|Don't mind me, I can sleep anywhere!|
My thoughts still go back to being a boy on the prairie. As a child growing up, many of the children in the community would look for extra work during the course of the year. In the winter, we would ask neighbors if we could scoop their driveways and sidewalks and in the summer we mowed our lawn and that of our neighbors as well. When the spring arrived, my brothers and I along with many other boys from my hometown would volunteer to pick rocks for farmers in the area. We picked rocks in the spring, walked beans and detasseled corn in the summer, as well as picking rocks again in the fall. This was our pocket money in which we could buy a bicycle or some item of clothing that we wanted. Along with these jobs that we would do, many of us would deliver papers for the Minneapolis Star and the local Livewire in our hometown of Jackson, Minnesota.
Today with the advent of computers, news is immediate on the World Wide Web, and newspapers are struggling to survive in our fast changing world. Farmers are changing their practices as well, they are using more chemicals in controlling weeds, so for today, there is less need for young children to pull the weeds. Today riding mowers replace push mowers, and snow blowers have replaced the snow scoop. Sometimes I look back nostalgically and wonder whether progress is all good. Children, when I was young had many avenues to be industrious, but now with the advent of technology, kids today are struggling with boredom and lack of inactivity.
|Playing in the Autumn Forest|
In looking at the high cost of child care as well as eating processed foods more extensively, vehicle costs, the added expenses in having large homes, not to say the least, heating and cooling costs, insurance factors, health costs, and the general lack of family time, one must ask, have we advanced since the 1950s or are we heading in the wrong direction completely?
|Winona in the Fall.|