Baby Boomer comes full circle


By Kathy Cool

Darke County Parks

Have you ever thought how your past influences your future? For me, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s cemented my hobbies and interests that are a part of my everyday life now at the age of 67! As a young child I grew up on a 60+ acre farm outside of Bradford that consisted mostly of heavy woods and meadow land. The Stillwater River ran along our property. I can remember that my sister and I would spend hours in the woods walking the “trails” that were made by animals, not like the trails in our parks! On the non-working farm, trees, rambling streams and the river were the beginning of my love of nature. Our old house was built in the early 1800’s and did not have indoor plumbing when my Dad bought this house. Needless to say, my mom and older siblings were not thrilled to move into this place without plumbing but my younger sister and I viewed at as an adventure! Plumbing was the first thing installed in that house, but not before we had to get comfortable at using the “outhouse”, which was an adventure in itself! Big spiders inhabited this place!

That old house was full of spiders and snakes. Thus began my love/hate relationship with those two creatures! More hate than love! Because the house was surrounded by trees, we had lots of black snakes that hung from the tree branches and then would sun themselves on our roof. At night, seeking a warm place to lay, they would come through our old screenless windows and cause commotion while we tried to sleep; like slithering across a dresser and knocking over things. Needless to say, our dad worked nights in Dayton and would get called a couple times a year to hurry home and get the snake out of the house! To this day, I am not a lover of snakes!

Growing up in the country also developed my love of reading and sewing. My mom taught me how to sew by hand making Barbie clothes by using old sweaters and clothing to make Barbie some new clothes. Thus became my love of hand sewing (embroidering) and eventually getting to use a sewing machine that mom had no interest in! To this day, I hem my families clothes, craft, sew by hand and machine. I was always learning new things but I never was in 4-H. Some might say that I have TOO many hobbies and not enough time to spend on all of them but I do a bang- up job of trying! Volunteering and working out at the Nature Center allows me to fulfill my love of nature. Just being able to take a walk when I am tired of talking on the phone, or being able to visit the Sugar Shack during Maple Syrup time, or just walking around the building to get fresh air is all I need to take me back to those more stress free days of my youth. Not to mention that back in the “olden” days we didn’t have cell phones for people to track you down so you had to learn how to plan ahead and figure things out on your own. With that, came the satisfaction of knowing I did it on my own.

Yep, growing up in the Baby Boomer era was the best! I wouldn’t trade it for anything and wish that my kids and grandkids could spend just a little time during that period of being tuned out and turned off of the internet, cell phones, and TV. They would learn that by just looking around their environment at the trees and the beautiful rivers and streams, that life would be much simpler and probably more fun to live! We didn’t have cyber bullying, internet shaming, bad mouthing your friends on Facebook, or behaving your worst on Tik Tok! You had your friends at school, in your limited clubs and sports, and teachers that you could trust and you admired. I think we would all wish that our kids had that for a while.

Well, enough of my reminiscing and thinking of those fond memories! It is time to call some more volunteers, gather some more sap boilers, work on another project at work, then go home and cook and then read my new current favorite book or go to the craft room to sew!

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