Monday, June 16, 2008

Riding Ponies Down 198

Because this computer is allowing me to do some things, such as create a post , but not most things, such as ANYTHING ELSE, I am reasonably sure I cannot load pictures tonight--but will try tomorrow.

That diary from my youth has produced yet another interesting topic.

I was glancing through it while waiting for the dial-up internet to load and the blood pressure cuff to blow off to the next county over.

Here's an interesting entry:

Saturday, February 23, 1974

Dear Diary,

Today I got home from Cindy P's house. Before I left I rode Lucky* with Cindy down to my house and back to Cindy's house.

-Chesapeake Bay Child

*Lucky was one of Cindy's ponies. Cindy and her sisters were very accomplished riders. We always rode bareback. There was no such thing as riding boots, riding gear, or evidently saddles either; we did have bridles. It was all bareback and barefoot. Straight down Route 198.

By way of explanation, Cindy lived at Ward's Corner, which is only accessible from my house by way of Route 198. Today, if a person were to walk that route, he'd be taking his life in his hands. The fact that a nine-year-old and her slightly older friend were riding ponies on the side of the road from Ward's Corner to, oh, SOMEWHERE NOT VERY CLOSE TO THERE , would be distressing to any mother. Back then, nobody thought twice about it.

Today, you don't even see kids riding their bikes along 198. Much less ponies. Bareback. Without adult supervision.

Times have changed.

I swear I was not born in the 1920's. This was only a few days ago.

Or so it seems.


Grandma J said...

Those were the days. When I was a child, we were sent out to "play" in the morning, and let back in when my father came home. I think my mother fed us our lunch on the patio table. I can remember going exploring with my friends to where ever we happen to wander. No joke.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Hey, g.j.

That's exactly how I spent my days. We were sent outside until we got called in for supper.

The End.

It was great. As you said being able to go and explore wherever you wanted was priceless.

MommyTime said...

I vividly remember riding my bike with my friend to go to the stables where she took riding lessons (I think we had some vague idea that if we showed up smiling, someone would hand us a horse to ride). I asked permission to do this right after school (i.e. around 3:00) -- and permission was easily granted. She assured me it was "not far" to the stables. After an interminable ride along the shoulder of a very busy road, we finally determined that we would not get there in time to do any substantial riding of horses before having to come home again, so we turned around and biked home. I got home just in time for dinner (i.e. around 6:00). I cannot imagine how far we went on our one-speed bikes in an hour and a half, but certainly it was much further than a pair of 8 year olds had any business traveling along a major road alone on bikes in search of a free horse-back ride. Ah...those were the days...

Mental P Mama said...

Ah the good old days...I remember the slap of the screen door in the morning as I exited, and the squeak of the spring and the slap when I came home at night. Barefoot and covered in chigger bites!

Bear Naked said...

And just think today Mommies have to arrange *play dates* for their children.

What has this world become?

foolery said...

I used to ride my horse down to and around the creek with my friends, usually just two of us at a time. Now, when I think about that, I get a full-body shiver, remembering the hobo camps we found. As pre-adolescent girls. Riding bareback. Without cell phones. Or pepper spray.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I'm so glad I wasn't the only one allowed to wander and roam all day long for hours on end to wherever the wind blew me. I was just about to blame--or thank--my parents.

But it's true, the times have changed. Change isn't always good.

tj said...

...Ah yes, makes one wish for the days of yore (*sigh*) Yeah, and I betcha a dollar to a donut that you girls didn't have helmets on either while riding that

...I remember as a kid riding down this big hill at the end of our road in my lil' red wagon. We'd have that sucker flyin'! No helmets, no kneepads, elbow pads, etc...we were kids by Ah the memories!

...Blessings... :o)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

tj - you're the greatest.