Absolutely! Sure, we can look back to the ’60’s or ’70’s and say THOSE were the good ol’ days. We can go back earlier – it’s all relative. But there were struggles throughout those years – and earlier. There will always be struggles. There are struggles today. The key is to approach struggles with a mindset that says, “It will be OK.” We have the ability to overcome adversity – be it on a personal level, local level, national level or global level. We can overcome and, after the fact, be stronger, kinder, wiser and more grateful for all that we have been blessed with.
My good ol’ days
I was thinking back on my good ol’ days this morning. I delivered newspapers starting at age 11. The absolute best part of being a paperboy were all the customers I had. I delivered papers six days per week, year round. I road my bicycle to school (when in session) and on the route year round. There was wicked weather to deal with for sure. But there were bright, sunny, perfect afternoons and I got to be out in that glorious weather greeting people and providing a service.
Times were different. I would go out at night to collect payment from my customers. Usually after supper. It had to be done every month. There I was, eleven years old, and carrying a substantial amount of money on my person without a worry in the world. Customers would greet me at the door, write a check or pay cash, and there were some that always tipped me! (Thank you, Winston!) It was a great way to grow up.
When I wasn’t delivering papers, I was out fishing. At age fourteen I purchased my own boat, motor and trailer from money saved from the paper route. I’d have my Dad drive a friend and I out to a local lake and we would fish all day. I had a great substitute for the route so I was able to do this frequently. What fun! Just the two of us fishing from 8 to 5. Glorious. We would catch some dandy fish. Also catch a lot of sunshine. This was before sunscreen and we would tan up like leather.
So many good friends
It was the perfect life and made for so many good friends. I especially remember Bob, Earl, Oscar and Cleo. All long since passed now but precious people – precious memories. Earl would take me out for breakfast occasionally. Bright and early. We’d go to Perkins and have pancakes. He was such a kind soul. His wife had mouth cancer and was in decline over the years but Earl was always 100% positive. A man of God. We prayed together for his wife, Edith, frequently. I learned a lot about life from Earl. As well as Bob, Oscar and Cleo.
The paper route wasn’t without it’s adventures. Usually a misbehaving dog that wanted a piece of me. Between using the paper bag as a shield and always being alert, I never was bitten. Had a couple close calls. One time a dog surprised me and I took off on a dead sprint. I didn’t know what to do and all but instinctively lept on top of a parked car! It was an incredible jump – soaring higher and higher on Angel’s wings and landing somewhat lightly on the hood. I’m not too sure how much that impressed the owner but it was a mighty leap! The dog was called off and I went on my way.
Through rain and snow and dark of night, the papers must be delivered
I also remember delivering in blizzards, hail storms, thunder storms. I would come home frozen stiff in the winter on the coldest of days. Summer rains and I was a soaked mess. (But I always kept the newspapers dry!) I delivered news papers for over five years.
Those were my good ol’ days. Not every day was great but when a challenging day came along it provided a great opportunity to practice what my Parents taught me – and Earl. “God is in control.” And He is so still today. That’s why I’m so confident, even with our struggles of the times, these will be somebody’s good ol’ days.
I’ve included some random photos in this blog post. All are for sale at RedBarnProject.com. You can reach me here if you have any questions. Take some time today to look at my photos. Many evoke peaceful thoughts and will stir happy memories. Also, take some time to savor those memories. Life is good! Peace.