Car Counting

As I stood on my front porch this afternoon and watched one lone car pass by, I was suddenly taken back in time to 1966 and a favorite game I played with my beloved PawPaw…”Car Counting.”

My grandfather was born in the late 1880’s, so by the time I came along he was already in his 70’s. He and my granny adopted my mother from a dear friend who couldn’t support another child during the depression years. How I loved those two wonderful people and cherished the weekends spent at their house! I realize now my PawPaw must not have been in the best of health and tended to sit around entertaining me while my granny buzzed through the house, cleaning and cooking.

In the 1960’s, front-porch sittin’ was something most families did with regularity. PawPaw and I took it a step further. We would each pick a color, then count the cars that drove by that were the color we had chosen. Whoever counted the most cars, won. The house my grandparents lived in is up the street from where I live now, but back then, it might be a good 20-30 minutes between cars. Sometimes less…but not often. You’d think that a six year old wouldn’t have the patience for a game like that, but life was simpler then and everyone wasn’t in such a hurry like they are today. In between cars we’d talk about this and that. He’d tell me to suck my thumb, then ask me what it tasted like…just silly stuff that pawpaws tend to ask. I always grinned and told him, “Vanilla ice cream!” for some reason….

Nowadays, on weekday afternoons my street would normally be full of cars headed to the top of the hill to pick kids up at school. It was strange only seeing that one lone car come by while I was outside, but these are strange times. It did take me back though and as I thought about it, I wondered if maybe that’s one thing God is trying to accomplish. Maybe part of His purpose is to take us back to simpler times, when family and home were second only to faith, when we took time for simple games and front-porch sittin’…

My PawPaw, granny, sister Jan, oldest brother Paul, and me (the little one) standing in front of that front porch in 1966.

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