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Posts Tagged ‘The Waltons’

Way back when I was a girl …

Sometimes it is so difficult to not start a sentence that way in reference to ‘the good ‘ol days.’ We can be so very selective with our memories of days gone by, throwing out the bad and remembering only the good.

When I think back to my childhood, television watching was a big part of our recreational time, as individuals, and as a family. I can remember watching TV shows with my parents, and the conversations that would follow the episode. As I think back, some of the most teachable moments were when a show would end, and Mom or Dad would say, “so, what did you think of that topic?” TV was the catalyst for learning opportunities in the house I grew up in.

“Little House on the Prairie” taught me all about a family that loves each other. Their lives were tough (no dishwasher … yikes), and life did not always go as they would have liked. They had a daughter who was deaf, and they took in a boy who needed a family, and made him fully part of theirs. They dealt with a fire, drought, poverty and Nelie Olsen! The show dealt with real life issues that are not relegated to the Prairie, such as death, poverty, alcoholism, thievery, adultery, illness, and single parenting, just to name a few.

Then there was “The Waltons” who introduced me to another time in history. They also taught me about a family who loves each other. There lives were tough, and life did not always go as they would have liked. They lived in a multi-generational house, had a home business, and almost everyone under the roof was a type A, strong willed personality. The show dealt with real life issues, not relegated to the time of the Depression to WWII in the mountains of Virginia. They dealt with issues such as death, poverty, alcoholism, abuses, a house fire, and single parenting.

The Cosby Show was a favorite in the house I grew up. It was a sitcom that could bring the viewer to tears from laughter as well as from touching scenes. They taught me about a family who loves each other. Although they were a family of means (he, an obstetrician and she, a lawyer), they still lived a life of issues that the typical family could face. They dealt with death, marital stress, teen alcohol use, two income family dynamics, and many child rearing issues.

Happy Days was another of our favorites. The music was so great, and the it had the bonus of dealing with everything from the serious to the absurd (sort of like my blog). The show taught me about a family who loves each other. They were an average middle class family dealing with the average middle class life issues. Issues such as death, marital problems, stealing, heartbreak, and various teen-related issues. It took us back to a day and time when the man brought home and bacon and the woman cooked it up. Don’t think that Marion Cunningham was a spineless woman though, because, although hubby Howard was the head of the family, Marion was definitely the neck that turned that head!

As I pondered the shows I grew up on, I am thankful for the things I learned from them.

I learned that life is not always perfect.
That bad things happen to good people.
That working hard is worth the effort in the long run.
That honesty is the best policy.
That family is important.
That marriage is work, and it is worth it.
That kids have an opinion, and they should be free to voice it.
That there are consequences to all choices and decisions.

I am thankful for the input that I received while sitting in front of the tube … I wonder what messages and input today’s TV viewing adolescents and teens are receiving?

“Summing it all up, friends,
I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on
things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—
the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.”
Philippians 4:8

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