Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And we lived to tell about it...

I was just transcribing one of my great-grandmother’s diaries, telling of their trip to the Oahe Dam in South Dakota.  The year was 1956; they all piled into my Uncle Ray’s station wagon: Grandma and Grandpa, their two daughters and sons-in-law, and 6 kids on a mattress in the back of the wagon.


Reading this, I could almost feel my brother’s elbows in my ribs, and getting squashed by a gaggle of cousins on any of the road trips we took under similar conditions.  Sometimes there were so many kids piled in the backseat that we really weren’t sure whose foot that was...  and to make things even more exciting, there were oftentimes a dog or two in the mix.

Sometimes we’d pile into the back of my dad’s yellow pickup truck for a ride; I can still feel the wind whipping my hair around violently like it was just yesterday.  It was so exhilarating...

Awhile back in our local paper, there was an article about winter safety, and they mentioned that pulling sleds with vehicles wasn’t safe.  Even with a long rope, out in the middle of a field?  No!!  I felt a pain through my very heart!  Again, another portion of my beloved childhood memories were relegated to the Hall of Shame.

I’m not saying any of this is good, or bad, just that it’s different.  Times change.  The world changes.  Are we better off?  I don’t know.  Did the parents of the 1950s look back at past generations and think them nonchalant where safety was concerned?  I wonder.  I know only one thing ... that I won’t be telling my grandchildren about the time we ... never mind.

Image courtesy of office.com


  1. Cute story and one that brings up a couple of memories of my own!

  2. great story. I remember the same type of things except it is the 1970's hubby #1 and I have a station wagon. We are traveling Minnesota to New Jersey with a mattress in the back for our two boys to play and sleep on. Or the 1980's once again heading to New Jersey in a pick up truck with camper and most of family riding in the back of camper. No seat belts. Times have changed

  3. I remember that getting to ride in the back of my father's truck was such a treat! Our dog thought so, too.

  4. And we won't even talk about carrying our babies on our laps in the car... lol

  5. Oh the times this blog brought back! Riding in my dad's pickup with a blanket to throw over in case of rain. Going to PA from MO in the back of the station wagon surrounded by luggage. I swear! In a wreck I would not have moved anyway there was so much luggage! Thanks for the memories!!!! I enjoyed it!

  6. Great post! Reminded me of our 1965 family trip Down East in the station wagon, blankets and pillows in the back, so we could sleep on the way...yeah right!

  7. Your story reminded me of my childhood. My dad was always a soft touch. He had a huge Oldsmobile station wagon. My friends would come over and sweet talk him into driving us all to the lake for the afternoon during summer break. That car was packed to the max with kids, and it was a 45 minute drive to the lake. My dad would bring cross word puzzles along to fill his time while we played volleyball and went swimming. I don't know any other parent that would do that. My dad was well loved by all my friends.