Take time to reminisce in life


When I was a very little girl, there was a game my older sister and brother played with me. We called it reminisce; this is how we played. At night after being put to bed, my sister and I would knock on the wall that separated our room from my brother. Yes, my sister and I shared a room, not only a room but also a bed. It didn't kill us either. After getting his attention, we would start. Even though we didn't have a lot to reflect on at our tender ages of 6, 10 and 12, we would find many things to chat about. A few of the things I can remember are as follows: "Steve, remember the time you were chopping old watermelons in the garden and I was standing too close and you chopped me in the head instead." Dr. Sirstirsken stitched me up and even put a note in the Newcomerstown News that said, "Girl Hit by Hoe"? On a lighter side, one that always came up was "Carla, do you remember when the cat had kittens in the neighbors abandoned outhouse and Aunt Char used a rake and a bucket tied to the end of a rope to scoop every one of those kittens out?"

Now that I look back, the many visits we had at Great Aunt Clara's were much like our game of reminisce. Aunt Clara might tell of the times she and her sisters went to the dance hall at the end of town. And of the time sister Dot (my grandmother Dorothy) met Wib (my grandfather Wilber). Great Uncle Paul would reflect on the times in World War II when he drove a motorcycle. Then there were the trips to my grandparents. Grandpa would tell of how an Indian chief sat on the big stone in the field across the road from their house. Grandma would tell of the colored eggs she found in the hen house at Easter.

Of course, I'll never forget the times we all spent in the car on the trips to Peoli to visit grandma and pa. That is when dad and mom would get into the game with the kids. Dad would tell of how one winter they had no food in the house and they got corn from the corn bin and grated it on a board with nails pounded in it. He said grandma made some of the best tasting corn cakes with that old corn. Dad also told of how his dog stripped the bark from a tree after keeping a raccoon treed all night. Mom had stories as well, she told of how in the winter she used to like to set bottles of milk on the window sill and the cream would come to the top. She said the cream was sweet and something her brother and sister looked forward to on those cold winter mornings. She also told of how when she was a teenager she and a friend filled a car with leaves.

Doesn't everyone know a relative that has told the story of how they had to walk 10 miles to school. With holes in their shoes and up a hill both ways (I never have found that road that goes up hill both ways).

My husband and I too play reminisce with our children at many stages of their lives. We have shared fun and interesting things that have happened to us in the past. The kids always enjoyed this and even with my children in their 20s, we still enjoy the times we can reflect on our lives together as a family.

I feel I have learned so much from taking time to reflect back on the times of others. I have found that times were hard and fun for them. Also, the time we spent together was memorable and exciting.

Now to my observation: The children of today may be able to play reminisce like this. Mom, remember the time you bought me a Nintendo Wii. Dad remember that time I lost my cell phone. Hey, remember that time we drove all the way to Florida and watched five movies on the way.

How sad that parents and children of today have so little to reflect back on. When at home they get on the computer to check their e-mail, MySpace and get on ICQ. Then they get in the car and have a DVD player so they pop in a move and don't even look out the window, let alone talk or listen to each other. Now with video games in cars, there is no reason for the game of reminisce or the other fun games we played in the car as kids.

Take some time with your kids, let them know you were young once. Let them see things were fun, sometimes rough, yet always memorable. Let them know that the things they do today will be the memories of tomorrow. The things that they will want to reflect on when they are older and want to communicate with their children.

Oh heck, play Nintendo with them, one of my children's favorite memories now is when we talk about having only two games for our Nintendo and how we found that turning the controllers upside down made it twice as much fun. Get involved!

No, I don't want to live in the past, just learn from it. Maybe smile or cry about it and most definitely share it with my children.

Collette R. Burdette