What do you miss most about the time you spent growing up?

I heard a line the other day from a movie that made me stop and think about that very subject. I’m sure I have a few words twisted, but it went something like this : “The hardest part of getting old is remembering what it was like to be young.”

growing up
An early photo of my older brother and I in our backyard. Poor tackling form on my part!

For one reason or another, that line has stuck in my head all week. And, I have to say, it certainly made me stop and think about a few things I miss most from being a kid in the 1970’s and 80’s.

One of the best things about growing up during that time was that the cell phone had yet to be invented. In addition, activities for me like Little League Baseball and Pee-Wee Football were limited to simple games played on Saturday mornings or afternoons – with perhaps a single practice during the week.

There were no all-star teams, travel teams, or crazy mind-boggling practice schedules. That left a lot of time to simply be a kid. And did I ever enjoy that time!

And, since the weather won’t seem to cooperate yet this Spring for planting or completing outdoor projects – I thought I would take the liberty this week of writing about a few of the things I miss most about growing up on Mudhouse road in the 1970’s and 80’s. Hopefully, it jogs a few memories from your own childhood as well. If so, be sure to share them in the comment section at the end of the article.

5 Things I Miss Most About Growing Up In The 1970’s and 80’s

#1 Playing Outside Til Dark. So what did we do when we weren’t in school? We played outside until dark. You name it and we played it. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, Tag, Bloody Mary, Kickball, Baseball, Football – and countless other games we simply made up on the fly.

Whether it was with my neighborhood friends, my brother and sisters, or even my nieces and nephews later on, we simply had fun. Yes, we had our occasional arguments of who was on what team, or that so and so was tagged out, but we always figured our way of the disputes on our own. And we certainly knew better that to go complaining to our parents for fear they might just end the game!

#2 Riding My Bike – Everywhere.  No wonder I was a skinny kid. I probably rode my bike 100 miles a week – whether it was in circles around the driveway, or to a friend’s house down the road. I still remember my first bike like it was yesterday. It was an old, hand-me-down blue beast with thick tires. I loved that bike!

growing up
Back in the day, nearly everyone rode to school in the school bus!

#3 Supper – Family Dinners  What I wouldn’t give for just one more time to sit down with my brother, 4 sisters, and mom and dad for one more family meal. It was a nightly occasion, and included of course the chores of setting the table and doing dishes.

My favorite memory of all was Saturday night, which was always hamburger night in our house. My not so fond memory – coming home to the smell of Liver and Onions. I would always use that time to attempt to see if any of my friends might invite me over to dinner at their house :). See : Bring Back Family Dinners

Who can forget the school bus…

#4 Riding The School Bus – Remember the day when every student wasn’t driven to school by their parents? Maybe this one is a little weird for some, but I actually enjoyed my time as a child riding the school bus. I had a 30 to 45 minute ride to and from school every day, and it was a great time to have fun and talk to all of my friends. I still remember my bus driver, Mabel Campbell. She piloted Bus 19 every day, rain or snow. I still think about her almost daily (and probably more than well-deserved) threats to “stop this bus and make us all walk home!”

#5 After School Snacks And TV.  Who didn’t love after-school TV? I still remember watching episodes of the Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Andy Griffith or Sanford and Son with my brother every afternoon. And it was usually with a bowl of Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

growing up
The only Lawn Jarts available today are of course the ones with safety tips. Who ever thought back then that letting kids play with huge metal spikes might be a good idea?

Yes, I know, they probably were not the best things to be consuming as a child – but wow, they were good! And it would be a complete lie if I said I didn’t sometimes miss those sugar-loaded cereals and some other things that might be taboo today.

How did we survive?

Truth be told, my generation survived a lot. After all, we rode our bikes without helmets, played with Lawn Jarts, and rode in our parents cars without seat belts. And yet, I am still here to write this today!  On a whim, I looked up Lawn Jarts on Amazon, and the only Jarts you can buy today are of course – “safe” versions. Lol. See : Lawn Jarts

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. Be sure to share any of your childhood memories with our readers in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.

Here’s to old memories! Jim and Mary. To receive our 3 Home & Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up for our free email list. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.

Growing Up – 5 Things I Miss Most About Being A Kid In The 70’s and 80’s
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