There is a local paper that publishes a semi-annual restaurant guide and I was looking through the one they published last month online yesterday and was saddened to see how many of my old friends have died due to this bad economy that we are still stuck in. It made me sad to know that I will never sit on the patio of one of my favorite restaurants down town and eat marvelous food and people watch, or that the only time I will have my favorite dinner in town will be when I recreate it myself at home. I am very glad that I have the ability to eat a meal and taste the ingredients so that I can make it at home, but the main reason I liked to do that is I don’t get out to eat as often as I like to eat some of the dishes that my favorite restaurants make, not to replace my favorite restaurants but at least by my ability to eat and cook a dish I haven’t lost the dishes forever but it isn’t the same ambiance when I eat it at home even if it does taste the same. The bad economy has caused some good changes in a nation with greedy tastes but unfortunately the real losers are the middle and lower class citizens because the really rich people seem to still be really rich and the poor are more plentiful than ever, how sad that a country like ours has such disproportionate wealth, and how sad for all of the small businesses that have gone under.
Some people will tell you that life was simpler and easier when they were very young but I am not one of those people. I will say that I think the world was generally a simpler and easier place to live in when I was very young than it is now, for adults and children. I don’t think life in general has changed that much but the world has change quite a bit to a point. Children could go out on Halloween and go “trick or treating” and there really was nothing for our parents to worry about, the incidents of candy being “sabotaged” were very few and very far between and candy being spiked with razor blades were really more of an urban myth in the sixties than actually real incidents ever reported. It was safe for us kids to walk around at night without an adult, no kids ever got kidnapped or harassed during my whole childhood, at least in the fairly decent sized city I lived in. I am not going to say it never happened anywhere but it never happened in “my city” and we really didn’t hear of it happening that much in general even in larger cities. We could ride our bikes to the store to get candy and not have to worry about anything bad happening. Twenty years later when I baby sat my young nephews things had already been changing in that regard and life would never be as innocent for children to go out alone in the world ever again and for their parents to not to have to worry for them being able to be safe in those simple activities like riding their bike to the store or trick or treating with their buddies without their parents going along. I am sure a lot of it has to do with their being so many more people in the world now than there was when I was growing up. The United States Census in 1960 was 179,323,175, in 1970 it was 203,392,031 (an increase of 13 %), in 1980 it was 226,545,805 (an increase of 11 %), and in 1990 it was 248,709,873 (an increase of 10%), so from the time I was three until I was the age of 33 and babysitting my nephews at the ages that my sister and I were in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s our countries population had increased by a third which is a heck of a lot of people and that means there were a heck of a lot more “nuts” on the loose out there. When I was at my sister’s house watching her kids while her, or her and her husband, were out doing something I always made sure I could see the boys playing if they were in the front yard at all times. I remember one time when I was at her house and I looked out and saw one of the boy’s in her yard and the other was standing in the middle of the street (it was a side road but nonetheless cars still came down it) and yelling at his brother to throw him the ball they had been outside playing catch with. I immediately went to the door and told the one in the street to get out of the street, he gave an exasperated look and said “mom lets us!” I told him that I could believe that when she was annoyed with them she may have said “I should let you play in the middle of the street” but I said if she did say that she was teasing but I am not her and I am watching you so “get out of the street!” Of course this has nothing to do with it being a safe world or not I just thought of it when I was writing about the fact that it was no longer safe to let kids be outside by themselves without having to worry about people kidnapping them. My mother would not have let us play in the middle of the street if we had ever done it, which I don’t ever remember doing but I think there are some things little boys are more likely to do than little girls and I have a feeling that playing “catch” in the street is probably one of them. I am also sure that there are things little girls are more likely to do as well. I always chuckle when I think of my nephew saying “mom lets up play in the street” because I could visualize the boys being little terrors and her maybe saying “Why don’t you guys go play in the street?” to let out her frustration. I have no idea if that ever happened I could just see how that might get uttered in a moment of being annoyed at the two boys fighting with each other and trying to bug their mother.