I remember growing up in Wise Virginia where all the boys in the neighborhood would play Cowboys and Indians. We grew up on Birchfield Road where there were about 20 of us. This was during the 1970’s and 80’s when there was no such thing as internet or cell phones. We looked forward to the weekend where we would choose up sides and play all day long as one of the groups. We dressed the part and everyone wanted to be the Indians. We wore feathers and headbands and gave ourselves Indian sounding names.
After a long hard day at play and after eating a meal prepared by one of the mothers we would talk into the evening as the sun went behind the mountains. Often it was around a campfire before running home in the dark. “When I get older” was one of the round about discussions. It was always easy to look into the future and dream about what we would do when we got older. Some were going to move away and become inventors, others were going to work in the coalmines, me…. Well I had the dream of owning my own business of whatever I had on my mind at the time. “One day, I’m going to have a big factory and make toys and guns and tents and sell them all over the world.”
It was easy to dream back then, but that was so long ago. Now I’m older and cherish those days in Wise County Virginia. I remember the one time when I begged my mother to let me stay out with the guys and camp out. I was maybe 12 years old and my older brother Scotty was 15. She let us go but the next morning as the sun was popping his head through the leaves, I heard my mother calling our names. “Scotty and Eddie, it’s mom, come on it’s time to go home.” My mother is such a great lady. She is now 81 years old and just as pretty as she was when I was only 12. She has beautiful red hair and beautiful charisma to match.
Where does all the time go? One day you are a cowboy with a toy gun and the next day you are waking up with a backache from a hard day’s work. Time is the only thing we can never get back.
From my experience I wish I had spent more time with my friends just talking. I wish I had taken mental pictures of my friends and their young faces. I wish I had told all of their mothers how much they meant to me. We could become sad that the times we wish we had are no more but then again, we still have today and tomorrow. Why not make the best of the time we have left?
I love to write about those days past. My memory about the wars and fights that all of those Cowboys and Indians had are legends. I remember the day that we all had the Indian challenge of spreading our legs as far as we could, dropping a feather on the ground from our Indian headpiece and leaning over to pick up the feather with our lips. We got pretty good at that challenge. Then there was the game of stretch where two boys would stand about 8 feet apart. A knife would be thrown by the first boy and the goal was to throw it no more than 6 inches away from the others foot. If the knife stuck in the ground, that boy would have to put his foot on the place and then it was his turn to throw the knife. The goals end was to make the other stretch so far that they couldn’t stand up. One day as we were playing, I reached down to get the knife and split my pinky finger into on the blade. I didn’t say a word, I just kept playing the game. I still have the scar today.
Where has the time gone? We can’t change the past but we can see the future and as a middle age man now I appreciate those memories from times past.
I have an acronym here on the word TIME.
- Togetherness, Cherish the time you spend with your parents, your siblings, your children or that special friend. Those are memories that promotions or overtime or projects can wait on. When your time on earth is over, the one thing you will miss and can never get back is Togetherness Time.
- Inspiration, Take the time to inspire others because your purpose on this earth is not for you, it’s for others. The little things can put the wind under someone’s wings, the small actions you show today may be the life of someone tomorrow. Inspire those closest to you by telling them you believe in them, and never ever let the word Love be forgotten on your lips.
- is the Motivation time. I’m talking about your own motivation. You must have a talk with the person in the mirror every day and push that person to work harder, go farther, and stay on course. It is ultimately you who is the Pilot of your life and not another.
- Is the Encouragement time for others. The word Encourage is a French English word that means “Strengthen the Heart” There are hundreds of people in this state that go to bed hungry every night but thousands that go to bed hungry for a word of encouragement.
Friends, if you will do these things and cherish your memories and love the ones you have in your life, you will reap great rewards.