Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hooked on Games?

Have you evern known anyone that was actully additcted to a computer game? Seemed to only think about the game when not playing it and talked about it as if all family and social life had disappeared?

I don't know if I have met anyone with that level of obsession with a game but I have met many who will risk trouble at school to play their game on the iPhone they didn't need in the first place. I'm talking about 4th and 5th graders who would rather be at their key board than outside in their tree house or riding bikes.

This fourth of July brought memories of my large family, aunts, uncles, and cousins gathering at my grandmother's which spilled over to my uncle's next door or go to a city park where there were horse shoe pits for my dad and his brothers. The city park was a treat because it was too far to walk and had larger trees to climb for us what liked to climb trees.

This would usually be a morning to dark event and our decade's equal to computer games was the televison. It didn't cause the frenzy personal comperters have, maybe they were not as fun as the other games us kids played.

My absolute favorite games for these long events, due to the time of year I am sure, had to do with bugs. Bugs we called Kattie dids were abundant and easy enough to catch. All of us managed to grab a spool of thead running out the door as I had visions of home made icecream and cold watermellon appearing like magic on the quilts scattered around for the feast.

After our bellies were full, off we went to have tree climbing contests and look for kattie dids. Once we had an insect, it quickly had a tread tied around it without binding the wings. We held our breath to make sure the knot was good or the thread didn't break as away it went. Those bugs would fly in circles until we either wore it out or the threat broke. I can still hear that buzz the insects made when they flew in circles, although I have been told it is actually tinnitus.

The other game involed lighting bugs or fireflys. They lit up the sky at dusk and there were so many, you could take your jar and after whipping in a circle, you would have captured at least a couple. After our jars were full, we would lay on our tummies in the cool evening grass, heads resting on hands folded under chins, until it was time to make jewlery.

Us girls would were as eager as the boys as they decorated themselves as American Indian warriors, with head bands and streaks across their faces. We usually made rings and ear rings. If you think about it, what was the only way this florscent material would stick to our bodies? We had to pull their butts off, the part that glowed stick them to our faces and hands with their guts. We would then strut our stuff in the dark, no street lights to dim the glow.

I never thought about what we did as being cruel. It was just what all the kids did so I did it too. This was our version of computer games, with the added benefit of exercise, being outdoors and unfortunantly, thinning the populataion of these lovely insects.

I still hear the kattie dids at night near my home and smile as I recall when the only thing I had to worry about on July the 4th was climbing trees and catching bugs. I don't think 10 kids wiped out the population.

Here's to the memories I made with my cousins 5 decades ago and my hope that somewhere in the United States, this lives on. Many thanks to the beetles and fireflys that made my summers extra special and gave their lives for my entertainment, you live on in my memory, for those that died for my entertainment, I salute you.


  1. Not beautiful, glowing fireflies or sleek-looking katydids, but grasshoppers...bug-eyed, scratchy-looking, "tobacco"-spitting grasshoppers. We pulled their hind legs off and pinched the fat part to make a muscle-reflex kick. I think we thought it didn't hurt them because it didn't kill them. Thinking about it now, that seems worse. Poor ol' ugly grasshoppers! We also corralled horny toads and terrapins in dusty alleyways, but they always got set free, eventually. Back then, who would have thought those activities would make for such dreamy reminiscing?!

  2. Such fun.... how about salt on slugs? We didn't know any better and we don't do it now.. right Penny?? Thanks for stopping by, T

    1. Right. These days, I don't even squish spiders in my house.

  3. Just wanna let you know that there's still kids chasin' bugs, climbin' trees, swimmin' in creeks and gettin' covered in chiggers up here in Missouri. My grandaughter (and playtime buddy) is goin' on eight years old and takes great pride in tellin' all her friends that she's a country girl and she doesn't take to all that city silliness. She'd rather ride the four wheeler or shoot her Red Ryder than sit inside and play electronic games any day of the week. She's a giant walking bruise, all covered in sweat, scratches and sunburn.

    But most important, she's all covered in smiles and giggles, too.

    1. Smiles and giggles are worth more than diamonds. Your grandchild will take these memories with her the rest of her life, like this old lady, and share them with her kids and grandkids.