I’m hoping people will join me in Julie Goucher’s “The Book of Me” prompts. Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog will be posting monthly prompts, during 2018, encouraging our creative thought process. Join some or all her prompts, privately or on social media. Your choice.
What do I enjoy? Immediately family, friends, Genealogy, reading and Bingo came to mind. That is fine, but very generic. I decided to write about what I enjoyed in the decades of my life. Our interest change. Writing about what interest me today does not give you a glimpse of how I became me. Our interests develop who we are, as much as family, friends, co-workers, our environment, our world does.
When we are children our interest evolve around our family, friends, school and play. We really don’t concern ourselves with world events, unless it directly affects us. My Dad served in the Korean Conflict. He was stationed in Osan, South Korea. My parents were married before he joined the Army. I was born in the mid 1950’s. I remember none of this.
I remember playing with cousins, by the lake at my Uncle Art’s house. Visiting cousins in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at my Uncle Fred’s. Visiting my Aunt’s Carrie and Aunt Eleanor. Going fishing with my Dad, boating, swimming, picnicking and feeling the love of my family.
WOW, the 1960’s! This is the decade that really started me becoming who I am today. The family trips to aunts, cousins, weekend picnicking, boating, fishing, were definitely a part of my 1960’s. That family love and time spent together felt like a cocoon of safety. Nothing can hurt us. We moved around many times through the years, for my father’s job. He was a mechanic by trade. He was a barter of his services at times. Money was tight, but we never felt deprived.
My interest at this time was, fishing, boating, and working alongside my father planting potatoes at my Aunt Carrie’s in Sutton, New Hampshire. I would work in the junk yard during the summer, helping my father get parts for his service station. During the school year I would work at his service station, pumping gas, changing tires, oil and learning how cars worked. Many summers I camped at my Aunts house, helping out, and playing cards, Canasta or Whisk, into the night. I would play checkers with my Uncles Mark and Wilson or with my cousins Ernest and Clint. Uncle Mark’s second cousin was the world known checker player and writer, Lyman Marshal Stearns. So checkers was a game we were taught very young. It was while we were playing cards and checkers that my PASSION, for family stories and family history began. I loved listening to the stories. I enjoyed learning about my family and where we came from. I’m not sure I believed all those stories. That may be why in later years, I made it my job to disprove them, hoping to prove them.
Many moves, many changing of friends, many new interest were developed. I was a tomboy. You probably already figured that out with my working alongside my father. I loved baseball, fishing, cars (I even helped build a dune buggy and raced it at the track,) and I learned how to use and care for guns. I’m not a fan of guns. I’m glad I know how if I ever needed to use it to live by, but I much rather capture the animals with a camera.
Cross Country skiing, ice skating and sledding were my winter time entertainment. Skating on the marshes of Saugus, Massachusetts at my Aunt Eleanor’s. Going to the local skating rink in Wakefield, Massachusetts; cross country skiing in Sutton, New Hampshire; sledding off the new construction of Route 1, Lynn Massachusetts, are memories I remember with thoughts like…
What was I thinking, sledding into midair that high up, skiing alone in the woods when they are searching for dead bodies in the junk yard, or did I really just skate on the marsh backwards and fall? (Stitches were needed for that last one in a place you don’t want to know about.) I mention these tidbits because they changed my interest to other areas. 4-H became my new interest. I participated in the local agriculture fairs. I entered baked goods, canning, jams and jellies, quilting and photography. My first Blue Ribbon was for Blueberry Muffins at the Topsfield State Fair in Topsfield Massachusetts. During the summers I traveled with my father to the state fairs, serving soft served ice cream. Dad had one of those trucks you would wait to hear that jingle in your neighborhood. [This was when we moved in with my Aunt Eleanor, my cousins Lilly and Jean, became influences of my new interest. (Our home in Maine burned. We lost everything.)]
Music was a large part of my 1960’s. At my Aunt Carrie’s the harmonica, spoons and washboard were the instruments of choice. At my Uncle Fred’s and our home the guitar was the musical instrument. You can tell that country music was a strong influence in our family. I loved going to the local ranches to listen to my mother and her friend, Florence Martin, sing and Yodel. Circle 9 Ranch in Epson, New Hampshire was visited frequently.
When we met Gene Maltais, in 1969, our music became a little more Rock-A-Billy. More about that in the next decade.
Television turn from black and white to color. I watched Lawrence Welk, Art Linkletter, Uncle Bob, Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, Superman, The Green Hornet and Batman. Sundays included church, Davie and Goliath.
I end the decade with thoughts of getting my driver’s license, working for someone other than my father, caring for my family, entering- yet another school and changes happened in the world. The word “fear” truly entered my conscious. I lost loved ones, the world lost JFK, blackouts, and modern times are fast approaching. I’m starting to be more involved in the world and its happenings. The end of playing is becoming a time of working.
The decade of adult changes. Graduation from high school, college, marriage and the birth of my first child. This short sentence gives you a glimpse of how my entertainment change in the 1970’s decade. I go from a school girl to a mother.
The seventies start with independent driving. My friends and I would take drives in the surrounding area. I usually had one or more of my siblings with me. I’m a caregiver for them when my mother worked alongside my father at the service station in Pembroke New Hampshire. The seventies is the first time we lived in the same place for longer than 2 years. The luxury of having friends to do things with was a treat. In the past my family were my traveling companions and “playmates.”
They still are. My family will always be my core of entertainment, love and support. The family members changed through the years; death and births caused those changes. The sense of family never left my soul.
4-H is replaced with Rainbow Girls, Library Club and Dramatic Arts. Hiking, is added to swimming, boating and fishing. Family Sunday Drives “to find a dirt road,” (aka, visiting the aunts,) continues. I love those drives with my family, watching the clouds for animal, faces, and shapes. Playing the Alphabet license plate games with my younger siblings, playing canasta with my aunts, stopping for ice cream in New London (for us kids) and for fired clams in Boscowen, New Hampshire (for Mom) were a must do.
Music changing more to Ricky Nelson, Everly Brothers, the Beatles (Lilly’s influence,) and of course the old staples with Mom, Flo and Gene. Johnny Cash, yodeling, Gene Maltais and Jerry Lee Lewis. Once I met and married my husband my music was broaden to include, Rock and Roll, a little disco and heavy metal. I’m still not a fan of the heavy metal. Give me the late fifties, the sixties and early seventies classic and I’m happy.
I didn’t watch much television in the seventies. When I did it was usually history, movie, and some sitcoms like Doggie Howser, M.D., Ben Casey, ER, or Marcus Welby. Do you notice a theme here? I was never one to race home for a certain time to watch television. My time in school, work, church and societies I joined kept me very busy. I was learning the joy of working and earning money. Later seventies my time was spent being a wife and mother. I will admit that when Luke & Laura were on General Hospital, I did watch. General Hospital was a show I watched with my mother.
The Luke and Laura fad happened around the same time as I was put on bedrest with my first child. I had miscarried once already, I wasn’t taking a chance and not follow the doctor’s orders. My husband even had his hair done in an afro.
Movies became a bigger part of life after I met my husband. He worked at a movie theater. My younger years of movie going was with the family to the drive in movies. My mother loved Elvis Presley. His movie was shown second because of his hip movements were too suggestive. I always slept through the first movie (kid’s movie) and woke up just in time for the second. Who know I was such a rebel?
I leave the 1970’s as a graduate from nursing school, married, starting life in a new home, yes moving again, my husband, Michael; my daughter, Tyna and second child on the way, (my son, Michael.)
My entertainment in the eighties was family gatherings, movies, music, some television, reading, board games and children’s activities. During this time I played the wife and mother role; doing more things that my family loved to do. I loved being part of that interaction. We moved again in the mid-eighties. We moved back to my home state of New Hampshire. I was home. Yes, home is where the family is, yet New Hampshire is always that place that when I enter its borders a calm, comfort envelops me. I can be me. My entertainment now became Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, teaching CPR, safety and making new friends. This may not sound like entertainment. It is what I loved to do. To teach, participate, learn new things with the ones I love. What greater joy can there be, than just enjoying life.
We continued the tradition of Sunday drives my father started in my childhood. We would tell the stories of our youth, to our children. Show them where we lived, worked, and played.
In the later part of the 1980’s hiking and camping became a large part of our family activities.. My friend Linda introduce me to Bingo. I would go weekly with her. She was the lucky one. I just loved the company.
My love of family stories, history and where we came from needed to be recorded. Scrapbooking the family photos, taken over the years, began. Writing the stories down into my diaries and interviewing my mother of our family history became more important after my father and father-in-law died in 1987 &1988. I grew up with those stories, but never taken the time to record them.
So I leave the eighties passionate about family lore once again. I will record the stories past and present for the future.
A time of transitioning for my children. They will leave our home by the end of the decade. Our entertainment didn’t change that much from the eighties. Trivia Games, hiking, camping, Sunday drives, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little league, movies, scrapbooking and bingo were our entertainment.
We added Canoe Team Mom in there. I was the chase car for the Girl Scout Canoe Team. Memorial Day weekend was the General Clinton Canoe Regatta in Bainbridge, New York. A weekend of canoeing, County Fair and camping. It was a fifteen miles canoe rally race. Every five miles the paddlers were switched. I was the driver that drove along the race cheering the paddlers on and swapping them out for the next leg. Lots of mud, smiles, laughter, fair games, and camping excitement.
Cross Country meets, track meets and many baseball games kept us entertained. Family game night, usually trivia games at this point, was a night where the teenagers challenged the parents. I held my own back then.
I proceed to the next decade as a couple, Michael and June. Our children both graduated high school. Our daughter, Tyna entered college, our son Michael, entered the Air Force.
This decade brings many changes in how I entertain myself.
Entertainment as a couple is more about the quiet times together. Listening to music, going to the movies, reading, date night continues (even through there are no children in the house,) scrapbooking has turned digital, bingo has exploded. There many more places to attend. Bingo in a church hall has grown to Bingo Halls with nightly games and even twice on the weekends. My passion for bingo is about the giving to charities. If you go there planning on winning every time, you will be disappointed. Go there for the socialization with friends and giving to the charity makes for a happy night out. Of course, when you win, the night of entertainment is even sweeter.
A decade of health challenges, making those evenings out more of a treat. The time with your husband and family are precious and priceless. This is the decade my mother died, my husband’s brother died. I was dealing with cancer and mini strokes. There were days that listening to music, especially the songs from my youth, brought comfort. The strength to watch television, go to a movie or even read was a challenge.
My passion for photography grow during this time. I was the one that usually wasn’t in family photographs. I was taking them. I graduated from film photography to digital. I entered photography contest, traveled with my husband to photograph my home state of New Hampshire, and New England. If it captured my eye, I needed to photograph it.
I end this decade, alive, passionate about photography, family history, and learning more about social media, you-tube and webinars.
Wow! Who knew that social media and webinars could take over your life? My son introduced me to Facebook. This would be my way of communicating with him while he was stationed overseas I started a personal page and a page that I called, Where in the State is Mom. The second page was about my travels, trivia and a way for my son to feel part of my life and not feel so homesick. My passion for family, photography, traveling and trivia all rolled into one package.
My entertainment became more sedentary in nature, due to my physical limitations. I’m thankful for my passion of reading and family history. It allows me to entertain myself, while still feeling productive.
Genealogy Webinars are now all the rage. DearMyrtle and Legacy Family Tree Webinars have kept me well entertained. I’m learning how to best research, find sources, cite those sources, for my family tree. Learning about how DNA can support your paper trail findings and break through that brick wall, is a Happy Dance all on its own.
I still listen to music, watch television, date night with my husband, travel to visit family, and go out with my friends to play bingo. Most of my time is watching the webinars and learning, researching my family and cuddling up next to Ninja Buddy, my dog.
Over the years my entertainment changed, as did my life. My core entertainment did not change. Doing things with family, friends and being passionate about what you’re doing is what is important. Just enjoy who you do those things with throughout your life. Friends and family will change over the years; stay true to yourself, enjoy life.