We lived in a modest neighborhood of small brick homes (around 1000 square feet) with one car garages.
There were lots of kids in that neighborhood. And we women were friends and our kids were friends, boys and girls alike.
So on a summer day, it would go something like this...
We'd all gather at one of our homes.
We neighborhood women stayed home with our children, so budgets were tight. Thus we made Kool-aid from the packets (they were dirt cheap back then) because sodas were expensive.
We women sat and sipped Kool-aid and caught up on current events. Which meant what was currently going on in our lives.
We fixed peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches for lunch.
We'd perm and frost each other's hair.
I have really wiry hair and the perm made it look even wilder. But oh well, that was the style.
I guess frosting our hair would be something akin to "getting highlights" today.
We sat around with our hair under plastic caps and hoped we'd come out beautiful like the woman on the front of the hair product box. Of course it never did.
The kids splashed around in a plastic pool in our yards. Then came running through the house with wet feet.
We exchanged recipes from our little recipe boxes. Or ones we found in the magazines and clipped.
We wore thongs (no, not the underwear kind), now more commonly referred to as flip-flops.
We swatted flies that were lured in by the Kool-aid spills with fly swatters.
It was a simple time. We had "soaps" and we all talked about who was doing what or who. There were a lot of soap operas back then.
The kids would always get cranky around mid-afternoon. We'd all pick up towels and clean up spilled Kool-aid. We'd give a final stare in the mirror at our new hairdo before we took our children by the hand and walked home.
Before we knew it, summer would come to an end.
We'd take our kids to get enrolled at school, and then go to the dime store to pick up everything on the teacher's list of necessary supplies.
I remember when my youngest started Kindergarten, I bawled much of the day. I was 27 years old, and I felt like this was the end of something. My girls were growing up and there was no looking back.
I felt old.
Those were the days.
My girls will be 37 and 42 come November. They have kids of their own.
Things are different these days.
I have no idea if kids are still handed a school supply list or not. I'm way out of the loop now.
Most young mothers seem to want careers these days. So their homes are bigger and better, and they usually have two cars.
And instead of one car garages that you had to get out of the car to manually raise, now more commonly there are three car garages.
I don't know if they still have those gadgets that you clipped to your visor to start the garage clattering up or down.
Maybe that's a thing of the past too.
I remember once, close to Christmas, I told the girls' dad that we should fill one another's stocking, he and I. It sounded more special that way. Kind of romantic.
Of course I took care of the kids' stockings and presents.
I assumed he had taken care of this. But come the night before Christmas, once the kids were asleep, I handed him my stocking to fill. And he just stared at it and me, dumbfounded.
I was furious. What in the world was I going to put in Mommy's stocking? The girls would wonder why Santa didn't bring Mommy anything in her stocking!
Back then we didn't have stores that stayed open all night. So I was in quite a quandary.
Finally I just took some of his socks and filled my stocking, and the kids were so excited that they were none the wiser.
That was the last time I gave him a task like that to do.
Like I said, times were simple. Conveniences weren't as customary. Cell phones were far, far in the future.
Finally we were able to buy me a used car. And thus I proudly drove around in a huge white Buick. It had soft burgundy velvet seats.
(It looked something like this; but it wasn't a convertible)
And I was just thrilled to have wheels. Oh, you should have seen me in that thing. It was big as a house and cruised along ever so smoothly.
You could cram a lot of people in that big car. It carried lots of girls to evening softball practices and games.
Kind of wish I still had that thing.
Oh, those were the days.