What a beautiful day today is. The weather is just perfect and the sun is shining. One cannot ask for more. I hope everyone is doing well. If you are in America...awaiting the 4th of July!
Today's blog, I thought carefully about what it might be about. There are many topics to consider. I came up with exercise since it brought back memories of childhood. Back in my day, there didn't seem to be any pressure about getting out to exercise. No talks about it and your health. All we ever seem to hear from our parents was go out and play! There was no organized sports, no organized games or play dates. It was just whatever we kids decided to do for the day.
Sometimes we would go over to the neighbors house that didn't have a garage and so their yard was huge. We would play games likes ghosts in the graveyard, statue maker and tag. We ran around all the time with out thinking about exercise..
I remember when we were younger, we would just walk around the neighborhood. Purely just for fun. As I got older, a bunch of us would walk from our house by Grand and Laramie in Chicago to Belmont and Central. Now if I count back the city blocks....that would have been about 20 city blocks one way. We would walk there because it was a small shopping area. The Will Rogers Movie House was there, there was Goldblatts' Department store. That was the most reasonably priced department store There was a Lerner's Clothing Store....clothes in there were suited towards the teens. We walked through each and every one of the stores on both sides of the street....we not necessarily shopped, but we did walk them...and the ending place was Woolworth's which was on the corner. Woolworth's, for those of you who may not know was a 5 and 10 cent store...now, not everything was 5 and 10 cents, but it was going to be the best bargain store around. They had one thing that we loved the most, they had a little grill type area where you could get something to eat. Usually, there were 3-4 of us and we would grab a booth and order a basket of fries and a large coke...Now, unlike today, that was for all of us. We would share the fries. Get as many straws as needed and share the soda. The fries back then were 25 cents, and the coke was a dime....and we would split the bill and add a tip for the waitress. When I think back now, I bet she hated to see us kids walk in...she would never become a millionaire that way, but she always treated us with respect and we in turn, did the same. My mother, being in that field of work, taught me to always treat the waitresses kindly and always leave a tip. After we were finished with our treat we would then walk all the way back home. Now the funny thing was, in the summer, we would sometimes make that walk 2 times a day. Never thinking twice about it. Walking was just a natural thing. We could easily talk and laugh and share our stories. It seemed as though we never ran out of those.
There was this great little place on Fullerton Ave that served "juicey bread" They sold it for a quarter each. It was about an 8 inch long cut of Italian bread and was dunked into this great Italian gravy. It had no meat in it, but we didn't care one way or the other...it was delicious. We would all walk up there...about 7 blocks, get a couple breads each, and then walk the 7 blocks back to my house and pig out. After we were done, we would just pick a direction and walk again. Boy, when I think about that....we exercised all the time, only we didn't call it that...there was no need for any of us to get off the couch.....that wasn't even a consideration in those days. I think the only time I was ever on the couch ,might have been during the winter when there was no where to go. Girlfriends usually came over, we would put our favorite 45 records on the phonograph in my bedroom and just dance.
Often we would take a tennis racket over to the court yards over at Hanson Park Field House...that was about 4 blocks over and play tennis...oh, we didn't really know how the game went...It was just how many times you could hit the ball. It was more the challenge for ourselves than the actual game. We would play till we were all tired and searched out the public water fountain for a drink of water...there were no water bottles to carry or dispose of back then., just the water fountain. Sometimes we would go into the park district house and see if we could get a ping pong table. We would play ping pong for an hour or so and then walk back home.
Back in those days we just walked because unless you rode your bike it was the only way to get around...unless ,you of course, took a bus or an el. There were no parents that drove us here and there and every where. If you wanted to go somewhere...you pretty much walked or calculated how much of your money you wanted to spend on transportation. You made up your mind by how much you would have afterwards for maybe a soda pop...and if you didn't have much..which in our day....you didn't...we would choose walking almost every time. The only thing you always made sure you had, no matter where you went, was a dime in your shoe so that if there was an emergency, you could call home. And of course we didn't have a cell phone...there were public phones on most busy street corners or public buildings.
Funny how when you consider today versus yesteryear, there are so many changes! Today our society encourages exercise for everyone. There are facilities everywhere that you can go and pay big fees just to exercise. I pay attention as I see the walkers over in the cemetery walking. They have their earplugs in their ears listening to their mp3 players. Then there are the joggers with their headbands on their sweated heads towels around their necks and a water bottle dangling off their sides. Most have a special outfit it seems. Imagine, an outfit to walk or exercise. When I think back in time...the only time we wore an outfit was when we took dance or worked on balance beams. I had a leotard that I wore. We just wore plain old white sneakers as our shoes and we were happy with them. We didn't need or want any $65.00 gym shoes.
When we walked as kids we just wore plain old clothes...guess we were doing it all wrong! Oh well, no matter what, I wouldn't trade those days for any money in the world. We got our exercise without ever knowing it and had a whole lot of fun while we did it!