I am a part of what some people call the greatest generation.
When I consider how my parents who lived with nothing close to the conveniences I enjoyed as a child, progressing through my teenage years into becoming an adult, I’m proud to have survived based on today’s standards.
I survive childhood without car seats, seat belts, helmets for baseball, football or an athletic cup and during my teenage years, I learned to use a gun without injuring or killing anyone.
I had my knife for whittling, and before transitioning into becoming an adult, I learned to ride and shoe a horse, milk cows, drive a tractor years before I drove a car and I learned to ride a bicycle just after my 21st birthday.
I am living proof the human body can survive toys that had injured and killed others before the age of 5, like the metal Tonka-Trucks with sharp edges, Lawn Darts, TetherBall, and the pounds of paste I ate when I made daisy chains in kindergarten.
Everyone in the community where I lived had well water with no fluoride, so twice a year my elementary school provided hard bristle toothbrushes with a quarter size dab of fluoride paste to brush our teeth in the school’s cafeteria. It was never as good as our fingers with the Arm+Hammer baking-soda we used at home.
During my school years reading, writing and arithmetic was strongly stressed, and because I grew up on a farm, biology was visible throughout the year as I watched the animals procreate and helped with the births.
It was the wisdom of my father who taught my brothers and me to never spread your self around without love. He would tell us to fall in love first, with respect, honor, compassion, and tenderness and most importantly treat a woman the way you want a man to treat your sisters.
I learned chemistry on the farm, beginning with, dynamite with 40% nitroglycerine for removing stumps, along with slow and fast burning nitrates used in fertilizer, composting bins, and manure. Mixing some of these always made a light show in the back pastures of the farm.
My youngest brother singed his eyebrows when he stayed too long looking at a mixture burn before exploding. My parents were happy he did not have a beard, or it would have been worst. On that day we all developed absolute respect for the chemistry of farm explosives.
My grandparents and parents were optimistic about our generation even with our modern conveniences of cars, washing machines, indoor plumbing, and electricity.
I have optimism for the next generation although they consider my generation as substandard with all of the modern convinces they enjoy.