Throwback Thursday — Nighttime Rituals

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie asks us about our nighttime rituals growing up.

Every time I do one of these Throwback Thursday posts, I am reminded about how little I actually remember about my early life. Oh well, let’s see if this throwback jogs some memories from deep within my head.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1) Did you share a room with a sibling, or did you have a room of your own?

There were times when I had to share a room with my older sister, but I mostly had my own room.

2) Did you resist going to bed or did you go willingly?

Not all that willingly. I remember having to go to bed by 9:00 and my parents would be in the living room watching TV. I specifically remember the show “Make Room for Daddy” starring Danny Thomas.

It aired at 9 pm and I thought it was so unfair that Rusty, the son in the show who was about my age, could be up after 9:00 when I was supposed to be in bed. I guess I didn’t quite understand the concept of pre-recorded shows at the time.

3) Did someone put you to bed, tuck you in, or read you a bedtime story?

Not that I remember. I was told to wash my face, brush my teeth, get into bed, and go to sleep.

4) Was there a religious component, like prayers, to your nighttime routine?

Not that I recall.

5) Did you go to sleep immediately, or lie awake?

Sometimes I would go to sleep immediately, sometime I would lie awake for a while before falling asleep. I guess it depended upon how tired I was.

6) Did you journal, read a book, talk on the phone or with your siblings, or watch television when you were supposed to be sleeping?

No to journaling, occasional to reading, no to talking on the phone or with a sibling. As to TV, I would sneak onto the landing overlooking the living room and watch “Make Room for Daddy.”

7) Did you ever sleepwalk?

At one point, when I was sharing a room with my sister, she claimed I was sleepwalking. She asked me what I was doing and she said I told her I was going to join the army. She told me to go back to bed, and apparently I did. That was, I think, the only time I sleepwalked.

8) Did you remember having dreams? If you dreamed, did you ever have bad dreams? Do you remember any dreams specifically?

I’m sure I had dreams and, no doubt, some of them were bad dreams. But I don’t specifically recall what they were. Hell, I can’t even recall my dreams from last night!

9) Were you afraid of the dark? Did you sleep with a nightlight or sneak into your sibling’s or parent’s room at night because you were afraid?

I don’t remember being afraid of the dark and I didn’t have a nightlight.

10) Did you have or attend sleepovers or slumber parties? Feel free to elaborate.

My cousin was six months younger than me and and we were very close. I’d often sleep over at his house or he at my house on weekends.

Throwback Thursday — Fireworks

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren asks us about our fireworks celebrations growing up.

Here are Lauren’s questions.

1) What are your earliest memories of watching fireworks?

The first time I saw fireworks live, I was maybe seven or eight and my older sisters took me to see the Fourth of July fireworks show at the Washington Monument in D.C.

2) Were you more afraid or excited at the time?

A little of both.

3) What occasions were celebrated with watching fireworks?

Mostly Fourth of July/Independence Day. One of my sisters was born on July 4th and she tried to convince me that the fireworks were to celebrate her birthday.

4) Did you travel to fireworks shows, or did your family have their own, safe and sane explosives?

We would go into the city or to the local towns that would have fireworks displays. Other than sparklers, we weren’t allowed to have firecrackers in our house, although some of my friends had cherry bombs and other firecrackers that they would set off.

5) Did you ever light off illegal fireworks?

I didn’t, but as I said above, some of my friends did. One of my friends lit and threw a cherry bomb but it didn’t go off. He thought it was a dud, so he picked it up and it exploded in his hand.

6) Did you typically have a family celebration before the nighttime display? What did it include?

Mostly cookouts on the grill with hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, baked beans.

7) As you grew older, did your feelings about fireworks change?

I still enjoyed them and we would take our kids to see the big fireworks shows, and they were excited.

8) Now the thinker: Many places are restricting fireworks now because of the trauma it can cause to pets, young children, and sensitive adults. How do you feel about restricting fireworks?

When we lived in San Francisco our dog was indeed traumatized by the sound of fireworks exploding. (Our cat was totally unfazed.) So I hated it when there were fireworks set off, as our poor pup couldn’t stop shaking and crying. Now we live across the Bay in wildfire country. The county we live in bans the use of fireworks because of the wildfire risks. And that’s fine with me.

Throwback Thursday — Money Matters

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren asks us about our experience with money growing up.

Here are Lauren’s questions.

1) At what age do you remember handling your own money?

Handling my own money? Other than my weekly allowance, which was a meager $1, probably in my teens.

2) Did you have a piggy bank to add coins to?

More like a small, metal strongbox bank, similar to what is pictured below.

3) Did you get an allowance and/or get paid for doing chores?

Yes, I got $1/week plus a little extra for things like cutting the grass in the summer and shoveling the snow in the winter.

4) How did you earn money for things you wanted?
5) Did you have jobs outside your house to earn money? What did you do?

I grouped these two together because my answers are the same for both:

  • Newspaper delivery route
  • Cutting grass in the neighborhood (spring, summer, and fall)
  • Shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks in the neighborhood (winter)

6) Were you more of a spender or a saver as a kid?

Unless I was saving up to buy something specific, I was more of a spender than a saver.

7) Were you aware of the financial situation your parents were raising you in?

I knew we weren’t rich. Both of my parents had to work, so I was a latchkey kid. I’d say we were probably lower middle-class.

8) Did you understand the difference between needs and wants when it came to asking your parents for things?

My parents made it very clear that they would handle my needs, but my wants were totally on me from my allowances and the money I made delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and shoveling snow.

9) Did you ever “save up” for a special item that you wanted? What was it?

The first thing I recall saving up for was a transistor radio, similar to the one pictured below.

10) Did you have a savings account as a child?

Not that I recall. Most of my meager savings were kept in my little, red strongbox bank.

11) Was there anything you routinely spent your own money on when growing up?

Yes. Once a month I’d take my weekly allowances for the month, ride my bike to the town newspaper store, and buy superhero comic books and Fleet and/or Topps baseball cards.

Throwback Thursday — First Crush

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “First Crush.”

Here are Maggie’s questions.

  1. Who was your first crush? First names only! Her name was Michelle, but everyone called her Mickey.
  2. Was this a celebrity or someone you knew? She was the older sister of my best friend, Marty.
  3. How old were you? I was nine.
  4. How old was your crush? She was twelve.
  5. Did you let your crush know you liked them? If so, how? I liked it when she was around when I went over to play with Marty and I think she may have suspected that I had a crush on her.
  6. Did your crush like you, too? How did you know? I believe she was kind of flattered that I liked her being around even though my friend Marty would have preferred that “a girl” didn’t hang out with us. I’m still not sure why a twelve year old girl wanted to hang out with her younger brother and his friend. Maybe she had a crush on me, too. But we never talked of such things.
  7. Did you get teased by your family for having a boyfriend or girlfriend? I didn’t tell anyone in my family that I had a crush on Mickey, so no one knew to tease me about her.
  8. Did you feel like you were in love or did you think it was simply a fleeting crush? I knew it was just a fleeting crush. She was pretty and she had boobs, and that fascinated me.
  9. Was this just a temporary crush or your first heartbreak? Just a temporary crush.
  10. When you think of that person today, do you have fond memories of them? To be honest, this was six and a half decades ago. The only memory I have of her, fond or otherwise, was when she let me feel her up over her sweater one time when I was over at Marty’s and Marty excused himself to go to the bathroom. For a nine year old boy, that was memorable.

Throwback Thursday — Birthday Blasts

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren chose the topic of “Birthday Blasts.”

Lauren would like us to think back to the birthdays we remember. Here are her questions.

1) What’s your earliest birthday memory?

Sadly, I don’t remember virtually any of my birthdays when I was a kid.

2) What was your favorite birthday and why?

See my answer above.

3) What’s the best birthday present you have ever received?

For my 60th birthday my wife got us GoldLeaf tickets on the Rocky Mountaineer, a beautifully scenic train excursion from Vancouver to Banff. It was spectacular.

4) Did you ever get money as a birthday gift?

I’m sure I did.

5) What did you like to do on your birthday as a kid? What do you like to do now?

I suppose it was having friends over, playing games, eating cake and ice cream, and opening presents. That’s what I like to do now, too.

6) Did you have birthday parties with friends or family parties?

Yes, both.

7) Did you get to pick the food for your birthday? Did you prefer to eat a home cooked meal or to eat out at a restaurant on your birthday?

I think — and I emphasize think because I don’t have clear recollections — that my parties probably had take out food like pizzas or other fast foods.

8) Did your family have any fun birthday traditions? Did you continue those traditions with your own kids?

I don’t recall any specific traditions in my youth, but my wife and I always made big deals with our kids birthdays and their parties. And I have the video tapes to prove it.

9) Did you ever get to take the day off school on your birthday? As an adult did/do you take the day off?

Not that I recall.

10) Have you ever had a surprise birthday party? Was it a real surprise, or did you know it was coming?

Yes, for my 30th birthday, some of the people I worked with threw me a surprise party and, yes, I was very surprised. And the most notable birthday present of the night was a gag gift…an inflatable sex doll. I was still single at the time.

Bonus Question:
If you had a million dollars to spend only on your next birthday, what would you do?

I’d buy myself a gift. One million dollars deposited into an account that, upon my death, would be bequeathed to my wife, if she survives me, and to my children and grandchildren.