Jesse Barnett: The Good Old Days Are Right Now

I’m what you might call “OG.” That’s slang for Original Grayson.

I’m also a dad. Of course you probably picked up on that by the horrible dad joke that I used to capture your attention. My kids think my jokes are corny. That only encourages me.

Actually, I have been around Grayson for most of my life. My parents moved to Grayson when I was in the middle of first grade. Back then they called it “the country” like we were settlers heading west.

As a first grader, I roamed the hallowed halls of Grayson Elementary School when Mr. Burrell was the principle. You could buy two Magnum P.I. pencils in a machine by the office for a quarter. That year Mrs. Moody taught me to spell and I met a new friend named Todd.

Todd lived just down the street from me. His parents had ten acres and horses. Todd and I grew up roaming the woods in camouflage or riding horses. We were commandos, cowboys, and fearless.

Back in those days on the corner of 20 and 84, where the Walgreens pharmacy is now there was a small stone building called The Grayson Grocery. Most Friday nights I would spend the night with Todd so we could saddle up our trusty steeds, Charlie and Possum, and make the trek to Grayson for a biscuit. Those were perilous times, fraught with danger. We never knew what type of bandits we would encounter, but we bravely forged on.

We would tie our horses up to the trees along the edge of the woods, dismount and mosey inside. (Cowboys mosey they never just walk.) We’d head back to the back of the store, probably with spurs jangling, where a sweet little old lady had a bunch of biscuits wrapped up in butcher paper and sitting under a heat lamp.

We’d fork over the cash and head back outside to the wooden picnic tables where we’d bless our food and commence to eating. When you’ve been in a saddle all morning you have a ravenous appetite. After breakfast we’d hit the saddle again for the long ride back to the ranch.

Looking back I wonder what our parents were thinking. Now, I’m hesitant to let my ten year old out of my sight but we were set free to roam two miles—on horseback!—to buy a biscuit.

Ah, the good old days.

I bet you have stories like this too. Maybe not riding horses up the street to breakfast kind of stories, but stories that remind you of the good times you had as a kid. There’s something about growing up that causes us to look back on those simpler times with yearning. We all experience that feeling of loss. We know now what we may have overlooked then. Life is good if you embrace each day to the fullest.

The truth is the good old days are no good if they keep you stuck in the past.

Far too many people are stuck wishing for the good old days while missing out on the good new days right in front of them. This is especially sad when it comes to your kids and the memories you make with them.

You see the good old days are simply a mindset that you adopt. If you choose to believe it the good old days are happening right now. Times may have changed, but that shouldn’t stop you from making memories with your kids.

Perhaps you watched the Dunkin Donuts spring up diagonally across from where Grayson Grocery used to be. What if you made a Saturday morning donut run a part of your routine with your kids? Do you think they’d cherish that memory?

How about the Grayson Community Park? It’s a wonderful place to go sit and swing. Then walk over to Brusters and try out a double scoop of their newest flavor. Then go back and walk around the park to burn off the calories.

Start making today the good old days! Life is too short to let it pass you by thinking about yesterday. Yesterday is gone and you can’t change it. But today you can make a memory that will last a lifetime.

In case you were wondering, thirty-two years later Todd and I are still buddies. Now we have little boys a year apart. We see each other often, give each other a hard time and lend a hand when needed. That’s the good thing about lifelong friends. They know who you were and help you remember who you are. It’s been a while since we’ve been on horseback, but we did sink a kayak back in October. But that, my friends, is a story for another day.

Make 2017 be a year filled with good old days. Trust me, you won’t regret it. Neither will the ones you love.

Jesse Barnett is a minister, carpenter, husband and dad. He created TheFamilyBuilder.org as a guide to equip men to strengthen their marriages and families. You can follow him on Twitter @JesseLBarnett.

Author: Jason

Jason Brooks is the owner and editor of Grayson Local. A resident of Grayson for over 14 years, he loves the Grayson community and the potential it holds. A former pastor, Jason now works as a freelance writer. He has written for The John Maxwell Company, North Point Ministries, The Ford Motor Company, Catalyst, and several regional magazines as well. You can follow Jason on Twitter (@JasonMuses).

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