Next on the list of things to occupy us was auto bingo or tracking license plates from different states. With no dvd players, dsi’s or cell phones to keep our eyes glued, we stared for hours at farmland with acres of vegetables or fruit trees, pastures with grazing cows and horses and giant snow-capped mountains. Sometimes we asked our parents questions about the scenery because we had nothing else to do, nowhere to escape. GPS and MapQuest were nonexistent, so we used the old-fashioned paper map to follow the towns until we arrived at our destination. I loved to trace my finger along the map as we passed each city and then call out the next town and number of miles. Aside from an atlas we own, I’m not sure my children have ever seen a real live map. I chant, “Whatever happened to the days of map-reading, auto bingo and being bored for hours on end?” I sound just like my grandma, lamenting the good old days of horse and buggy.
When we weren’t road tripping concocting our own entertainment, we’d play “Red Rover, Red Rover,” “Red Light, Green Light” or “Mother, May I” with the neighborhood kids. Wii was you and me playing together making our own fun. We rode our bikes and played on the swing set. And if we tired of that, the library reading program was an option in which we loved to participate. Reading 20 books over the summer entitled us to watch the latest movie at the Venetian Theater. Who didn’t want to watch a free movie with the price of movies at the exorbitant cost of $2.50 per ticket?! With my Flicks candy in hand, I was a happy camper.
Hope is on the horizon, however. A day will come when these same children will be driving inside yellow and white lines, passing road signs, and noticing cantering horses in wide grassy fields, dvd watching a distant memory. They will combat with the latest technical gadget, begging their little ones to look up and see the beauty around them. Some new fangled gizmo will menace their family togetherness. I can hear the cry for the good old days. “Ah, whatever happened to ipads, ipods and iphones?”