having power. The farm home we live in was built in 1925 and it was wired for electricity, was plumbed for running water, and a sewer system was installed when the house was built. I think it was one of the only homes that had all these features at the time in the community. From 1927 to 1952, the farm had it's own power generating system and the power lines were brought into the yard in 1952.
Everyone on the farm, from a very early age, was expected to do their chores and there never was any questioning them. I used to think that my 3 sisters had it easier than I had, but looking back they all had enough to do as well. Our home is a huge old farm home as my grand parents had 12 children and there were always 2 or 3 hired men that also had to someplace to sleep. I know that I never had to do much inside the house, and this place was always spotless when I growing up, so my sisters must have done more than I thought. There never was a day in my growing up years that the beds weren't made every morning, and the entire house wasn't vacuumed at least 3 times a week. Two of my sisters and myself all ended up in college at the same time, and I have no idea how my parents managed to put us through. Both my parents worked at a large local auction mart through those years for 2 or 3 days a week. My mother was the office manager for many years and every cheque had to be handwritten, as there were no such things as computers. Despite this, I never remember any dishes in the sink, or a bed unmade. I think I was blessed. My mom has not been gone for 15 years and if I have any regrets, it is that I took all she did for granted. My dad is now 83, going on 43, and still works on the farm almost every day. Some days he can still out work me ( which isn't saying much!!).
Despite all our work on the farm, we were expected to be involved in as many things as we could in the community. Our community was small, so we oftentimes needed every boy in the school to make a football or hockey team. We were all expected to have as many calves in 4-H as we could handle, and we all showed calves in 4-H until we went to college. Two of my sisters and myself showed in 4-H until we were 21. One of my sisters was still showing cattle when she was working as the Head Nurse in a major hospital 100 miles from home.
We were kept busy so we never had much time to get into trouble. Sometimes I wish I could go back to some of those days..............