My most recent recollections here in which I briefly referred to a few of my younger years may have left an impression I led a more humorless life those years than would be accurate. These were years when I enjoyed and learned a lot about nature, the environment, wildlife and domestic creatures and pets.
Some of the events occurred when we were in the chicken business. In addition to our Rhode Island Reds a weasel got into one night as they sat on their darkened enclosed chicken coop roosts, we also had some beautiful multi-colored game birds. These latter foul are used by unscrupulous owners as fighting cocks for entertainment and on which they gamble, but we did not engage in that activity.
We also had some colorful bantam chickens and a couple ducks. Half an oil drum with drainage holes in the bottom so fresh water could be added was buried to ground level in the chicken yard. The bantam hens had been given the large duck eggs to sit on, keep warm and hatch. These eggs were so much bigger than a small bantam hen's egg I always wondered why that chicken wouldn't have noticed and rejected the whole project. Well, she didn't complain and dutifully hatched the lot, at least two, maybe another, but I can't recall exactly.
As soon as the ducklings were able, mother hen took them on outings. Eventually, their wanderings took them all further afield, but they always had to be wary of hawks soaring about, looking for a meal. The day came when the ducklings encountered the water-filled little pool into which they immediately plopped. They swam about having a splashingly good time while their mother had a squakingly traumatizing time, circling the pool's edge, flapping her wing feathers, warning her "chicks" of danger to no avail. They ignored her and they did not flounder or sink. What must that poor little hen have been thinking?
The wonderful feature I perceive of childhood is that much of what we encounter is new and can be fascinating. We absorb so much through those formative years from which to learn, that influences our thinking and contributes to our becoming the person we are. Probably we don't really recognize all this until we become a few years older.
I recall thinking about events that occurred in my family, listening to the adults talking about what their life experiences had been plus what we were actually living. There was no television. We received no newspapers or magazines. We did have a radio. Today with the addition of televisions, cell and/or smart phones, other digital technology devices, I wonder if exposure to such family conversations for young people is as prevalent?
I became aware despite the best preparation and plans kind, loving, industrious, intelligent, talented, capable people made that unexpected uncontrollable circumstances could happen completely altering their expectations. This could occur as a consequence of the behavior of others or self, and health issues. Even performing legitimate labor that's necessary to survive, also unintentionally ultimately damaging one's health further can occur. Companies, unions, government enforcement agencies, justice officials, individually or jointly do not always exercise the correct judgment, sometimes for illegal reasons, especially for a person of average or less means.
I saw how life went on as people put their energies into adapting to whatever the circumstances were rather than complaining and moping about.
I learned by several means that my happiness level to a great extent was my responsibility to cultivate. Finding the humor in life contributed considerably to healthy development.
This all convinced me that becoming educated and able to independently care for myself seemed a most intelligent and sensible goal. As much as others might care for me, anything could happen to anyone, at anytime and they might no longer be available to help me. In fact, I might need to help them.
That view partially fostered my thinking that I would never get married, but if I did, I would never have children. In my early twenties my perspective gradually began to change and the rest as is often said, is history. I wed in my late twenties, also having decided children would be acceptable -- which I jokingly referred to then as being an occupational hazard (birth control pills were just coming into limited usage.)
If I also thought world conditions were troublesome then, to be raising a family, I can only wonder what young people today think. At least our country, the U.S., had seemingly stable leaders in the major political parties which is more than I can say for us currently with our democratic republic and individual freedoms at stake.
What were your conclusions as a young person about how you would live your adult life?
Had you formed a point of view that you later changed?