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Remembering clearly my earlier years when the entry door to Our home was never locked, never not even if We the Family were away for a long few days since the door was left closed shut. I can recall how caring We all were towards each other, and if one Neighbour needed help saving hay, or picking potatoes whatever it was We all came to help and never looked for money, since it was the done thing. People had away more nature then too, and had pure innocent minds since no one had a television, and We made Our own entertainment. We played rings on the ring board hanging on the kitchen wall, snakes and ladders, Ludo, draughts, then We progressed to chess, and cards..snap was a great favourite. The Girls used to skip with a skipping rope..I have not seen any Child skip in years. When We had the long fine evenings We played Gaelic Football, and hurling and since We My Brothers and I lived on a dairy farm We often rolled a barrel up to the top of a very hilly field, crawl inside before the barrel took off gaining speed, and We got the greatest fun from the simplest things. All of Us had Our chores to do as well since many hands got the work done sooner. I remember the Telegram Boy often calling to Our home with news from far away. The Telegram Boy was dressed similar to today's Post Men, with a suit and belt plus His bicycle. We were so happy and content. Neighbours called to Our home at night to visit, and I can recall vividly No One would ever utter a bad word about another. If People didn't have some thing good to say, They said nothing at all. Oh Lord how times have changed. How so many love to yap about others affairs, and stick their nose into every Ones business. It often makes Me Laugh when I think these are the People Who can rectify every Ones Lives except their own. It still bewilders Me how a rumour can start, without an ounce of truth, and by the time it has travelled three miles it has grown many legs, and tails too. My conclusion is there is a nastiness in Society, a kind of envy or jealousy that never existed before. Now every home has to have a Burgular Alarm, cameras, many have motorised gates, Security is very essential now. Indeed many People keep a loaded shot gun near by at night. AND WE NEVER KNEEDED TO LOCK OUR DOORS THEN. How Blessed I do feel to have lived in a beautiful time, yes In the time of Our Youth when Children felt safe, and there was a kindness and a goodness in People. We could not have known it then, but this time would be the best time of Our Lives. While very few had money in abundance, the philosophy was if You can't afford what You'd want, learn to make do till You can afford it. Borrowing money was a non runner since it was considered bad mathematics to borrow X from a Bank and agree to repay three times that amount, hence Our Parents Generation never brought trouble upon Themselves, and They were so content. There was no grandeur either, since keeping up with the Jones's was never heard of then. Most of all People felt safe in Their beds. People worked extremly hard and there was no tatsby in those times, but with My hand on My Heart I have not seen times nearly remotely as happy as then. There was no narcotics as drugs weren't even heard of. Children could walk the roads safely, and most of all People respected and loved one another. IF THERE WAS A TIME MASHINE THAT WOULD TAKE US BACH TO A TIME OF MY CHOOSING, I WOULD GLADLY TRAVEL BACK WITHOUT A MOMENTS HESITATION, TO THEN. ...........QUESTION IS WOULD YOU, ?

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Regarding older houses, I and a partner use to specialize in selling houses built in the mid 1700's to early 1900's. I use to tell first time "old home buyers" that they needed to have deep pockets and a sense of humor when buying one of those fantastic older residences. We always knew who were true buyers.

Glass door knobs, love them.... same with pocket doors :)

My Grandparents house is Connecticut had a well inside the house near the kitchen. I remember Grandma's wood burning stove. Grandma had heavy curtains on the hallway frame between the kitchen and the rest of the house.... brrr the rest of the house was very chilly. On the bed heavy goose down quilts, so thick that one could play hide and seek and no one would ever see you under that quilt :)

jinglebts, I checked on the internet and was surprised that companies here in the States still make these craw type things... they are called screen door catch. Didn't see any photos of the very old ones that were black with black rollers on them.
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Blackhole: My daughter/SIL/grandkids live in a very old house in Toronto -- I think the foundations date to 1885. Tiny, high ceilings, and still some old knob and tube when they renovated their kitchen. I recall hearing abt wall fires when I was much younger -- my grandmother's house had knob and tube. OTOH, it had lovely squeaky hardwood floors and a fireplace, real.

Daughter's house has a minute bathroom as it originally had only a WC. And you can see the chimneys for the wood stoves.
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GA: Morse was in Oxford, and I used to try to find landmarks. I recognized the Randolph Hotel and the Martyrs’ Memorial (Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer -- they were burnt at the stake on Henry VIII's orders), and there are many parks that I don't recognize individually but I do recall taking my daughter in a stroller there many times (Oxford University parks?), and a pub called the Eagle and Child (Bird and Baby to the locals) was inhabited by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Trip down memory lane!!
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ff: Weird looking claw thing? What? If we did have locks on our screen doors, they were of the slide variety. I don't remember seeing any tho. Huh.

GA: Yes, the milk hatch! I recall having one in a new house in the 'fifties! My grandmother didn't have one in her house tho -- they left it on the front step as I recall. And they delivered milk in England long after they stopped in Canada. Also on the front step. Loved the creamy stuff that floated to the top. Heavy cream?

And in England you'd get the post twice a day! (Maybe that's b/c phones were slow to arrive in UK households -- if you wanted to ask someone to dinner, you'd pop an invite in the first post, receive an answer by the second, and make dinner for four that night. The only time I recall being invited out by a true Brit we were served tripe. Gag.)

Ah world!
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Jingle, your mother sounds like a very educated, diversified and intelligent woman. Her Christmas activities are truly unique.


Jessie, bag boys? I had completely forgotten about having someone pack grocery bags. Had to think for a moment what they were. Wandering down Memory Lane as I reread some of the comments, including yours, I remember volunteering to walk to the local store and um, well, flirting with the bag boys! That was eons ago.


I do miss the days when there was more help at the gas stations. It would be nice if there was just a covering or canopy over the air and gas pumps to protect an old woman trying to put air in the tires. Now it's all out in the open in wind and rain.


BlackHole, we still have glass door knobs in our homes. Even though I don't think about it often, they do lend a special touch with their faceted, sparkling design. sometimes they remind me of diamonds.

I think I'll take them with me when I move!


PamZ, remember lay-away? That was well before the introduction and widespread use of credit cards.


Old houses....such charm, hidden places. We lived in a duplex owned by my grandparents. The bedroom my sister and I shared was unique; it has so many memories. The closet part of it was over the staircase and angled, so there was less room, but it was special because it seemed so magical. Sometimes I think of the magic wardrobe in the Narnia Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe sequence.


CWillie, now you've done it! I'm off, meandering in dreamland, thinkg about those beautiful, magnificent old Tudor and other older style English houses, their magical gardens, the sense of peace and solace they convey.

One of the PBS series (Inspector Morse, I think) features some of those beauties, and sometimes one of the universities. I think it might be Cambridge but I honestly don't even remember much about the episodes because I'm immediately lost in flights of fancy dreaming about visiting or even living in such charming and beautiful buildings.

There are a few neighborhoods in my area with historic houses. They're larger houses, probably from about 4 to 5,000 square feet. There are Craftsman, Tudor, Moorish and other homes. I frequently cut through that neighborhood just for a peaceful relief from the chaos of the 8 lane trunkline highway outside.

There's another neighborhood of even larger houses, probably in the 7 to 8,000 ft. range. Some are located near the Cranbrook complex, our little piece of England in Michigan. There's even a cathedral which offers free outdoor concerts on Sunday afternoon in the summer.

Drivingi through that area is a wonderful respite after a sometimes stressful visit to the hospital or rehab center.

In another smaller neighborhood close by, the homes are each unique, individualized, with various elements from different architectural styles.

What's especially charming is that every year residents of one block of houses place lunaria on the lawns close to the curb.

On Christmas Eve, to drive down that street is truly the essence of beauty - quiet, understated,peaceful, and not austentacious like the sometimes charming but overwhelming massive blow-up ornaments.

Detroit also has sections of homes that used to be magnificent. Indian Village has been maintained well, from what I've read. (I don't venture into Detroit any more).
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The thought of those old European homes makes me a bit uneasy. Some of them look a bit sinister. Sadly, many of the old homes and structures in Italy have been destroyed in the last year or two. They weren't built to withstand earthquakes at all. They crumbled into piles of rubble. It was sad to see whole towns and villages wiped out like that.
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And yet they are living in houses in Europe that make our old homes look like teenagers.
The thing that scares me most about older homes is the hidden repairs and "upgrades" that have been done over the years. I would rather buy a totally unimproved home bought at a reasonable price than one that has been improved beyond recognition or hides structural or electrical nightmares. Oh the dreams I had for our old farmhouse... I hope the new owners are treating her well.
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Old houses were built so well. They are wonderful if they were maintained. They're an albatross when they weren't. A lot of people back in the old days didn't maintain their homes very well. Termites and water takes their toll.

When we had some siding repair work done here, I was shocked to see that there was not a stitch insulation in the walls of this 1949 Alabama house. The space between the siding and plaster board was considering enough. I was also shocked to see all the damage that had been hidden by the cedar shingles.
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Oh how I miss the bag boys. I took it for granted when I was growing up. By the time I was a young adult and self-supporting.....poof! No more bag boys.

Had milk delivery when I was a kid, too. No milk door, tho. Ours was in a metal box on the front porch. That was very exciting to me.....as was the daily mail delivery. Not sure why. Maybe because kids had a limited range when I was a tot. No toddler gymnastics lessons, no movies in the car, no bi-lingual preschool (heck, no preschool!).....

My current home was built in 1930. Has a decomissioned coal chute. And a laundry chute that gets lots of use! Glass doorknobs. Picture rail in LR and DR. Kitchen window above sink is topped with a scalloped bulkhead....and half-moon 3-tiered nooks run along each side. Linoleum on the basement landing!

Some of the old stuff is charming. I like the sturdy feel. I like that the pipes chatter a tiny bit with certain water usage.

OTOH, these leaky old 1930 windows can kiss my patootie. And what passed for insulation back then is nothing by today's standards. And there aren't enough electrical outlets for all of today's gizmos!
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My uncle owned a grocery store, and he took credit! Can;t find that any more!
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I remember so well when you would shop at the grocery store. Someone would put your groceries on the counter at the cash register for you, then load them in your cart and carry them to the car. You would tip the "bag boy" a bit and drive away. Now you have to do almost everything at the store. I wonder if pretty soon the customers will even have to start unloading the trucks to get things. That way the store won't have to pay but a few employees. Pip pip.

The older I've gotten, the less help there has been from anywhere. I do miss the good old days that my parents enjoyed when they were middle aged. Those days seem to have been lost to the need for business to make another dollar.
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In the nostalgic vein, I remember getting the milk delivered on a regular basis. My existing house still has a little door for milk, even though there are no deliveries. It's hard to think that those kinds of deliveries were routine.

I also remember the delivery of coal. The truck would pull up in the driveway, the doors to the coal bin would be open and massive amounts of coal would be poured in, raising all sorts of dust which we probably didn't know at that time could be so harmful when inhaled.

Coal delivery is one old time practice that I'm glad is gone. Gas is so much cleaner.
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Ah yes, the sound of the screen door slamming. Remember that weird looking claw like thing that use to keep the screen door shut?
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Back when women couldn't enter the professions? When a woman was routinely denied jobs if a man applied for the job too.... After all, he was the breadwinner and needed the money. (I actually heard that one in an employment office)
Passed over for promotions because a man needed the money ....

Frankly, the "good old days". We're only good if you were a white man. Everyone else was exploited Times have changed....but not enough
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Johnjoe, I always enjoy your posts and reading your lyrical writing.
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"she'd ........ repeat a poem" -- augh edit button!!!!
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GA: I agree GA, I so agree. When I was a toddler, my family was large (my g'mother had six siblings, and they had all their mates), our celebrations were huge, at Christmas my g'mother used to do what she called "Xmas Tree Presents", wherein she'd take a prezzie off the tree, she'd have repeat a poem that she'd written, and we'd all have to guess who it was for. Times 4. (All my g'mothers sibs and she had some kind of post secondary education, this in the 1890s, so she wrote poetry using Greek/Roman epigraphs and references that I CANNOT do today!)

Families were larger then, and our generation felt protected. The sound of a green screen door slamming shut, unlocked doors, birthday parties, ah nostalgia.
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John, that's a wonderful sentiment, and a very deeply caring expression of concern and helping attitude.

Your post did have that effect; while I thought about writing my own response, I was also reminiscing about better times, including when elected officials garnered some respect.

There's a magazine titled "Good Old Days", which also addresses that kind of nostalgia.

Sometimes, though, thinking back is a reminder of how many people have been lost and what few there are left in my family.
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You know that wonderful feeling You get when You go to the Cinema to enjoy a film that's been advertised on tv and the News Papers for what seems like ages, a film like Titanic for example, and Your sitting there in the Cinema waiting for the film to start, when all of a sudden the lights go out and the film begins. Ten or fifteen minutes later Your hooked by the story of the film and Your in the Zone, and for three and a half hours that film takes Your mind to a beautiful place....that's what My story come Question was about. Call it nostalgic if You wish, but My intension was to take Your mind back to a beautiful time when Life was so much more beautiful, when We felt safe, and when Love was more valuable than money. Lord knows All of Us on this wonderful Site have had Our own crosses to bear, and sadnesses too, yet We would do it all again gladly if We could.
I attempted to take You Carers back to a beautiful time, that's why I asked the Question. Thank You All for Your wonderful responses. JohnJoe.
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I think most of us are nostalgic for our childhoods just because childhood was so much simpler than adulthood. And most of us were sheltered, taken care of, surrounded by family at home and friends at school and in the neighborhood. Then, people grow up, families scatter, and it's very hard if not impossible to recover that sense of family and community that was a built-in feature of childhood.

Then, we got our needs met and had to give very little back. Now, we take care of other people's needs and get little if anything back. I'm sure nostalgic. Who wouldn't be?
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I'd go back in a heartbeat...Then I'd still have ALL my loved ones WITH me....
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Thanks for the nostalgic story, Johnboy.
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Things are different. The population size has increased dramatically. Communities are a thing of the past, because people move so often. People buy houses to flip, instead of to become a home. Money is the king to most people I know. The news makes us feel like there is a Freddie Krueger around each corner. Chances are great we could still leave our doors unlocked, but we don't feel safe now. It's the psychology of the time to be afraid of others.
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I think it's easy to become nostalgic and look very favorably on times gone by. There's a mixture of truth and longing which creates these favorable memories, some of which tend to leave out the negative aspects as mentioned above.

JohnJoe, I take it you grew up on a farm, so your lifestyle would probably have been more demanding of hard work but less of the nastiness that sometimes exists in or near cities.

Remember too as Pam Stegman points out that during the Cold War there were high levels of concern for nuclear attack. We used to have drills for that in school. And it was scary, very, very scary.

There were good times, especially before television became such a dominant force in people's lives.

I would not conclude that all the technological advances have been for the better. People texting and communicating via devices as opposed to in person lessens, I think, the ability to learn give and take and how to work with others of different dispositions and background.

Today I saw a husband and wife sitting next to each other, both playing with their smart phones, then both engaging in conversations. I thought some what amusingly that perhaps they were talking to each other by phone, instead of just turning to the other and having a real face to face conversation. The spread of communication by technology might even come to that.

Laughingly, and somewhat disparagingly, I thought of a family dinner when each member communicated with the others by texting. Can you imagine a son or daughter texting his parent to pass the potatoes? It wouldn't surprise me if some families don't even have conversations any more.
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In my town in the 50s there was crime. I was bullied at school. My uncle was bullied at school in the 40s and my dad was bullied at school in the 30s. In some ways things are better, in some ways worse. I double lock my doors now even in the daytime.
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Looking back I also remember the world as safer and more family friendly. But I also think that now we hear about so much more crime thanks to the 24 7 news from all over the world.. indeed it used to be mainly the local news.. and newsreels at the movies. Plus true small towns have become closer to larger towns (too many people..). But I have to say I remember people used to talk about each other in the small town I grew up in,, everyone knew everyones business!
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many years ago i pulled my motorcycle off the road at a little pulloff to sip on my half pint . i found a discarded box of " legal precedent " lawbooks . i read thru a few of them and found that they were filled with not only criminal court cases from the 50 ' and 60 ' s but these cases were all in or near my county . trust me , murder , rape and child molestation have always been with us .
i live in a very rural place but we still have violent crime .
i get your drift johnjoe but nah , i dont think we were safer in the 60's , i think we were just being haphazard and naieve . ( sp )
my own 28 yr old son was shot and killed a few weeks ago . i found out today that he had a 8 day old son when he was killed . ill hook up with little nick , the grandkid , and life with all of its frightening implications will go on .
there aint no guarantees man .. the encouraging difference today is , that law enforcement is getting to be state of the art . aint nobody getting by with sht .. thats a good thing ..
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I have some pleasant memories, though, there are things that I don't relish today.

I used to love to skip. Sometimes, I would be so happy with my day, my friends, my dog, my bike, my records, etc. that I thought I would burst with joy! I recall just skipping as fast as I could with a big smile on my face or riding my bike in the neighborhood singing to the top of my lungs (song: Lady Willpower. I had no idea what the words meant. lol).

I do love those memories. I don't have that much joy these days. lol Unless, I'm at a Robert Plant concert.
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John, I know what you mean regarding society. Here in the States I grew up in a medium size city back in the 1950's. People had front porches where during the day they would be sitting out front, we would stop to chat. My parents only locked the doors at night. The meter reader would knock on the basement door, shout METER MAN, and read the meters in the basement.

I remember getting on my bicycle and riding all over town. Just had to be home when the street lights came on. The whole family watched TV together because those who had TV's usually had one TV set. Same with the telephone, one phone in the house.

Within the family core life seemed simpler per say. We didn't have 24 hour news. The news on TV was a half hour local, half hour world news. I know I spend way too much time watching the 24-hour news stations.

We did a lot of walking. Only one car in the driveway, and Dad had the car to drive to work. In the past Mom use to walk to the corner grocery store. I remember how much fun it was to ride the public bus, which stopped at our corner, with Mom and I going downtown to shop.

I walked to school the whole 12 years. My high school walk was interesting as I walked through blocks and blocks of commercial store fronts, movie theater, bowling alleys, ice cream parlors, etc.
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A wood fired cook stove instead of central gas heating, the outhouse in winter, children dying of common childhood diseases like scarlet fever or pneumonia, and cancer a horrible, pain filled death sentence... no thanks.
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