Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sunday Driver

I grew up in the 60s. Looking back, it appears it was a simpler time and kids today would probably think it was boring. We didn't know what we were missing, though, so we weren't bored.  We didn't know about any of the things that the future held back then, like computers, smart phones, and streaming movies from the internet right to your living room. Talking to another person on a screen and actually seeing them while you talked to them was pure fiction that only happened on the Jetsons.

We had fun, and there was always plenty to keep us entertained. Lots of  pastimes from that time in history seem to have "gone by the wayside," though. The saying itself is outdated and has faded from our modern vernacular. THIS actually strikes me as funny, because it's so ironic. 

But I digress.

The 1st car I remember, a 49 Dodge
One of our activities in my family was the Sunday drive. After Sunday dinner was over and the Sunday paper with its funny pages in color had been read, sometimes there was an outing. It was the practice of piling into the family car--usually there was one per household--and driving around looking at the countryside. Sometimes we would drive 20 or 30 miles out in the country or go to another nearby town; sometimes we would just drive around our town and see the pretty houses going up in the new subdivision. 

Think of it as an old-fashioned way of seeing what's going on around you, like surfing the internet is today. Of course, our "surfing" was in a car with no seat belts, where the children in the backseat leaned up to the back of the front seat and propped their chins over the seat back to get a better view of where they were headed.

Ah, yes. Those were the days.

There was no mall to go and walk around in, and with the blue law in full force no stores were open on Sunday anyway. And...there was no Wal-mart yet! 

Sometimes our drives would include a visit to a relative's house, or sometimes if the weather was nice we would go to the park; but most of the time we just drove around. They usually ended the same way, though; we would stop at Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone. Then, as we drove home I would ask if we could drive by the "little pink house," a mid-century modern house a few blocks from our house that guessed it...painted pink.

Yes, this was interesting to see. It was, after all, actually in the middle of the twentieth century at the time, so the house was just "modern" without the "mid century" part.  It was a novelty; a new, ranch style house in a neighborhood of white bungalows built in the 20s and 30s, so it already looked oddly out of place. And, don't forget it was PINK. 

It was also, as we established already, a simpler time. We enjoyed being together, experiencing the sights together and making memories. We laughed at silly stuff that no one else but our family would get. Driving by the little pink house was a bonding experience for us. I've carried that memory and others like it for over half a century and now I'm the only one who remembers them. 

My dad would laugh and tease me, but I think he was secretly glad to indulge my silly request. He wanted to gawk at the strange looking house, too. Of course, we had to slow down when we were looking at something.

And that's where the term "Sunday driver" came from.  Now you know. 

Enjoy life with your family. Make memories like these with your kids. These are the good ole' days they will reminisce about someday. Make them good memories.

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