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Old 08-07-2007, 01:31 PM   #91
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I will never forget when my great aunt, who raised 4 children, and never worked outside the house or continued her education past the 8th grade, said to me, "You can do anything you want. I loved my kids and my husband was kind to me, but I could not do the things you can do today. And I often think about what I would have become."

That's not to say she was miserable; but this so-called utopia of "back when" is something for people to look back now and think how wonderful it was. It wasn't necessarily heaven on earth for the people then...
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:23 PM   #92
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My grandparents have always talked about the "good ole days" as the best of their lives and bemoan how impersonal families of today have gotten.

It looks to me like several of you think these kids are miserable and will never be happy unless they are living in the city working some "professional" job and buying a lot of expensive stuff. You have to realize not everyone thinks that is a good life, just as you do not think the "Waltons" setup is a good life.

I tell you the truth, I was raised in the city with only 2 siblings and was expected to have a career. I hated the idea and always wished I had been raised in the country with a bunch of brothers and sisters and honestly that is how I would like to raise my kids if I get any.(but not 17!)
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:25 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally posted by Butterscotch
It looks to me like several of you think these kids are miserable and will never be happy unless they are living in the city working some "professional" job and buying a lot of expensive stuff. You have to realize not everyone thinks that is a good life, just as you do not think the "Waltons" setup is a good life.
Your ability to jump to conclusions and make assumptions is very highly developed.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:27 PM   #94
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Originally posted by Butterscotch
I had been raised in the country with a bunch of brothers and sisters and honestly that is how I would like to raise my kids if I get any.
I was just out in the "country" visiting my cousin on her farm. She was talking about how the population density is changing, with fewer people living out in the country. Apparently, it's more difficult than city folk might imagine.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:31 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally posted by Butterscotch
My grandparents have always talked about the "good ole days" as the best of their lives and bemoan how impersonal families of today have gotten.

It looks to me like several of you think these kids are miserable and will never be happy unless they are living in the city working some "professional" job and buying a lot of expensive stuff. You have to realize not everyone thinks that is a good life, just as you do not think the "Waltons" setup is a good life.

I tell you the truth, I was raised in the city with only 2 siblings and was expected to have a career. I hated the idea and always wished I had been raised in the country with a bunch of brothers and sisters and honestly that is how I would like to raise my kids if I get any.(but not 17!)


and it's great that you get to choose what you want.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:33 PM   #96
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Originally posted by Irvine511
and it's great that you get to choose what you want.
Instead of having to submit and be pregnant for 25% of your life?
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:35 PM   #97
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Originally posted by martha


Instead of having to submit and be pregnant for 25% of your life?
It was her choice. No one forced her. You people really need to be more tolerant of alternative lifestyles!
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:41 PM   #98
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You people really need to be more tolerant of alternative lifestyles!
Tell me about that.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:55 PM   #99
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Oh, I think what they're doing is definitely a choice. The very fact that they're constantly promoting themselves as Those People With All Those Kids through TV specials, websites and "seminars" reveals the self-consciously nonconformist nature of their lifestyle. 17 biological children for one couple is an eye-popping number by any culture's standards, and the notion that any and all attempts to limit or pace the growth of one's family are immoral is hardly traditional either. If nothing else, by nursing her children as long as a "real" traditional mother would have, Michelle Duggar would likely have gotten pregnant far fewer times. Making all your income off rental properties (that, and the marketing value of your 'quiverfull' as a curiosity) isn't exactly traditional either.

I grew up in the country in a poor family with 5 kids...wasn't a bad life, but it's not one I miss either. I wouldn't say the other folks I knew there were any more or less happy than people anywhere else. There were plenty of good times, everyone knew everyone else and people helped each other when major crises ensued; on the other hand, there was plenty of alcoholism and spousal abuse and broken families as well (and xenophobia--the country's no place to be a minority of any kind). Most of those people didn't have a lot of choices, though--by and large they were impoverished, poorly educated, and not in a position to offer their children opportunities to prepare themselves to pursue any other kind of existence.

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In an effort to undermine our Christian heritage, the liberal left is doing everything they can to destroy the family values and ideals our nation was built upon. With this battle facing our nation, many have rose to the call to stand for what is right. In the past, conservatives who have chose government as their method of influence, have often had to turn to liberal controlled political consultant and service companies...We will be honored if you choose us to help you stand for truth!
Anyhow, how tolerant does that political call to arms sound?
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:00 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally posted by Butterscotch
My grandparents have always talked about the "good ole days" as the best of their lives and bemoan how impersonal families of today have gotten.

It looks to me like several of you think these kids are miserable and will never be happy unless they are living in the city working some "professional" job and buying a lot of expensive stuff. You have to realize not everyone thinks that is a good life, just as you do not think the "Waltons" setup is a good life.

I tell you the truth, I was raised in the city with only 2 siblings and was expected to have a career. I hated the idea and always wished I had been raised in the country with a bunch of brothers and sisters and honestly that is how I would like to raise my kids if I get any.(but not 17!)
I saw some similar leaps of "logic" in the gender bias thread as well.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:42 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


I was just out in the "country" visiting my cousin on her farm. She was talking about how the population density is changing, with fewer people living out in the country. Apparently, it's more difficult than city folk might imagine.
I grew up on a farm and it was really, really hard. I hated it. The thing I liked was being close to nature, but it was hard work with not many positive aspects to speak of. Most of the neighboring farmers were depressed, everyone was dirt poor, the kids had no childhood, just work work work, we were very isolated which meant that my social skills were way behind the other kids', and both of my parents were miserable with very little time to give to their 3 kids because they were in basic survival mode most of the time and worrying about how they were going to afford to buy us new shoes. I couldn't even go to kindergarten because my two little preschool hands were needed on the farm.

I honestly have very little good to say about the experience except that I learned how to get by on very little, I learned not to care much for material things, my parents instilled within us a very high code of ethics, they were honorable but poor people, I learned how to cope with loneliness and to be independent, and we had some awesome vegetables. Beyond that, pretty much an 18-year-long nightmare.

I moved to NYC the minute I graduated from college (which I paid for myself through a loan, every penny of it, or I couldn't have gone at all).

The good ol' days aren't always what they're cracked up to be. If I had had the internet or even cable TV as a kid it would have brought unbelievable light and joy into my miserable existence.

I'm sure there are many people out there who had wonderful experiences growing up in the country on a farm. But that wasn't my experience, nor was it my parents' experience, nor my grandparents' experience. They all had a pretty hard time, too.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:46 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally posted by Butterscotch


It looks to me like several of you think these kids are miserable and will never be happy unless they are living in the city working some "professional" job and buying a lot of expensive stuff. You have to realize not everyone thinks that is a good life, just as you do not think the "Waltons" setup is a good life.
Nobody and I mean NOBODY here said that the kids would be happier working a "professional" job. You seem to be projecting those thoughts on us for whatever reason. As well as taking giant leaps of logic.
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:47 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl

. The thing I liked was being close to nature......
.... which meant that my social skills were way behind the other kids', .......The good ol' days aren't always what they're cracked up to be.




I think you turned out great.

dbs
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:58 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I grew up on a farm and it was really, really hard. I hated it. The thing I liked was being close to nature, but it was hard work with not many positive aspects to speak of. Most of the neighboring farmers were depressed, everyone was dirt poor, the kids had no childhood, just work work work, we were very isolated which meant that my social skills were way behind the other kids', and both of my parents were miserable with very little time to give to their 3 kids because they were in basic survival mode most of the time and worrying about how they were going to afford to buy us new shoes. I couldn't even go to kindergarten because my two little preschool hands were needed on the farm.

I honestly have very little good to say about the experience except that I learned how to get by on very little, I learned not to care much for material things, my parents instilled within us a very high code of ethics, they were honorable but poor people, I learned how to cope with loneliness and to be independent, and we had some awesome vegetables. Beyond that, pretty much an 18-year-long nightmare.

The good ol' days aren't always what they're cracked up to be. If I had had the internet or even cable TV as a kid it would have brought unbelievable light and joy into my miserable existence.
Yep...my parents weren't farmers obviously, since my dad taught at the regional black college, so by local standards we were basically middle class (meaning our house had 4 rooms instead of 2, indoor plumbing, a small yard instead of a shared alley or working fields, we had time to take a local camping trip in the summer, things like that). But the majority of my classmates came from farming families, and their circumstances were pretty much like what you describe. We also grew most of our own vegetables, actually most people did, and definitely my siblings and I spent a lot of time helping my mother in the garden, as well as taking turns cooking, helping younger ones with homework, etc., though happily we didn't have to learn to sew, even though that meant a very limited wardrobe of hand-me-downs. And we did have a TV for several years, a huge old thing with all the funky glass tubes my parents found at some flea market, but there were only 2 stations, and ironically I associated it mostly with boredom, because my parents' main purpose in getting it was so we could all watch the nightly network news together, which often led to a dinnertime lecture from my father about the history behind such-and-such conflict. I don't think our town was quite as isolated as yours probably; there were several small businesses and a couple doctors and lawyers in addition to the nearby college, so most kids got contact with at least a few other walks of life through their classmates, but still, everyone's social frame of reference, mine included, was much smaller than, say, my own kids' would be--the only 'outsiders' we ever saw were ex-locals who'd moved to The Big City but came back occasionally to visit, and the occasional starry-eyed European roadtripper in search of the spirit of the blues (they generally wound up snapping a photo of the church where Robert Johnson was buried, asking a couple bewildered locals if there were any Ku Klux Klan 'sites' to see in the area, then getting out in a hurry). So yeah, poorly developed social skills, distracted parents with constant, pressing, dire financial concerns, crap schools with teachers who'd never known anything but the same--actually, worse, because they'd grown up under Jim Crow--and a lot of isolation and boredom despite continuous hard work. I kind of envy you having had the chance to break away 'only' to VT first, rather than being plunged into NYC baptism-by-fire style, but then again, maybe that too is just grass-is-greener thinking on my part.

Like you, I do value having learned to get by with little; I'm often aghast at all the things 'urban' working-class people will spend precious money on, and in an ironic way, I think that sensibility actually helped me to be adventurous as a traveler and student later. But I also doubt my life would've worked out that way had I not gotten out when I did...while I was still young and unattached to anything other than my immediate family. And maybe the 'nudge,' if I can call it that, of my folks having always been seen as outsiders of a kind anyway. The older you get, the more commitments you take on, the harder it is to venture into a radically different social and economic and cultural sphere and adapt--whether you want those opportunities or not. It's not that you can't be content continuing on with the same...having choices and opportunities does play a role in how happy you wind up, but only to a point. But it's certainly not a question of finding the one perfect place and community where everyone has the formula all worked out; you're not going to find that anywhere.
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:10 PM   #105
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I think you turned out great.


and what i think makes JFG great, and what makes Memphis (who comes from exactly this kind of rural background) great, isn't so much this environment, but the desire and perserverence to get the hell out of said environment because they were dissatisfied.

that is character.
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