• Pat Ruppel

    Thank you, Susan, for the post. It’s truly an honor to contribute and share my story on your site. I’m grateful for the opportunity. 🙂

    • Aw, it’s my pleasure. I love to see what you bring to the table, my friend. 🙂

      • Pat Ruppel

        Me too, Susan. It’s just as much a surprise to me sometimes and the fun of it. Thank You! 🙂

  • I most often feel that way when taking a long hike because it allows for the chance to step back and take a look at the bigger picture.

    • Pat Ruppel

      So true, Jeri. Sometimes, it’s the best way to catch our breath and recharge. Funny how when we step back like that things don’t appear as bad and really will be okay. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. It means a lot. 🙂

  • Pat Ruppel

    So true, Jeri. Sometimes, it’s the best way to catch our breath and recharge. Funny how when we step back like that things don’t appear as bad and really will be okay. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. It means a lot. 🙂

  • maxwell ivey

    Hi susan and pat; thanks for the reminding. my grandmother was a bit different. if we suggested we didn’t have anything to do she would find things for us to do. I grew up in a family of carnival owners, so this could be wrapping change, tearing old tickets, sticking apples, washing canvas, etc. but yes we did live on one big piece of land with five families and who knows how many cousins playing together. I have tried to tell my brothers not to introduce complicated toys as long as their kids are happy playing with the simple ones, but they just tell me i don’t know what I”m talking about. thanks for sharing, max

    • Pat Ruppel

      Wow, Maxwell — thank you for stopping by and reading. That must have been really different growing up in a family of carnival owners. I can only imagine the stories you would have to tell.

      The only one I can faintly remember that comes anywhere close is of someone coming to visit my grandparents one summer. I don’t know if he was a friend or related — no one remembers. But, he had a peg leg and a monkey and was scary to me. He would dress it up with a little hat and jacket and had some kind of device on a pole he would crank. I don’t know if he was from a carnival or a street peddler. ??

      I know what you mean about kids playing and using their imagination. Seems like they need more things these days to do that for them. But, it’s still there. I can see it with my grand kids even though they have all the latest electronic devices.

  • What a great post and yes Pat I know the peace you speak of it is the peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace only our heavenly Father can give us. Thanks for sharing your childhood memories it sounds like it was a wonderful time for you.

    • Pat Ruppel

      Hi Joyce – thank you for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it and can relate to what I was trying to express in the peace and warm childhood memories. There’s nothing like it, is there — transports you to a different place. Love it.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    This was such a lovely story…makes me reminiscent of so many summers of my own…including the ants in the pudding! That made me laugh:) What a lovely reminder that sometimes just reaching back can bring us peace and hope for the future…that eventually life will circle back to all is okay. Thanks for that:)

    • Pat Ruppel

      I’m glad you liked it, Jacqueline, and how it reminded you of summers past. Yeah, it was funny about the chocolate ants but didn’t think so at the time. My imagination ran wild about that as a kid. I like how you put peace and hope and reaching back in time to bring them into the future. I can picture that. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. It means a lot.

  • Read this earlier read it again and still I like it just so you know

    • Pat Ruppel

      Hey, Jo-Anne. I’m glad you liked it the second time around and took the time to comment. I saw you over on my site, too. It means a lot, my friend. 🙂

  • That story reminded me of my own childhood of lazy, summer days. We, too, had to use our imaginations. No houseful of toys, no TV, I remember going to the empty fields a few blocks away and playing cowgirls and Indians. Or playing “potsy” on the sidewalk. It’s a game familiar to New Yorkers, something like hopscotch. In those days parents didn’t make “play dates” for their children. We just pushed open the back screen door and ran down the street to see who was around to play. Ah, those golden days.

    • Pat Ruppel

      Thank you, Jeannette. I’m glad you liked the story and it could take you back to those lazy, childhood summer days. It sounds like you did the same things we did. I don’t hear that very often and often wondered if I lived on a different planet.

      I never heard of the game “potsy” and curious how different it was from hopscotch. You’re right about play being different those days. I think it was just because we didn’t have all the stuff kids have today or we’d probably be doing the same thing. We loved being outside, though. TV wasn’t the big attraction then as it is today.

      • Pat – I think it was basically hopscotch except I remember we x’d out the boxes where players were successful at retrieving the “pot,” or tossed item. That would make it increasingly difficult for subsequent players who would have to jump over that square.

        • Pat Ruppel

          Jeannette – I can see that, where x-ing out the boxes would make it more difficult and interesting. How would it end — the last person who was able to make it through to get the “pot” without stepping on any lines? I still don’t remember how regular hopscotch ends unless we just quit tired of playing it. Love it — good, clean fun! Thanks for your follow-up.

          • Sorry for the delay in responding. The game would end when no one could “jump” to the vacant box. The one who had the most x’d out boxes won.

          • Pat Ruppel

            No problem, Jeannette, in answering. It’s an interesting twist to the hopscotch game I remember. Got me thinking how our version ended and I think it was just who was able to get back through in reverse. No pot to play for with us. Your version sounds more interesting, though, and I imagine more lively. Thanks for stopping back. 🙂

  • Sherri Matthews

    What a glorious summer story of family love, innocence and carefree joy of a childhood filled with simple play. A beautiful share Pat. Reminds me of when my granny came to stay – she didn’t have much money but always made sure to give us a little something like a colouring book and a pencils or a little book to read. I treasured them but more importantly, I wasn’t distracted away from the time spent with her. This story has filled me with heart-warming smiles, but then I’ve just spent time with you around your ‘ol kitchen table so no surprise there 🙂

    • Pat Ruppel

      Ahh, Sherri. It’s so good to see you over here, my friend. Thank you for coming by and reading. I’m glad you liked the story and could connect it with some of your own memories. My grandparents were the loves of my life growing up. I can’t imagine who I would be like today if I hadn’t had those experiences with them. I’m glad you had that special relationship, too, with your granny. My heart is feeling good. See ya back at the ‘ol kitchen table. Take care.

  • Wow..this story brought me back to my childhood days. Catching lightning bugs, sitting on the porch with my grandparents telling us stories of the depression years. I grew up in Brooklyn NY and the summer nights were filled with people sitting on their porches, talking to each other. Oh how I miss the days where people connected in real life!
    -Donna

    • Pat Ruppel

      Hi Donna — Thank you. I’m so glad you liked the story and could remember some similar childhood times with your grandparents. I grew up in Philly so i wasn’t that far from you in that part of the world and the city.

      It was like a dream going to my grandparents every summer near the beach. When Labor Day would roll around and we had to go back home to Philly to start school it made me cry. I could have stayed there forever.

      You’re right about people connecting back then. I loved how people sat on their front porches those days and talked to friends walking by. In a small town, everything is close and you don’t have to drive everywhere. Somehow I think there are still places and people like that — maybe in the South or in Europe. I miss it, too. 🙂

  • maxwell ivey

    hi pat; well that sounds like an old fashioned organ grinder. they were usually street peddlers. with my family we were pretty much normal kids nine months out of the year. during school times we were with aunts or grandparents. during the summers we would travel with the family. I tell people carney kids and farm kids have a lot in common. and yes they still have the imagination but now they are using it for face book pages and dreaming of online businesses. 🙂 thanks for sharing, max

    • Pat Ruppel

      I guess that’s what he was, Maxwell, an organ grinder. Though he only came once and for a short time, the little girl in me remembers him vividly and his monkey. The rest of the family doesn’t remember him or know who he was (don’t think I could have dreamed him up). I do know that he sure left an impression on me as a little kid and thought he was scary.

      I can see where carney and farm kids would have a lot in common as they’re out in the elements more where the energy of nature rules. That would give you a lot to imagine as kids. I think creativity and imagination are still there in young minds. I guess it’s just taking a different course these days. Hopefully, the simpler ways won’t get lost in the process.

  • There’s something about the end of summer that always seems to make it a time of reflection, often for me with a bit of a melancholy air. I thin Labor Day weekend seems more like the end of the year to me than New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s from may days in school when the new year, the new grade the new teacher all started in the beginning of September. But you are also at that time on the verge of turning a corner because so many things start in September.

    • Pat Ruppel

      It does seem to feel that way, Ken, when summer comes to a close. Something is shifting and it’s so subtle. Maybe it’s the energy in us syncing up with nature as the seasons begin to change — much like the lunar changes in the ebb and flow of the tides. The fact that it’s a time when school starts, football and the beginning of other events only goes to enhance it even more.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading my story. I appreciate you took the time to reflect and leave your comments. 🙂

  • What a genuinely warm story Pat. It took my memory back to days with my grandparents. Why do grandparents not want us to be bored? I still, even as a grandma now, can’t figure that one out.

    And now I wonder, weren’t we as people so much more connected then?

    Thanks for this memory jogger.

    • Pat Ruppel

      Hi Patricia — thank you for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it and that it took you back to some memories of your own.

      Hmm, you bring up some good points. I don’t know why grandparents don’t want us to be bored. What’s wrong with being bored? Maybe they know that boredom, in young creative minds, can lead to scenarios they’d rather not save you from or go on with you.

      As far as the question you ask about people being more connected back then, I don’t think it’s that easy to answer, as it’s like comparing oranges to apples. Everything was different back then and at a slower pace. The culture dictated how people lived much the same as it does today.

      We didn’t have computers or the internet so we used what was available to connect. Things appeared to be more black and white, right and wrong back then. Now, we nitpick everything to death where we even question ourselves. I think the answer on connection is closer than we think and where it’s always been. It lies in the condition of the human heart.

      I guess you can see it doesn’t take very much to get me talking and exchanging opinions and philosophies. I love it and appreciate your reflections. Thank you for listening and giving me a voice to share my views. 🙂

  • Jon Jefferson

    Your mention of the trains reminds me of where I grew up. The town I grew up in is half way between Detroit and Chicago. For many years we had two sets of tracks for the trains going back and forth. They carried cars and parts between the Motor City and the rest of the country.

    Our house was only half a block away. During the summer the trains were the worst. They would speed by and shake our house. We saw so many that counting train cars or putting pennies on the tracks were a natural part of growing up.

    Time has marched on, there aren’t as many trains as there used to be. And now they are setting up the tracks for high speed commuter trains. These trains will pass through town in less than 7 seconds or something along those lines.

    • Pat Ruppel

      Those are good memories of trains, Jon. Unless you lived somewhere close to them, you wouldn’t know about the sounds and smells. I can only imagine, stepping back further in time, what they sounded like when they were the primary means of transportation. Just like trains, time chugs along and, like you, I’m happy to have been there and be a part of it.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading. I enjoyed your reflections and memories. 🙂

  • Cheryl Therrien

    What a lovely story Pat. This is my first time hearing it. It brings back lots of memories for me as well. I can remember living in a small town and the big semi trucks would pass by our house. If we were outside when they went by, we would pump our arms like pulling a string and they would blow their horn. It was great fun.

    • Pat Ruppel

      Hi Cheryl — Thank you. I’m so happy you enjoyed it and that it brought back memories for you. Living in a small town sets the tone of closeness on its own, whether you like it or not.

      We didn’t have semi’s pass through but I remember passing them on freeways and pumping our arms, like you, as they passed. They would acknowledge by blowing their horns which always gave us a joyous glee. 🙂

  • Andrea Stephenson

    A warm, lovely story Pat, I can see why you wrote this after the year you’d had – wonderful memories.

    • Pat Ruppel

      Hi Andrea – thank you for reading. I’m happy you enjoyed it. Yeah, it was a tough year and escaping to some happy memories seemingly helped put everything in perspective. I realized that nothing is really ever lost and, with time, all is okay. 🙂