Do you ever wish we were living in different times


Last night, husband and I were reading and listening to music on sattelite that was from the 1940's era. On the screen, it showed pictures of the various singers. They looked so happy, so at peace. I turned to husband and said, "do you ever wish we lived in that era?" which he said "absolutely!". It seems like people back then were so happy with so little. They didn't have computers, t.v., cell phones. They certainly didn't deal with the stresses we have today. Dad went to work, mom stayed at home raising the kiddos. Most days I feel like my face is on fire from all the running, working, and stress in general.
*sigh*...just my daydreaming thoughts for today.
Definetly!!! Aly and I were watching Little House on the Prairie the other day and I just started bawling! I know life was rough for them, but families and neighbors pulled together to make sure every family had enough food and clothing to survive. Aly was jealous of the fact that there was so much open land that she could ride a horse on. This led to a wonderful discussion of how all the Ingalls kids pulled together and helped in anyway they could to make it a happy and fun time for everyone. I wish for anything that I had a "Pa" that could sit down in front of a fire and fiddle away!!

Great topic!!!!



Ditto, again.

The little town I grew up in, and the family values there, its just so different than the rat race I'm in now, where its almost every man for himself and the dollar being the big prize at the end.



New Member
we always think others had it "better" than we do.

1940's? First 5 years were taken up with WWII. While I would never say what anyone goes through in any war isn't horrible, I also lived with the "residuals" of this with my dad. A good portion of that generation died on foreign soil. The ones that lived often had health problems, guilt, etc. Then they came home and were expected to suck it up and live totally normal lives.

Little House times? When getting a infection would mean blindness, or death? When you were totally at the mercy of the weather and there was no insurance to help you out?

Each time has it's problems and it's glory.


Spork Queen
Although I hated it at the time, I would love to go back to the 60's. We made our own clothes, worked hard and got rewards from that. I didn't own my first pair of jeans until I was 16. I thought my parents were cruel, but they instilled a work ethic in me that has never gone away. I had my first job at 11...picking up beer bottles at our only bowling alley. Next was working as a maid in a motel. THAT was something I'll never forget.

My parents never talked to me about education or college. We were expected to marry and work the ranch. When I did go to college, I paid every cent of it myself. It was not expected that parents pay for it like they do now. My easy child son wants to go to University of Arizona. Yeah...$40,000 a year. That's going to happen. He has chosen to not do too well in school, no significant sports, nothing. I'm not financing that.

Oddly enough, my grandmother, who passed away last year, had squirreled away much more money than I ever thought possible. I had guardianship of her and we're still sorting things out. This is a woman who reused tin foil or seranwap and rationed her daily water intake. She was the most frugal person I ever met. She literally led life on a shoestring. When we moved her into the nursing home her accountant 'took care' of her finances. Just found out that he took off with close to $200,000 of her money. I had NO idea she even had that. Long story, but it was put into a fund that is tax free if you are elderly. I guess it's Florida's biggest scam to date. It's sad to see that happen when she worked so hard to save.

Every era has it's good and bad. I'm glad for technology and health care, but long for a much more simple life.



New Member
When I hear that old music, or watch an old movie, I feel that same way. The other side of that though, and I think this is true, is that what we see in those old movies, and what we long for, is a distillation of the sweetest things in those times. While I would agree that we are all running at top speed these days, I think we are healthier, better informed, and more free, than our parents or grandparents were. The thing that makes everything seem so much worse is that we hear about every awful thing instantaneously. We seldom see justice meted out and when it is, it does not seem to fit the crime. Our present moments are filled with commercials which are designed to make us think we need things we don't ~ or, they are designed to scare us half to death about whether we have cancer or body odor or psoriasis. There are days, I swear, when I feel like I had best run right out and have my prostate checked!


Everything seems to have devolved to its own lowest common denominator.

But I think it might only seem that way.

We no longer believe poverty, mental illness or disease are signs of divine disapproval. We understand now that education is the tool which will enable us all to rise, an we are trying to learn how to instill that value in those who don't realize it yet. We are trying so hard to overcome our prejudices, and to learn how to interact with one another without resorting to stereotypes.

It doesn't always seem to be working, but that might be because there is no currency in reporting good news, so we don't hear about the things that came out right ~ and things do come out well a ridiculous amount of the time, when you think about it.

We all are drawn to the problem, to the bad things that happen, not so much because of some morbid curiousity, but because we want to understand what the bad thing was and how it happened, so that we can make change.

In our own lives, we are happy, I think.



Active Member
difficult child and I were talking about this topic just over the weekend. He said he'd give up all his stuff he loves ... computers, video games, cell phones, mp3 players, dvds etc .... if he could live at a time when neighbours talked and knew each other, when people watched out for each other and life was so much more simple than it is today.
I would love to live in a world with the values that were around "back in the day" and are really missing in our times.
I would love a world where your kiddo's could play freely outside, where there was less expectations on mothers to do it all (work,parent,spouse,housework etc) and where everyone wasn't living with a keeping up with the Jone's attitude.
Case in point: I live in an apartment and dont' own a car, people wonder how you live that way in 2007 with kids. It's called walking, city transit, taxi's for groceries etc. I'm fortunate that this works for me because I live in the center of town and don't require a vehicle. I don't have the stress, the financial burden etc. I have a nice home, I don't own it, I'm okay renting. People don't understand. I prefer to spend my money on my daughter for hockey or my son for basketball or for fun afternoons out with the kids etc. I don't want to be stressed to the max. I have zero credit cards, I don't finance anything. I save, I pay cash. I have a very low stress tolerance and I keep my life stress free. I could be a high income earner, working crazy hours. I prefer to be home when my kids are sick, to be here for difficult child at lunch (he comes home) and to have dinner with my kids each night. I'm fortunate I have the option. At the same time, many others cant understand that I don't wish for a high paying career and the supposed "perks" (read: more money). We have enough, we have our needs, we have some of our wants, we have things we sacrifice for and we enjoy them all the more. And for anything we "want" that we dont have? We gain a quieter pace of life in a crazy world, and we have a home that is a relaxed sanctuary.
I should have been born in the early 1900's I think.

Sue C

Active Member
Like Abbey, I think I'd like to be back in the '60's. Kids were polite (at least they were in my family, for the most part). They were respectful of their elders. There were no cell phones, internet, video games, DVD's, or cable TV. We were happy with 3 TV channels, 4 on a good reception day. Kids had to dress neatly and the girls wore dresses. I did not have my first pair of jeans 'til I was about 14.

Our parents didn't spoil us. We were probably in lower middle class; my dad had to work 2 jobs but it kept my mom at home to take care of the kids and house. I liked it that way. Mom baked constantly and sewed our clothes. She didn't drive so there wasn't any rushing around. There weren't a zillion activities offered for kids which is better in my mind.

My dad taught us a very strong work ethic. My parents also never talked to me about college. They told me to take secretarial classes so I did, and I became a secretary when I graduated.

I hate the busyness of this era. I hate how kids have to be constantly stimulated. Melissa can be on the computer and instant messaging someone and text messaging someone else all at the same time.

I don't notice neighbor kids play outside like we did in the '60's. My neighbor said his kindergartner plays video games at his friend's house. Talk about no interaction with each other and no exercise.

I vote for the simple life to return.....


Spork Queen
Ha! Sue...

On a good day we'd have 3 channels. We didn't get a TV until I was in my teens...and it was my dad's TV. We didn't dare touch it.

If you got in trouble at school, going home was 10X worse. That was not tolerated at all. I have picked more than one willow switch from our tree to be disciplined. You had better not pick a thin one. If you did, dad would opt for the belt instead.

Was this a good way to be brought up? In retrospect, I think so. I had a healthy respect/fear of my father. It kept me on the straight and narrow. It took many years/kids to realize this.

I also agree with the over-stimulation of kids these days. It's just too much. Soccer after school, violin lessons, cell phones, texting, computers, video games...yadda, yadda. When they don't have that stimulation they don't have any idea what to do. The classic story I tell my students is how we used to play the dictionary game. Honest. (Ok, I'm a nerd.) We'd all grab a dictionary and see who could find an obscure word the fastest. That's life in South Dakota. :smile:

I don't know how to get back to that world anymore. I went home a year ago and the small town I grew up in is just a miniature version of a big city now. It was sad to see that. I don't know where you can live anymore without these problems. If someone knows...let me know. I'll be leaving Vegas in a year.



Well-Known Member
Probably the most peaceful, stable era that I remember was from the mid to late 50's (post-Korean War) to the early 60's (pre-Viet Nam). It was uncomplicated then and kind of serene. It's amazing to me now how little we got by on then, compared to what is considered "necessities" now. And we got by just fine! Most mothers didn't work and I didn't know anybody who had more than one car or more than one bathroom. I didn't know anybody whose house was air conditioned ... a few stores maybe but not houses! And cars certainly weren't air conditioned - they came with a radio (with knobs!) and a heater and that was pretty much IT! No AC, no satellite radio, no things that talk to you and tell you where to turn! You bought a map. Our house had one phone (with a dial), attached to the wall by a cord, and we had a little chair to sit in when you were on the phone. No Caller ID ... you took your chances when you answered it, kind of an adventure! We had a huge console TV (with tubes that burned out!) that got three channels - you actually had to get up, walk across the room, and turn a knob to change channels! And you didn't have to worry much about what your kids were watching on TV when the choices were between Howdy Doody and I Love Lucy! And I didn't know anybody who owned a dishwasher! That's wht the kitchen sink was for! We got by without AC, even in the sweltering St. Louis summers - not even a fan! We had a "system" though ... after dinner, when the sun went down, we'd sit on the porch and when the mosquitos started to bite, we'd come in again! And as kids, we were free to roam all over the neighborhood, even ride city buses all over town, and nobody worried that we'd be kidnapped or molested or caught up in gang violence or drugs. It was wonderful! I always regreted that my own kids could never know the freedom we had as kids, or the family closeness, just spending an evening sitting around talking and laughing ... all that's gone now.

When we moved to Florida in the late 50's it was pretty much the same. For the most part, we were well behaved in school. Worst thing anybody did was talk in class or chew gum :cry:! We got through school in the Florida heat and humidity with no AC - now they close the schools if the AC breaks down! Wimps! Our high school was in a wing that was built out into an orange grove ... 30-35 kids in a class, NO A/C, NO such thing as teachers aides, certainly NO computers, we barely had a library. No calculators - you had to actually LEARN how to work the math problems with a pencil and paper! And you had to actually WRITE your papers and you got graded on it! No "Spell Check" or printers to neatly do it for you. Hardly anybody had after-school jobs or their own cars ... the lucky ones got to borrow their parents cars on the weekends. Having your own car to run around in or lots of spending money was NOT considered a necessity then. And with all this, I KNOW that I learned more in school and got a better education than my own kids did! I know that, in a lot of ways, things are better now ... but we have paid the price for that "progress".

Sue C

Active Member
Abbey -- We got the belt if we were naughty. I don't remember getting it very many times. I didn't think of calling the police. I knew I was naughty and that was why I got it. (I hated the part "If you cry, you'll get it harder.") I also respected/feared/loved my dad. It kept me on the straight and narrow, too. My family played board games and my mom read to us. She used to play the piano while I danced around the living room (I was about 5.)

Donna -- Ditto everything you said! In addition, there were no "do over's" on tests like the kids today get. That is ridiculous. Even in college, some of Melissa's professors gave the students 3 chances to pass their quizzes (done on a computer, of course). You really put me down memory lane when you mentioned no air conditioning in the house. We didn't have any and none of us complained about it being too hot. If I don't have my air cool enough in summer, you should hear Melissa whine.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts was a simpler time growing up. A lot more free play & being able to trust neighbors if I needed help.

Seemed to be more family centered. Never at a loss for something to do - even with-o all the television, computers, video games & team sports.

Hmmmm, I've tried to simplify things over the last couple of months. This gives me more to think over.


Well-Known Member
Sue, I'm not up on all this anymore but I don't understand the "do-overs" on tests either. Another thing I don't understand is college courses that are basically "catch-ups" to bring them up to the college level - to teach them what they should have learned in high school before they started college! Back in the Dark Ages when I was in school, you had to take and pass certain courses in high school and score high enough on the standardized senior tests to be admitted to one of the State universities. If you didn't, you didn't get in! Period! NO such thing as paying college tuition to take "high school level" courses, like tutoring to bring you up to college level!

Another thing - totally unrelated but about how lazy people have gotten, one of my pet peeves (on my soap box again!) - the BIBLE on DVD!?! Fine for the visually impaired or those with reading problems, but come on! Push "Play" and let somebody else read it to you?!?! Give me a break!


Ok, so skeeters comments kind of made me a little sad...but as I read on smiles smiles smiles at all of your stories.
I know that hard times have always existed, I guess what I was pondering this morning and last night (while listening to that music) was that people seemed so happy with the littlest things. It didn't take alot of money, or success. They had their family, they relished in time together, kids played outside all day long until the street lights came on.
I know it may sound strange, but I really admire amish people. I love to watch them and how they have stuck to their values and lifestyle. Their kids know the true meaning of a hard days work so..thats kind of a little out there I know, but I just long for a slow paced life and values that no longer seem to exist in our society.
oh..Mattsmom..I loved your comments!


Well-Known Member
I think it's human nature to romanticize the past.

There are plenty of things that I think are best left in the past.

Such as:

Rampant racism
Domestic violence being considered "private family business" and not assault.
Equal rights for women/having a job and being able to financially support myself. Being considered a second class citizen and inferior intellectually.
Medical care. I, and Daughter, would be dead back in the LHOTP times.
Communicaton taking weeks or months
Lack of easy mobility

Just to name a few.


New Member
I think I have to agree with dazed and confused on the things brought up. That falls more into line with my own personal experiences, too.

Child abuse and incest were not discussed and children caught in that often had noone to advocate for them or protect them. Even if a child tried to tell, people refused to listen. Stalking was not a felony, and very often police did little about it and very often the woman was blamed. Rape was handled quite differently.
You might think some of the crimes you now hear about are new, but, thats not entirely true. what is true is it is out in the public more. Decades ago if you had cancer- it was kept secret. It was simpkly not discussed......neither were other illnesses. ANd yes, people died from illness but since it was not discussed, it was not common public knowledge just how people died. Mentally ill persons were quietly turned over to state care or taken care of hidden in the home.....not sent out into the "real world" and even physically mobility challenged people were simply kept home and quietly taken care of.

AT the turn of the century, docs often quietly made serious judgements about who lived and who died on their own, sometimes without even discussing it with families.
Yes, mothers did work outside the home even then, out of necessity, quite often.....and sadly their children were sometimes left to fend for themself, but noone called CPS or police on them. Even in the late 60s teachers could smack a kid.....and even in the early 70s ministers sexually abused children. It just was not out on TV like it is now. Sadly, becuz there was so little media attention, people were not as aware.
During WW2 women worked a lot outside the home. Very many men were gone to war.
In 40s and 50s women had very little say in much of input at all. Even when their dhs were womanizing abusive violent creeps. and children were at the mercy of everyone.
It is wonderful if you were born into a family or neighborhood where things went well.but, a very large number of us were born into lives that were nowhere near as idealyic.
I agree life is more stressful now in some ways, but......I also agree each time had its own unique challenges and stressors.
Yes, we have AIDs and Hepatitis, in the 50s they had polio. If my kids show up at school with poor fitting clothes, or clothes our school does not find "decent" they will call CPS.....growing up I most often did not HAVE shoes except for winter for school. When I was growing up if my mom was late getting home from work, a neighbor might have kept one eye on me (even if it was not obvious) but these days most likely someone will call police instead. Years ago, families took care of their own more.......our nursing homes are FULL of people - some even sorta young, relatively speaking, who maybe only need minimal assistance....why? becuz so many people seem to think they have better things to do with their life, time, efforts and energy than care for their older family members.
SOmetimes I think, and from working in nursing home and conversing with the elderly.........seems maybe decdes ago people just seemed more able to accept how their life was and be happy even if their life was not fairy tale perfect.