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A Baby Boomer’s stroll down memory lane can lead to a walk in the park for grand

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Hi-tech to Baby Boomers who grew up in the 50’s meant radio, TV (black and white, 3 channels, limited children’s programming), and light switches – on, off. Period.

So what in the world did elders do to entertain their precious little ones without iPads, iPhones, or iTouch? Plenty.

They had a special kind of power called iFUN!

  1. Solar power -- playing outside in the fresh air, hiking through the woods, walking in the park and identifying various types of flora and fauna under the tutelage of parents and grandparents.
  1. Wind power -- flying kites or swinging as high as you can in the refreshing breezes of Springtime.
  1. Pedal power -- pedaling bicycles, tricycles, and mini-cars – no batteries required – up and down the streets that were safe in every way.

4. Foot power -- strapping on skates, tightening them to size with special skate keys worn on a string around the neck with pride, and roller skating up and down the sidewalks.

  1. Word power --settling in on a soft, warm and ample lap and listening to when-I-was-your age-stories and memories of walking t10 miles to school. Barefoot. In the snow and rain. Without complaining. It wasn't the believing that meant so much as the feeling of comfort and safety of being wrapped in the arms of love.
  1. Story power -- reading books, real books, with real paper pages and inked words and listening to the rhythm and flow of the words that seemed so magical.
  1. Writing power -- being allowed to actually use a real-ink pen (some even had ink cartridges!) and writing -- in CURSIVE -- words on paper, like for thank you notes when you received a gift.
  1. Exercise -- actually running straight, up and down real hills and walking real, interesting paths, and rowing real boats and walking up and down real stairs -- not the fake but sophisticated electronic equipment of today. And no one cared or counted how many steps they took in a day.
  1. Food power -- with only 4 food groups and one message -- that was, simply, the more you ate, the healthier and wealthier that meant you were. Meat and potatoes, meat and potatoes. No one ever heard of gluten, vegan, obesity, autism. Just saying.
  1. Political power -- there were actually people in government fighting to protect and defend and feed and free and educate Americans – all Americans, regardless or race, age, gender.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. To say the 50’s were a better time may not be accurate. Science and technology have, after all, come a long way to make our lives richer, easier, healthier (in some aspects, less so in others). Better? Not so much.

For some real U-and-I-FUN, when next you have the chance to spend time with your grandchildren, plan a stroll down memory lane or take a walk in the park instead of hooking them up to technologically advanced devices.

If you enjoyed Ellen’s grandparenting article , you may also like:

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