Facebook brought back the nostalgia of my childhood with the recent,”You know you attended if”, or “You know your from” threads. I have to admit I have been frequenting the “You know you attended Oakwood College/University if,” and you know your from Rubidoux if” pages. It has brought back so many memories and many laughs and smiles.
One of the things I have noticed in frequenting these pages is how simple my life growing up was, and how times have truly changed. Today we were in the car talking with our children. The expressed they didn’t want to go to a certain persons house because it was boring and they didn’t have anything to do. We responded by telling them to go outside and play. They answered saying that didn’t have anything to play with. WHAT!! I remember my sisters and I were sent outside and we always found things to do. We didn’t have all kinds of toys, and the bike we did have was an old bike pieced together and painted. We never ran out of things to do. My kids go outside for 5 min and come back in talking about it is to hot and they don’t have anything to do. I can remember playing outside in the California sun, heat alerts, smog and pollution and not going inside until the street lights came on and was mad we couldn’t stay out longer. I wasn’t running in the house every five minutes to get a drink of water. We drank it out of the water hose. We were lucky if we had a ball. We didn’t need all kinds of gadgets and toys. We had our imagination to play with!
Isn’t it crazy how much we can live with and become dependent on? If I leave my cell phone at home I feel like I walked outside naked!! I never realized as a child that we were ever missing out on anything. Yes we had dreams of having the newest toys but we were grateful with what we had. Every Saturday after church we would go to the nursing home and sing to the patients. I can still see the smiles on their elder faces. Sometimes we were their only visitors and they always looked forward to visits. That is how we learned and fell in love with hymns. On Sundays we were putting together bags of clothes or making plates or food baskets for needy families. For Christmas we spent more time writing a list (especially my sister Quiana who lives for writing lists 🙂 ), about what we were getting for others rather than what we wanted ourselves. Those shopping trips were the highlight of our Christmas season.
A couple of months ago I went back to California for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. While there I was able to reminisce about my old stomping grounds. So much has changed yet so much had stayed the same. It is crazy how much smaller the neighborhood looked then when I was younger. I remember how everyone looked out for me because ” I was one of the Delbert’s grandkids” or “Denise’s daughters”. When we would walk to or from school, “Ned the Wino” through slurred speech and a drunken stager, or “Tyrone Biggums” fresh off a hit would wave hello everyday and make sure no one messed with us. I couldn’t imagine my children walking through a soul train line of alcoholics and crack heads, but we did it everyday. Crackhood watch was on patrol everyday, rain or shine!!
Boy, it is crazy to think about how so much has changed. Rubidoux may not have been the best place to grow up, and I may have ran out of there as soon as I could, but I wouldn’t be the person I am without it. I can’t help it. The “dust bowl” will always be a part of me.
Brandi 🙂 I could really eat some Donahoo’s Chicken, some Tina’s and a grinder from Delia’s right now!!