Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Art of being Joyful


                                     The Joy of Children

Have you seen a bunch of children playing outside, in the street, laughing, having a good time?
Have you seen them lately? I did just yesterday. From my front window and my back yard. Children outside playing. It was such a joy to watch them. It was almost as if we had gone back to the times when children played outside. When we made up our own games. We could do anything our imagination would think of.

I was lucky to not only have Cindy and Pam but also Jimmy, Lynda, Ginger, Bobby and a bunch of friends. Pam, Cindy and I were all the same age plus we were cousins so we were born playing together. Jimmy and Lynda are also cousins but they were a bit older and would sometimes play with us. Bobby, my baby brother, and Ginger, were smaller so we had to be careful with them. Scott was kind of in the middle of Bobby and Ginger but we all cared for each other and we all had so much love.

We played outside where we built forts or had fights in olive trees with the olives as ammunition. I remember one time we got carried away, Jimmy and Lynda were in one tree, Cindy, Pam and myself were in another tree. Jimmy shot an olive toward our tree with the aim of a true marksman. He hit me right between my eyes with that olive and I went over backwards and fell right out of that tree. I hit the ground so hard my Grandma came running outside screaming for my Grandpa. Jamesy, JAMESY, HURRY UP ONE OF OUR BABIES FELL OUT OF THE TREE..

Of course I was fine. I was a kid. Kids don't get hurt falling out of trees onto grassy surfaces. I just got the wind knocked out of me. Of course we were banned from the trees after that and let me tell you that if we got caught....I don't even want to think about it.

We lived in a small mining community called San Manuel. It's located in The southern portion of Arizona. As kids we played in the desert. It was a second home to us. It was full of incredible things like cactus and devil horns and blister bugs. Of course the devil horns only resembled a devils horns. They were actually a seed pod for one the the trees in the desert. I'm not sure which one. When you are a kid you don't really care about those things. We played with horny toads and big bright green june bugs. We would catch them put a string on their leg and fly them like kites. We always let them go when we were done playing with them. We also had bats that would come in after dark. My Mom was always telling us that they would get in our hair. Well we weren't allowed out after dark so we never knew if a bat would get in our hair our not. We always made our own fun. We used our imaginations and became whoever we wanted to be. Life was easy then. If only we could go back for a few days and live those good times over again.

Those were the good things about life in that small town. The downside was often the town itself. The mine was underground and had its own railroad system and its own smelter. At that time of course the EPA was nowhere in sight and so for years we all breathed sulpher smoke from the twin stacks that belched it out all day every day. When the barometric pressure got just right it would blanket the town in a smoke so thick you couldn't see much less breathe. This stuff would literally burn you lungs when you breathed it. But those were the only times I can think of that were hard.

I was always so easy for us as we were all right there in the same town. We didn't know what it was like to be away from each other. Until one of us did. Oh we still got together on major holidays but eventually we all grew up and moved away. Even now, I feel like an island unto myself. I lived in my current home town with my Mother, Sister and Brother. My sister got married and moved for school and settled three hours south of me. My brother did the same and moved 2 hours north of me. Then he to decided to move to where my sister was, so now he is also 3 three hours south of me. My Mother who had to go into assisted living last year, also now lives 3 hours south of me. The rest of my family is scattered to the four winds.  But we all still talk on the phone, or on Facebook and are all still very much a part of each others lives.

Til next time,

Have a joy filled day.

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