Growing Up As a Baby Boomer


I am retired and have the time to look back at how we grow up. I can now see that while keeping a busy schedule and eating often myself, my brothers and sister never had to worry about any weight problem. At home we had a big garden which was a pain to take care of. First off having to till the ground with a shovel and plant all the seeds. Then pulling the weeds, carrying the water to water the plants. From barrels which were placed under the rain spouts to save for the garden. Then picking the beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, and digging up the potatoes was a chore which we all hated. Never any weight loss thoughts at that time of our lives though.

Oh yes, the sweet corn patch was a whole different deal. It got planted by the farm machinery one row at a time. This was to have more than one harvest date, so we had corn on the cob much longer than anyone else in the neighbor hood. By planting with the farm equipment it could be cultured with the farm equipment also. This accelerated our thoughts of getting to relax a little more.

But as with cultivating a corn or bean field the grass and weeds growing in the row still had to be manually folded or cut off. So we would walk the fields to rid them of what the cultivator missed. This task provided the kids some spending money. If we helped the neighbors it turned into much more spending money for us. It also kept us busy all day exercising without having to go to a nonexistent exercise gym at the time. We never had to do any diets to stay slim or lose weight.

By now the hay fields were ready to harvest, attach the mower to the little John Deere and head for the field. Mow the hay down and hope for no rain for 3 days of good sunshine to dry it out which would cause the garden to need more water carried to it.

Then rake the hay into windrows and hire the neighbor to come and bale it. He dropped a hay rack behind the baler so we would get the pleasure of stacking the bales on the moving rack. This turned out to be my job as I was the only one with balance enough to throw or stack the bales on a moving platform or hay rack. The gopher holes and uneven soil made for a bumpy ride, not to mention the hill sides. Which challenged our ability to stack the bales in a manner which tied them selves together so they would not slide off the rack.

The neighbor liked my style so he hired me to ride the hay rack all summer long baling that he done. I got a penny for each bale which earned me a whopping $ 5.00 a day to the highest day we had was $ 44.00 for me. Not bad pay for a teenager, I stayed with it until I graduated from high school.

It was only when we set out on our own that weight became a problem. Eating more junk food because it was easier to prepare or more readily available to us. The fact that mom made us eat what was on the table seemed cruel to me. But looking back now was a lesson well taught by me.

I have never had any health or weight problems. Even today 50 years after getting out on my own I do not really watch what I eat, I eat from a habit I learned earlier in life. I like the fruits and veggies I had to eat while still living with the folks (moms eat whats on the plate idea or nothing) idea drve me to unwittingly acquire a taste for the healthy foods.

Unlike my siblings which are still fighting weight and health issues. When they left home they thought they knew more of what was good for them so they changed their eating habits. In a very short time (compared to a life time) they became obese and have been struggling with weight loss ever since. They jumped from one fad diet to another, sometimes over eating, sometimes starving them selves only to have their immune systems messed up.

They are now fighting with diabetes, stroke, and weight problems. While our parents (92 years young) and I are still healthy and slim. I do not have to take any medications at over 65 years young.

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