The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

October 15, 2013

Most worthwhile things are free

What do you do for recreation?  Think about it.

How and what do we do to re-create ourselves? How do we spend our leisure or spare time, or even planned time of fun?

When I was a kid, we did many things for fun. We waded in the creeks. We hunted fossils and unusual rocks. We picked persimmons and nuts in the fall. We gathered gourds (why, I don’t know — but we did). We waded in puddles when it rained or just enjoyed getting wet walking in the rain. We climbed trees. We picked flowers. We spent many hours swinging in the swing in the mulberry tree in our back yard, or the elm tree in the front yard (until that tree just died of old age). We never ran out of something to do for  recreation.

As I look back on my youth, I realize more and more that the best things in life really are free. The fun that we had cost absolutely nothing, yet what wonderful memories they made.

Every year for as far back as I can remember, Mother and I went pecan hunting on my birthday in November.  We didn’t need the pecans, but we had the fun of seeing the outdoors and had a wonderful birthday outing. I still miss those special times on my birthday.

A few years ago, when there were young Marine pilots stationed at Vance, several of those sweet young men and our dear friends, Kim and Randy, took me pecanning for my birthday. What great memories we made. We had a wonderful day and one I will never forget. Those kinds of birthday presents do not cost a dime, but they are priceless.   

In the evenings, we used to  make popcorn in a covered kettle with a little oil in the bottom. While the popcorn popped, Mother shook the kettle to keep the kernels from scorching. After we finished eating the popcorn, we counted the  “old maids” and had a  contest to see who had the most unpopped kernels. Before we popped the corn, we had to shell those little bitty ears of popcorn.  

We baked lots and lots of cookies.  Mother always said that cookie dough was the original Play-Doh. We spent hours shaping and cutting and baking those wonderful cookies. We made batch after batch of candy. We made and pulled taffy. We roasted peanuts. Cooking and baking — and eating — was our recreation. Is it any wonder I love to cook?  It is still my favorite thing to do during the autumn and winter evenings.  

We played lots of checkers and Chinese checkers, and in later years, Wahoo. We put many puzzles together. We cut out and played paper dolls until we wore them out right along with their fancy clothes. We  sewed doll clothes and dressed those babies thousands of times a day. When I was little, I sewed by hand, but when I was older and learned to use the Singer Sewing Machine, I found that I knew the basics and making doll clothes was more difficult than making people clothes. I guess that is why I love to sew, too.  

We read every book we could get our hands on. We played school, even when school was not in session. We all just loved school. We took turns being teacher. We had lots of books around us, so we never ran out of something to read — many books over and over.

The more I think about recreation and the things we enjoyed, the more I realize that the most worthwhile things are free. Rain, sunshine, air, weather, nature, these beautiful changing seasons in Oklahoma, appreciating and being appreciated by others, visiting  with friends and neighbors and family and others. Being loved by someone and having the opportunity to return that love has great value, yet is costs nothing.  

Jim and I were talking just recently about some of the great trips we have taken. We went back to MCRD in San  Diego, where Jim was in Marine boot camp at age 16. It was great to see where his roots were formed. That trip was like a family reunion. Three times we have been to Washington, D.C.   We saw many points of interest.  

We have been to Washington state and went on a whale watch to see and spend an afternoon observing Orca  whales. That was one of the greatest joys of my life. We have been to San Francisco and watched the sea lions on the wharf, barking to each other.  As we look back on our many vacations, we realize that the things that brought us the most pleasure and made indelible memories actually cost nothing. The fancy entertainments that we were part of, have long ago faded from memory. The memories that lasted cost nothing.  

I am almost sad when I hear people say there is nothing to do. Have they even looked out their windows? Have they seen the beautiful surroundings in Enid, America? Have they walked outside and looked at the sky and heard the sounds of nature? Those things are all free for enjoyment.  

As I said earlier, I love to cook just for the joy of cooking. For instance, this dessert:

Text Only
Enid Features
Featured Ads
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
House Ads