Remember our parents saying that? "When I was your age...we walked 5 miles, uphill, through the snow just to get to school!" or wherever. Us kids would laugh. Sure, sure you walked so much further than we have to. But I did do a LOT of walking and bike riding when I was a kid. A ton! I found myself thinking have I ever used that line on my kids?
I spent today in bed nursing a stomach bug when Max (age 9, almost 10) came bouncing in. He'd had a full day of soccer fun with his dad (opening day ceremonies and events) but once they got home, the dad headed for a much needed nap in his office and Max said he was lonely. Why? Half the house was resting and big brother had gone for a walk (or bike ride) to the store.
My teen walking to the store is not a new thing. His therapist told him quite a while ago that if he was feeling bored or angry or frustrated, go take a walk! I suggested he walk to the QuickChek in Netcong. It's not too far. We always make sure he has pocket money and having a destination in mind rather than wandering aimlessly is a good idea. (He does enjoy wandering aimless too, tho.)
I'm pretty sure my childhood home was a LOT further away from any convenience store than we are now. That got me thinking again. Just how much further did I have to ride my bike to get to my favorite country store than my teenager has to walk? Can I use that "I had to bike 5 miles through the snow just to get a sack of Swedish Fish!" line?
Thankfully, we have Google Maps, Directions and Street View now. I hopped on my computer and plugged in my street address from my middle school years. That's about the age I got really independent and rode my bike anywhere I wanted to go. I wasn't supposed to leave the neighborhood, mind you. But I did, just the same. I didn't know the street address for the places I'd ride to when I was a kid, so I just used street view and virtually rode down the roads I remembered from my youth. Memory is a funny thing. The shortcuts of my childhood were not easy to find! The landscape of my old home town and the surrounding towns has changed so much that one of the stores I used to ride to I can't even locate the general area. It's all industrial with large corporate buildings now. No farm stand and country store anywhere around.
So I rode my virtual bike in the opposite direction and went downtown looking for my second favorite country store. That ride was shorter, but much more hazardous at the time. The roads to get there were much more heavily traveled. I cruised through town following my old bike route (I stuck to back roads where ever I could in a effort to be safe) and finally located the side street where the store used to be. Gone. Torn down for a stretch of shops that looked "colonial" but were not actually 200 years old like the old converted house/store had been. I could go on a tangent here about tearing down history, but I won't.
3.5 miles from my old house to the spot where the Ye Olde Bedford Country Store used to be. That's 7 miles round trip. No wonder I was so fit back in those days, despite the asthma! But I probably undid a lot of that good by spending all my savings on penny candy. *snort*
Back to the teenager and Google. How far is it from our house to QuickChek? 1 mile. So that is a 2 mile, round trip, walk.
Kids! When I was your age, I had to bike 7 miles down sometimes dangerous roads to get to the store!
Heh. Yep, that will be quite satisfying.
|1 mile from home to QuickChek|
|3.5 miles from childhood home to the country store|