I made a comment in my Caddo post about “holding mercury in my hand”. I asked Gary about it and it turns out that I wasn’t the only naughty child to break a thermometer on purpose just to play with the shiny liquid in side. That caused me to think about some of the other things I did as a child that are now deemed “unsafe” or even “hazardous” to our health. I guess I’m lucky to be alive and in control of most of my thoughts and actions.
I lived in dozens of ancient houses, so I’m sure at some point I was exposed to lead paint. We even lived in a remodeled school house and a previously condemned house.
There was an ashtray on every flat surface of my grandmother’s home because so many people smoked. We didn’t even know about “second-hand smoke”.
We had aluminum pots, “glasses”, pitchers and ice trays.
I played outside, alone or with friends, for hours at a time. Once a group of older children put me into an empty canal, told me the water was coming, and left me there. I was accidently locked inside a storage building while my parents were at the grocery store. Another time a group of us got the idea of hanging a rope from a tree and swinging out into the pond. I often encountered snakes, spiders, and other creatures while playing.
We drank water from the garden hose and played in the dirt and even in the mud.
My father used to dig irrigation ditches with a plow that he didn’t think did the job adequately. So he added a little platform to it and a couple of us rode on that to “weigh down” the plow so it would dig deeper.
One year I walked a mile each day, through a business district, over the freeway, and home to our house behind a bar. Sometimes I had a classmate with me, sometimes I didn’t.
We leased property in several locations and my dad would often leave a couple of us to work on one property while he checked on another. Sometimes he wouldn’t return for hours.
We won’t even discuss my use of knives, ice picks and other tools at a very early age! Yes…lucky to be alive.