Recycle your childhood memories

“Innocence is the very essence of childhood and pure, unfiltered freedom is its reward. Joyful screams mixed with laughter are the evidence leaving us with snapshots of hope and promise.”

Recycle those fond memories from childhood with your children. It is tempting to just sit in the beach chair and Instagram away under the umbrella the whole time while the kids play, but the memory-making moment is in the interaction.

Are you pulling the seaweed onto the shore for the kids to play with it? Are you joining in the hunt for the rarest sea shell? Are you filling the buckets with ocean water to fill in the holes the kids are digging? Are you digging the holes with them?

The new memories your children make don’t have to be carbon copies of your own (who remembers carbon copies?) but you can facilitate the new ones because of your experience.

Just some thoughts for the weekend. Enjoy yours and make some memories.

Flashback Friday: The Days of Pre-Internet Radio

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Just the other day I thought of a song from my high school days and picked up my phone, did a search, and started playing the song not even a minute after I finished my thought. As we are moving toward listening content on demand more and more, I rewinded the clock 30 plus years.

Who remembers what tech was like a just a few decades ago? Were you the one who would wait by the radio anticipating when your favorite song was going to play on your favorite radio station? Was it a stereo, alarm clock radio, or portable radio with the antenna fully extended and turn a certain angle to get the best reception?

Being from the cassette tape generation, I was tried my best to be within arm’s length to my portable stereo (or was it a cassette deck sitting next to a radio) to press the play and record buttons to record the song off the radio. Because the DJ was talking to intro the songs, most songs weren’t recorded until a few seconds into the song.

I used to wait around in my room on Sunday nights to listen to “The Dr. Demento Show” on KROQ. I sing along with the “Fish Heads” song and anything Weird Al. Another thing I did was read along with a storytelling of “Star Wars: A New Hope” on a radio program. I don’t know how I found out about it, but I borrowed a book from the library to follow along as the story was read over the radio.

Those were unique experiences. The explosion of technological advances today are exciting, and creative people are continue to make unique experiences. Still, I think not having access to media back in the day created an anticipation and enthusiasm that could be put the “Good Times” drawer of my memory bank for future nostalgic moments like the one I am having right now.

What are your memories from the past that cannot be duplicated today because of technology? I think the more important question is how do you create unique experiences for yourself? for your family? for your business team? for your church community? for your friends?

Comment below and of course I am open to your suggestions for my 80’s playlist too!

Library Time

I drove around L.A. with the kids the other day while my wife had an appointment. I really wanted to explore this part of the city and hoping to find a cool coffee shop (without the help of my phone.) So I was on this discover Los Angeles theme with my girls, but that lasted 15 minutes before we passed a library. There was no debate at that moment when I asked my twins, “Do you want to go in?”

What can match the experience of an old neighborhood library? We walked past a busy room with a handful of friendly senior citizens inviting us in to browse through used books to buy. The girls declined and headed straight to the children’s fiction section on a mission to find a book. I had to modify their mission and told them that this library wasn’t “our” library, and they wouldn’t be able to use their library cards to borrow books. They were unreasonably disappointed but understandably so.

As we looked through the picture book section for classic and new titles, I couldn’t help resist reminiscing about my much younger days in the library. I remember the similar scents of printed books and the sounds of books being shuffled and hushed conversations. One of the newer sounds I recognized that didn’t exist in the library when I was a kid were beeps of barcodes being scanned, and keyboard taps on laptops of students studying. Do you remember the due date stamped inside the cover of the library book to remind you when it would need to be returned? I loved that part!

My children got Kindles for Christmas to read eBooks, but they know that nothing replaces a good ol’ printed book and nothing replaces being in a local library. 

Are there any  other “universal” childhood experiences and activities that still exist today? Have you brought your child to that place or introduced them to that experience?

  • Take them to the skating rink and rent roller skates. 
  • Find a used record store and show them your favorite album covers. 
  • Play Scrabble or buy your favorite board game and play it on game night. If you don’t have a game night, then make one. 
  • Rent the original classic movies of the remakes your kids watch now. 

Just some ideas to get you going. Your kids are interested in your childhood. Get going! Make it a great week!

Throwback Thursday Thoughts

 My daughters and I happened to be wearing Chucks this day, so hence the pic of this moment. These Converse shoes have been around longer than most of us have been alive, so I think there are fitting to help bring us back down memory lane on this Throwback Thursday. Did you ever wear sneakers to a school formal dance or even the prom? When was the last time you stepped on someone’s new sneakers to break them in or were you the one who always got stepped on? Did you scuff up your new shoes on purpose? Anyone write on their shoes? What did you write? It makes me Chuck-le when I think of the stuff we used to do as kids. Happy Throwback Thursday!

Scouting the Playground

  I remember being in the fourth grade and standing on the asphalt early in the morning and scouting the playground. If I couldn’t find a friend I would play on the monkey bars or the rings. Most of the time I found a friend and we would walk around the playground and talk. I vaguely remember what we talked about. What do 10-year-olds talk about on the playground? Do you remember your conversations with friends at 10 years old? I rewinded the clock about 40 years this morning. I went to the beach to surf and scouted the “playground.” and ended up talking with friends who were scouting too. I never made it into the water. Back to my question. Do you remember your conversations with friends at 10 years old?

Old ways to beat the heat

It’s so hot today that I’m avoiding the house because we don’t have central air conditioning. How did I survive back in the day? My parents had one air conditioning unit for the window of the den, and they rarely used it. The schools back then didn’t have air conditioning. What did we did do? Here’s my list as I am trying to remember.

  • A spray bottle with ice water.
  • All lights off.
  • Wet paper towels on my head.
  • Lay on the tile floor in the kitchen.
  • Water the grass with an occassional hose redirection straight up into the sky.

I remember my teacher turning off the lights in the classroom and telling us to put our heads down.

One of my first jobs ever was at Dominos Pizza. I would always volunteer to go to the freezer to replenish the food items. I would stay in the walk-in freezer 3 minutes longer than I should have.

My favorite was riding a skateboard while my neighbor dumped a bucket of water as I rolled by. We called it “sidewalk surfing.”

What are your ways to beat the heat? Love to hear your tips and stories.

Remembering Those School Days

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I dropped off my kids at school today and was reminiscing about my days way back, and I do mean way back, trying to piece the highlights of my public school career as a child. Here they are:

  • We watched “Charlotte’s Web” at the movie theater as a field trip. I think I was in 2nd grade, and I cried.
  • Somehow I became student body vice president. I have no idea how I won, but I remember that I did nothing during the student council meetings other than voting.
  • The highlight of 6th grade camp was hiking and scaling a “mountain.” It took over an hour, and I was the 3rd one to make it at the top of the mountain. The Siap twins were the first two, and they reminded me rest of the school year.
  • Ellen hit me hard in the arm during recess, and my classmates told me that it was a “love tap.” It hurt, and we went steady as boyfriend and girlfriend for about 2 weeks.
  • I cannot recall the plot of the story Sounder. All I remember is that the dog died, and I cried.

I am not sure if any of those are world-changing moments, but what do you think of my list? What are your memorable moments from grade school? Comments are appreciated and welcomed.


Summer Camp Memories

  I’m just hours away from going to Summer with a bunch of kids from church. What are your memories of going away for camp? Kids camp? Youth camp? Family camp? I can name a few. 

  • Scaling a mountain with ropes, but getting to the top in 3rd place. Twin girls made it first then reminded me the rest of camp that they got there before me. 
  • Falling into the lake while in a canoe. My friend purposely tipped the boat and Oh! that feeling of plunging into a lake that was 10 degrees colder than I thought it was. 
  • Dance night. That’s when I whipped out the moves I saw on Soul Train. Who remembers Soul Train?

Ok. Gotta go and watch kids make their own bullet list.