Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In The Trenches - Snacks

Everyday my brother and I would come bounding into the house after Mom got home from work and ask the same question, "What can I have for a snack?"  Everyday for probably 10 years, which would make it about 2,500 times, my Mom would answer the same thing, "We have cheese in the frig, there's apples, and there are celery and carrot sticks in the bottom drawer".  You would think we would have learned long before that but we were kids and always hoped for a different answer. 

Those were the choices.  There was no pop in the house, no chips, and no candy. 

But we did have something else occasionally.  Dessert.  Mom would occasionally make a pie, cake, ice cream, or cookies and after our sit down dinner, IF, we ate our dinner, we could have dessert.  We did always eat our dinner because there was starving people in the world and it would not be right to waste our food.  Dessert was a treat!  One portion, one serving.  Then back outside we would go to play until it got dark.

The benefits of Mom's plan are obvious now but as a child they were not.  We were very healthy and were seldom sick.  If we did get the cold being passed around we got sent off to bed with chicken soap and crackers.  Mom was a nurse so we were her patients.  If we were well enough to get up than we weren't sick anymore.  No t.v. in the rooms back then but we could read a book and she would come in and sit on the edge of our bed, take our temperature, and visit with us for a few minutes until she went back to her chores.  I laugh now as I think about it for she had that balance of being totally sympathetic that we were sick but clearly motivated us to get well.  Sometimes it takes forty years to recognize the wisdom of the moment.

We didn't have any extra pounds.  Between the three meals a day, minimal snacks, and physical activity we were always in good fitness though neither one of us were really sports participants.  I did get a slight concussion once when I was twelve playing tackle football.  I thought that was pretty impressive. We rode our bikes or walked wherever we went.

Another benefit was the money savings.  I honestly can't imagine how much she saved because I have nothing to compare it to.  I also tried to keep the same eating patterns in my own home but we had a couple bakers in the family so probably had more homemade treats.

The only other snack I recall was Sunday night popcorn and kool-aid.  During our family favorite t.v. shows we would all sit together and watch Lassie and Bonanza.   Simple times, good memories.  Thanks Mom.


Joe Plemon said...

Oh how you bring back memories. My childhood was very similar to yours, except there were six of us kids. We didn't have air conditioning (didn't really know what it was), so we weren't motivated to be indoors. So we would eat supper, help with dishes when it was our turn, then head back outside to play hide and seek, kick the can, or simply throw a baseball around. And yes, we were healthy and fit (no weight problems for any of us) throughout our childhood years. I, like you, give Mom credit.

Carol said...

I realize that today's world requires some extra precautions but maybe it's just that Mom and Dad are going to have to get on the bikes also. :)

It is funny to think that our toys were an old can! Guess we were pretty frugal weren't we?