All Stressed Out
by Frank Chapman
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In that era where friends, family and fellowship were the rule of the day and the desire of our hearts there was a simpler time. Now in today’s language “simpler” means something different. Today simpler means easier. The phrase simple may even denote the intellectual ability of a friend and or a coworker, nevertheless, when I was younger simpler meant less stress. If you are old enough to remember the band Paul McCartney was in before Wings you may remember that stress was not even in our daily vocabulary unless to described conditions we could not avoid. Stress on a tree trunk in a stiff wind. Stress on your roof after a heavy snow or the stress on the summer corn crop due to too little rain. Now there is stress everywhere. We stress out on the price of gas or milk or bread. Our jobs are so stressful we need counseling to deal and cope. We stress about the economy, the environment, the congress, the president, the world. When did we get so involve in the whole scheme of things that we can not walk up to a restaurant counter with out stressing out about having to decide weather or not we want to super size it. Then we can stress about our weight. Have to get to the gym to work off some of this stress! Then you have worked off so much stress you need medication to ease the pain of trying to relieve all your stress. ENOUGH ALREADY, ALL THIS TALK IS STRESSING ME OUT!
Where did we go? Where is the front porch, the back yard fence(less than 5 ft tall), and the sidewalks? For me I think it all stems from the disappearance of the sidewalks and front porches. When I was a kid, the sidewalk was like my own supper highway. I could get aboard that tiger stripped banana seat on my bike, take a firm grip onto those high stretching handlebars and explore the whole world from that supper highway and never cross the street. I could sit on that front porch swing and listen to history, politics, culture and current events with out my heart rate even slightly rising. I could lean over the back yard fence, discuss Bob Gibson or Bart Star or Hank Aaron, and never once wonder of they were on steroids or if they would resign their multimillion-dollar contract. We bragged about their achievements as athletes and dreamed of the day we would be making that great pitch or throwing that long bomb or hitting that homer. Can anything replace the feeling of wonder and amazement you would have just watching the sunset from a squeaky front porch swing. Now there is your stress relief. Alternatively, perhaps a walk down the sidewalk in the fall striding through the dried leaves as a crisp breeze caresses your cheeks. The smell of the first oak log burning in someone’s fireplace or the aroma of burning leaves down the block. The gaslights coming on in the front yard, the sound of Matt Dillon, Festus, and Miss Kitty were filtering out of the screen door from across the street. Moms calling for their kids from the kitchen windows, “Coming mom” they would yell back as they would race down the sidewalk tossing bicycles in the yard with out the slightest worry that they would not still be laying there ready for the trip to school the next morning. Not stress, just life and what you did with it and most importantly what you learned from it.
My only wish would be that the sidewalks, and porches and squeaky swings would make a come back and that the next generation would discover the peace that lies in the rhythm of the front porch swing.
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This took me back and it was a peaceful, longing journey. I too miss those days. But, unfortunately I don't think we will ever see them again - until we get to heaven and find eternal peace. I feel sorry for the kids nowdays. Will they have happy memories of yesteryear? Thanks for sharing. In Christ's Love, Julia
I think you're right. If we were to use the sidewalks, front porches and back yard fences more we wouldn't be so stressed.