We did without a microwave for a week or so and thought we were terribly deprived.  Then I got to thinking about the days before we ever had one.  I managed to feed my family (and feed them well) for twenty years or more before we got a microwave.  I don't recall any complaints about my cooking or how long it took me to fix a meal.


We didn't have indoor plumbing on the farm until I was about four years old.  Prior to that, we used a privy in the back yard, day or night - I guess Mom didn't like chamber pots.


We didn't have TV until I was seven.  We wouldn't even have gotten it then, I'm sure, except that my uncle sold them and we got a nice discount.  There was nothing on TV during the day.  No morning news shows, no talk shows, no soap operas.  If there was anything on during the day, it was usually an old B-Movie, westerns seemed to be the norm.    There was news in the evening, but no quiz shows or other entertainment.  There were three hours of "prime time" shows from 7:00pm until 10:00pm, a short nightly news program and then all night there was the test pattern and a sort of loud humming noise or just static.  We thought the whole thing was just magical!


In the country, our electricity went off if someone sneezed too loud next to the wires.  Every room in our house had an oil lamp.


If someone misbehaved in school, corporal punishment was the accepted norm.  I myself was struck with a ruler on the back of my hand because I was talking to the little girl across th aisle from me.  I was six.  One of my teachers would call the miscreant to the front of the class and actually use a paddle with only a layer of underwear to soften the blows.


We got no spring break.  We usually got off for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, sometimes being allowed to leave an hour early on the day before Christmas.


I was a virgin when I got married and so was my husband.


I didn't "schedule" a C-section in order to have my children when it was convenient for me.


I worked in a place that asked me on the job application whether or not I was pregnant.  The place required pregnant women to leave their jobs and six months and to stay home with the baby for at least another six months.  I got paid half what a man would get for the same level job.


I took in typing for 10 cents a page.  I also signed up to be a volunteer for experiments carried out by the phychology department.

We had no health insurance for the first three years that we were married.  During that time, I went to the doctor once.  Hubby had the student clinic for free.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I suppose life was hard when I was a kid, but frankly I never noticed.            

To leave a comment, please sign in with
or or

Comments (12)

  1. dincali

    me either. we didn’t get carpet til i was in jr. high. we didn’t get a colored t.v. til then either. we were the last on the block for both…we didn’t even get a pet until then either. although there were plenty of stray cats having kittens under our house. My parents would wean them, and give them all away. when my mother wanted a chihuahua she got one…lol
    we all fell in love w/her anyway

    June 30, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      The first pet I can remember was Polly the Cocker Spaniel. I think I was 10 or 11. I came home from MYF on Sunday and there she was! She lasted until quite a while after I got married and moved out. Then there were cats, big gold cats with long hair. The first one got run over on the highway. The second lasted until I was out of the house (Tommy) and finally died of a kidney infection, which I understand is common among cats. Then of course Hubby and I most always had a pet or two until our last old cat died at the age of 19. We’re too old to take proper care of a pet now. I always get irritated at older people who think they’re entitled to have a pet, then they want someone to come over every day and take care of it after they aren’t able any more! That’s not fair to the pet or to the person you’re taking advantage of. There were no stray cats living under out house – it was on a concrete slab!!

      June 30, 2017
      1. dincali


        June 30, 2017
  2. haydeeandgabriel

    I missed the “old way of life”..things are just so simple then. everyone gets to know someone everyday instead of staying home and playing on the computer or surfing the net.

    June 30, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      One thing I forgot to mention: we had one and only one telephone and it was out in the living room. When my boyfriend (now Hubby) called, I talked to him in front of my entire family. And we never had more than one car, either.

      June 30, 2017
      1. haydeeandgabriel

        happy times are the simplest ones….

        June 30, 2017
  3. 4lorac

    and my kids(who btw arent kids by any stretch) still tell me..“things were different when you were growing up” not so much, you still had to call for someone to play, which meant knocking on their door, which meant you met the parent/parents. you still had to tell them where you were going. Neighbors and/or family friends would “mention” they saw you at some point and where during the day. (so the eyes where on you).
    you got one pair of new shoes when school started (not a matching pair for each outfit) you had good clothes vs play clothes)
    We didnt play in the house, but were sent to the school yard and played 4-square or catch or if we were lucky soneone had a bat and played ball that way. Now adays schoolyards are fenced and electrically gated and look more like prison yards and not accessible to any child to play at.
    If we fell down and skinned our knee, we got Mercurochrome and a band aid, not the ER.
    And by 830 9 pm, we went to bed cause we were just that tired..full of sunshine and fresh air, which these kids, these days are not………………………….

    June 30, 2017
    1. Bettymom

      So true! The school yard was the only playground in town. We went there a lot in the summer since we only lived a couple of block away.

      June 30, 2017
  4. GoldenPig2012

    Absolutely true. I’ve used outhouses, had water coolers or fans or wood stoves or floor furnaces instead of climate control. I learned to wash dishes on a step-stool when I was six-years old in 197?. We had three channels and I was the “remote”. TV just went off about midnight or so. Any time I wasn’t forced to be in the house (except to watch the two hours of cartoons on a Saturday morning), I wasn’t until it was time to eat.

    ha ha ha ha…………….and people bitch about how deprived they are now. Sigh. Eye roll. Grin.

    June 30, 2017
  5. resolute57

    Ahhh the good ol’ days. Life really was much simpler then, I think. I too grew up in the rural country without the benefits of indoor plumbing. We had a hand pump at the kitchen sink that pumped ice cold water up from our well. We bathed in a huge oblong galvanized tub filled with hot water from the stove. Yes, the stove was electric. We did have chamber pots that we would use during the night if necessary, but everyone was responsible for emptying their own first thing in the morning, except for children under the age of 6. Otherwise, we trekked a few hundred yards away from the main house to our “out-house” which conveniently had two seats for those rare times when someone else just could not wait to use the facilities. Hey! We were all family!!
    We got an indoor bathroom when I was 5 years old. We didn’t flush every time we used the bathroom either. “if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” Water was not wasted.
    We had a small black n white television but I don’t remember watching it much until we got a color television set when I was 7 years old. All of my cousins would come to our home on Saturday mornings after breakfast to marvel at watching cartoons in “color”. As soon as cartoons were done, we were ushered outside where we all remained and played in the fresh air and sunshine and dirt. Yes, children were the television remotes back then!
    We always had cookies, chips, and sodas on hand most of the time but they were special treats that were sparingly doled out by my Mother or Grandmother. We didn’t dare help ourselves at any time we wanted. I remember the first McDonald’s hamburger I ate. We drove 32 miles to the “city”. Each hamburger cost a dime.
    Occasionally, we’d go to the local drive-in restaurant complete with curb-hops who’d serve our food on a metal tray that hooked onto the car’s window and we’d eat our hamburgers, hotdogs, fries and fountain cokes inside our parked car there. It was an adventure and always a treat for all of us. Obese children were rare indeed to see back then too.

    August 03, 2017
  6. resolute57

    We didn’t go to the doctor either, unless something was broken, or needed stitches, or a cough or fever wouldn’t clear up in a reasonable amount of time. Nowadays, people run to the doctor if they fart wrong!!

    August 03, 2017
  7. resolute57

    Girls weren’t allowed to wear pants (of any kind) to school (and especially not church) until I was in the 7th grade. The hem length of our dresses or skirts had to come to the knee and if it didn’t you were summarily sent home with a note to your parents. I can remember when those of us who wore blue-jeans were considered poor. Then when I was a teenager they became all the rage for everyone.

    August 03, 2017