A Simpler Place in Time | Baby Boomers Guide

Midnight Train to Georgia

“Oh, he’s leavin’
On the midnight train to Georgia
Said he’s goin’ back to find
Ooh, a simpler place in time”

Gladys Knight and the Pips


A Simpler Place in Time!

A line from the song by Gladys Knight contains a powerful suggestion to a lot of Baby Boomers and to me – a hope that somehow life can slow down to the pace we remember when we were kids.  We hope that it within our power to go back, at least in our minds, to when we were young. When summer days lasted from when you rubbed the sleep from your eyes and had your bowl of corn flakes, until the lightning bugs came out and it was time to head home and to bed.  Back when the world seemed to revolve a bit slower and life was simpler.

Let me introduce myself.  You can call me Pop.  This is a nickname that I can embrace.  A name that was bestowed upon me by some of the people that I love most in this world – my sons and my grandchildren.   It is now the time for “Pop” to begin a transition, to make a change; to go back to another place in time.  This series is my attempt to journal my travel back – It is truly a journey and not a destination.  I’m not sure if or when I will arrive; hopefully never.  After all half the fun will be getting there!

For me a simpler time, was the late fifties and early sixties.  It was a time of peace; not just militarily but also in the peace of mind of a kid who still didn’t know about the intricacies of the Cold War and the Bomb; who had not yet heard about the Holocaust or Civil Rights.  It was the Golden Years in my life, of fond memories when we played dodgeball or kickball at recess, of 2 cent milk at lunch and an obsession with Davy Crockett and hula hoops.  This was when your bike was your horse and it cared you through neighborhood streets, the two-lane roads, over the hills and to school.

Our little “suburb” at the end of Plainview Road, about 10 miles south of Springfield. Missouri.

Summers were the best; vacation from school lasted an eternity; the days were filled with catching honeybees, playing endless “fly-a-knocker” (a baseball game played with 2 or 3 boys) or making a cool sound by clothes-pinning baseball cards so the spokes of your bike so that it sounded like a motorcycle.  Summer evenings were spent making firefly necklaces and homemade ice cream.

My little brother Mike with Bossy and her calf. Circa 1961.

If you dream of leaving the rat race behind.  If you are tired of traffic jams, gridlock and road rage, then perhaps you too, have dreamed of a simpler life.  Some people think of being “off the grid”, others just want a place where they can slow down; get back to the basics of life.

I’m moving to a farm!

My idea is for a life with a garden (or maybe two and a greenhouse), some chickens, goats, lots of dogs and cats and maybe even a horse or a cow.  A pond stocked with blue gill and bass.  Daily chores include gathering eggs and hatching chicks; watching baby goats frolic and tending the gardens and relishing the ultimate in farm-to-table cuisine fresh from my own garden to a table full of healthy home cooking.

The sun will rule the schedule and not an alarm clock.  It will tell me when it is time to get up and go to bed.  The Spring is a time to plant, the Summer is to tend and nurture, in the Fall, there will be a time to harvest pumpkins, pecans and maybe a big buck, the Winter is the time to reflect and appreciate the Blessings of the year.

Mind you, this is not about subsistence farming or a return to the 1870’s, but rather a shift of focus from hustle, pervasive technology, conspicuous consumption; things made of plastic or polyester and not built to last.  It is a life that is closer to God and family and Country and farther away from technology, divisive politics and 24 hour cable news.

It’s a place where required reading is the farm journal, where bee hive supplies or tractor implements are offered, instead of the Wall Street Journal.  A rural life where instead of shopping online, the preferred place is a feed store, a flea market or a thrift store.  To me I seek the fulfillment of a dream that has probably been with me my whole life, but was rekindled nearly 30 years ago and now the flame begins to burn again.  It is about a time of life, a change of tempo and lifestyle, a return to a rural way of life, about fresh air, well water, sunshine, honest sweat, animals, pets and wildlife.  It is also about family, values, health, grace and peace.

So as I begin this journey, (I’m not sure where it will lead exactly) I’m excited to begin and believe that half the fun will be “getting there”.  Do you care to go with me?

to be continued.

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