Author Topic: What was your childhood like?  (Read 16032 times)

Offline JTL

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What was your childhood like?
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:01:58 am »
I feel that our lives today are more similar whereas our childhood lives could be more different from each other.  Do you think so, or do you think it is the other way round?  Anyway, what was your childhood like?

Offline Bertha

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 11:40:49 am »
I had a pretty idyllic sort of childhood. I grew up out in the country but close to a small village in central New York State, a beautiful part of the state with its hills, woodlands, farmlands, and mostly small villages in between.  My folks had a small dairy, so we also raised grasses such as alfalfa and timothy to harvest for hay.  I had a lot of freedom to wander the fields and woods in the summertime, and in the winter, I had the hills to sled on.  After I started school, those activities were done after school, and in the wintertime, I spent about an hour almost every day, sledding.  We had some hardships, but they didn't seem to affect me much.  Since my sisters and brother were grown up already, I didn't have a lot of playmates, so I found books that provided me with lots of friends to choose from.  Reading Nancy Drew mysteries fed my love for finding answers to the constant "why" I asked.  Reading "Lassie, Come Home" made me cry.   
Bertha

Gene

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 05:20:25 pm »
JTL:

I agree with you 100%. People around the world are more similar today than in the past. I believe that fact is due to modern communication. We see how each other live and gradually become more “unified.”

As for my childhood…..it was horrible. I grew up in poverty with uneducated and bigoted parents, especially my father. Poverty was the driving force which motivated my drive for education and business success. Today I fall into the “Liberal” category and am okay financially. Being poor and bigoted were the two horrors I ran away from…………………..cheers……………GG   

Offline JTL

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2013, 04:52:31 am »
Bertha had an idyllic childhood and Gene had a horrible one - two extremes.  My childhood was interesting but unhappy.  Unhappy because my father was way too stern.  Meal time was like exam time because he would suddenly ask an arithmetic question and if you were unable to answer quickly, you would be scolded.  He would not allow us to listen to music, see movies, draw pictures, read comic books, or go over to the neighbors to play.  Those were "useless things".  We siblings (led by the oldest brother ten years older than me) sometimes sneaked to see a movie, but he always discovered our act.  When I finally left home to study in the city, I saw three movies a day -- why, the mountain was high and the emperor was far. 

Gene

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2013, 03:04:03 pm »
the mountain was high and the emperor was far

Interesting comment. I'll have to think about that.................................GG

Offline Darryl

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 11:58:58 am »
Bertha had an idyllic childhood and Gene had a horrible one - two extremes.

I guess I fall somewhere between the two.
I had a very secure and stable childhood, not overly exciting but certainly nothing to complain about. My parents always cared for us and did the best they could. I have had cause to reflect on that lately, as I have just delivered the eulogy at my father's funeral.
As a child, I was a bit of a loner. Even though I had siblings, they did not share my interests to any great extent and I went my own way. We lived on the edge of town and I spent a lot of time walking around the bush collecting spiders and snakes and watching the birds and animals. I would rush off to the library to try and identify the creatures I found. How the internet would have been useful back then!
I learned a lot about the native fauna of Australia and I hope I engendered some enthusiasm in the students throughout my later teaching career.
I enjoyed the solitude, the vastness and sheer awesomeness of the bush. Still do.

Offline Britta

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 07:30:00 am »
I had a pretty normal childhood in the sixties in Germany. My father was a sales manager in a very small company selling conveyor belts. We were living on the outskits of a small town, somewhere between rural and provicial. I have two sisters, one is six years the other one thirteen(!) years younger - my mother used to say we were three only children, really. We are, all three, well educated, all of us have a university degree and we are the first generation in our family to go beyond middle school education. I didn't have many toys, I used to go out climbing trees and crawling through the thicket when I was small (I must have been dirty all the time) and go walking for hours when I was older. At about sixteen I started leading youth groups (yes, more than one...) in our local church. From the three sisters I think I'm the most intellectual. When I wasn't walking or running groups I was reading and I loved to go to school and collect knowledge. I'm a bit underdeveloped in manual skills, though.
 
p.s. When I was a child (we moved house when my youngest sister was born so I normally call the time before that event "childhood" and the time after that event "youth") I loved to spend my time on one of the nearby farms. We were not allowed to have pets so I went there in the afternoons to play with the kittens in the hay loft, collect eggs in the henhouse or just look at the animals, mostly milk cows. I could stand at the calf shed for ages and let the little ones suckle on my hand.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 08:16:25 am by Britta »
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline Britta

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 07:34:09 am »
Meal time was like exam time because he would suddenly ask an arithmetic question and if you were unable to answer quickly, you would be scolded.

This is interesting. In my family we kids were not allowed to talk at all while at the table. Why, with three daughters you may need to take such measures, I suppose, or you just drown in gaggle.
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline JTL

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 12:29:55 am »
Hi folks, I just logged in on iPhone and in Perth to say thank you for the interesting childhood stories. I'll be back to add some more stories myself, but for now I have to fight the flies off my face LOL! The plants here are beautiful!

JTL-making middle age stories to be told in old age.

Offline Darryl

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 03:51:36 am »
Hey, JTL! Welcome to Australia!! Perth is a lovely city. I'm guessing your comment about plants results from a visit to Kings Park overlooking the city?? Plants and parrots.
Don't worry about the flies. You get used to 'em.
Keep in touch. Looking forward to more comments about my part of the world.
Perhaps a new thread?

Gene

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 02:55:55 pm »
Darryl:

A point of curiosity. I have always wondered why the fly situation in Oz has never been remedied. I would imagine that our brilliant scientists who have solved so many perplexing problems could genetically sterilize the fly population so they would not reproduce. What is the current thinking down there?.............................GG

Offline Darryl

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 09:44:18 pm »
I have often wondered the same thing about cane toads. They are a far greater threat to our ecology than the fly nuisance. You would think with developments in gene technology etc we could eradicate these loathesome pests.
I know the CSIRO has conducted extensive research into sterilizing toads but they are still spreading and their toxin is close to causing extinction of some native species.
As for the flies - well, the great Aussie salute will be around for some time yet.
Getting a bit off topic here but I guess that's OK.

Gene

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 02:22:23 am »
People who have never experienced the Aussie fly phenomenon will think we are joking; however, I have seen people in Alice Springs who actually wore screen masks around their heads to ward the little critters off. They are pests........but as I recall, they don't bite......................thank God...............................GG

Offline Darryl

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 09:16:12 am »
People who have never experienced the Aussie fly phenomenon will think we are joking; however, I have seen people in Alice Springs who actually wore screen masks around their heads to ward the little critters off. They are pests........but as I recall, they don't bite......................thank God...............................GG

Some do. March flies. These mongrels give us hell ...
http://www.ozanimals.com/Insect/March-Fly/Tabanidae%20family/.html

Offline urban yokel

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Re: What was your childhood like?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 04:30:05 pm »
Flies play an important role in ecological balance.  Their larvae provide food for some fish and some birds and second to bees in pollinating flowers and fruits. In some areas (especially in the US) flies are used to control fire ants.

Flies are there for a purpose.