132 / 365 – Old Days

WALTER SVEEN

People talk about the old days. Sometimes I think they make it sound a little too perfect. Maybe that’s just how it is with memory. You remember the good things. There were a lot of good things. People were decent, good people. They helped each other. Anyone who was around during the drought, back in the 30s, they would remember that. People didn’t want too much. They just wanted to get along.

It’s different now. Seems different. I don’t know, I can’t point to it, exactly. People seem anxious, not so sure about things. I don’t know if it’s what’s going on at the plant. A lot of farmers are having tough time. I think people are more on their own now. We’re not looking after each other. Of course I can’t do anything. I’m older than my dad was when he died. And I get to live in this nice home. Well, it’s sort of nice. The food ain’t so good as what Arlene used to cook. My wife, she was a good cook. She died last year, y’know. I miss her. But this isn’t bad. After she died, people brought me meals for awhile, like the old days. After that, I didn’t know how to cook. Don’t know how to cook anything but fish out of the lake. I was eating things from cans. My daughter sent me here. We sold the house and I can stay here for awhile. It’s not bad. My mother had to stay with us when my dad died. But I get to stay here by myself, like a vacation.

Not like the old days, though.

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