(re)Creating The Good Old Days

by Starla J. King on February 15, 2013

I admit – listening to the Judds turns me to mush.

This morning at the gym, my trusty iPod served up their song, Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days) and I was transported to a nostalgic bliss:

Did lovers really fall in love to stay?
Stand beside each other come what may?
Was a promise really something people kept,
Not just something they would say?
Did families really bow their heads to pray?
Did daddies really never go away?
Whoa oh Grandpa,
Tell me ’bout the good ole days.

sjk_with_rabbit1I remembered my childhood daily dinners (we called them “supper”) with the whole family (11 of us. yikes).  The cacophony of voices quieting down just long enough for a quick scripture reading and my father’s usual prayer of gratitude fading into the background as we kids opened one eye to smirk at each other while picking a morsel from the casserole in front of us.

Then after dinner, playing Kick the Can outside with my siblings well past the time we could no longer see through the darkness — for me, an invigorating combination of sheer joy, physical exertion and the high adrenaline of racing around the woods-framed yard trying to outpace my fear of the dark.

The Good Old Days when we played so hard that stress didn’t have a chance, and mealtime was a daily communion, and the rituals of connection and attention got consistent priority.

The more I thought about it, though, I realized the feeling wasn’t so much nostalgia as it was gratitude.  Gratitude for how The Good Old Days have morphed into my current existence:

  • A daily sit-down dinner with my wife — at the dining room table, with home-cooked healthy food (prepared on Sunday for quick heat-up during the week).
  • Daily rituals of self-connection:  meditation, writing, coffee (if it’s a ritual, it doesn’t count as a vice 😉 ), inspiring reading, brief photo-walks accompanied by heart-opening music.
  • Daily playtime — even if only a quick chuckle sent to or from a friend.
  • Sundays away from the computer screen, away from work, away from all the things that so quickly can devour a day of actual rest.
  • Making meals from scratch, using plenty of fruits and veggies to remind myself what a gift nature has given us, to be stunned by the vibrant color combinations, to stay close to my Mennonite heritage of co-creating with the earth, and to have an excuse for kitchen dance parties (don’t tell the Mennonites).

The Good Old Days don’t have to be a thing of the past.  Yes, it takes intention and effort and even angst to get through the transitional times of change… and each and every one of us has the power to create The Good Old Days in our present life.

Here’s a little inspiration, the Judds singing Grandpa (Tell Me Bout the Good Old Days) just for you.  And if you aren’t a Judds fan, I simply say, give Judds a chance…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jude Martin, Health Coach February 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

Great job, Starla!
I am a Judds fan. 😉
Even more a fan of balanced living where we let the nourishment of time together be part of our healthy meal. Self care, physical activity, play, humor, creativity, connecting our Spirit to nature and the Divine . . . fruits and vegetables . . . sounds like you have a perfect recipe for a happy healthy life!
And, of course, I have those sweet memories of the Mennonite container for simple family time together.
I am also delighted that the dancing commenced long ago for both of us.
Blessings to you as you continue to provide inspiration for us, your readers!! xo


Starla J. King February 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Jude, I love your list of “balanced living” components, the flavor of words you chose there. YES!

And dancing… thank God for that. Our bodies love the freedom to move, don’t they?


Dawn R.Hurst-Stultz February 15, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hey, Starla!
What a lovely article.
I also adore the Judds. Just listened to that Grandpa song the other day. That was our way, the Mennonite way… I’ve learned to incorporate the good stuff and leave behind some of the not so good…. The longer I’m alive the more I see the rich tapestry of our roots is what has made us who we are today.


Starla J. King February 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Dawn! Yeah, I think it’s their harmony that melts me so quickly…

It sounds like we both (and Jude and likely other readers) have found a way to create our own life recipes with our roots as the solid base. I love thinking about and noticing those influences as they show up in different ways…


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