Had a family reunion. Every year, I jokingly get called Wimpy by my family at these gatherings. The reason is, my mom was finally in her last week of battling cancer for 10 years, she had lymphoma. This was a few years back. Had some family around her bedside, and she said, “Every generation keeps getting wimpier. I’m wimpier than my parents, My son (me) is wimpier than me, and his kids are wimpier than him.” So I’m called Wimpy at the reunions, and it’s a good joke, but also true.
My mom was a kid in South Dakota in the dust bowl days of the 1930’s. She rode a horse 5 miles in sub zero weather to go to school. If it was 20 below zero, school got cancelled. She slept in an unheated attic with no insulation. Her mom and dad made several goose down comforters for her to keep warm. She said the total loft was 14 inches, measured with a ruler. She also slept with pet animals to help her keep warm. Her favorites were lambs and baby pigs. The pigs were clean and were trained like dogs to only urinate and pee outside. The lambs had an occasional accident. Eventually, her sleepover friends ended up being breakfast bacon or lamb chops, which was pretty sad for her. But hey, gotta suck it up and carry on.
She was tough down to the end. Her cancer doctor said the longest any patient of his survived with lymphoma other than her was 5 years, and she made it twice as long.
I was raised a free range kid. From the time I was 7 years old, I was allowed to wander the woods and streams by myself. By the time I was 11, I was packing a lunch and hunting with bow or the .22 all day, or biking up to 20 miles to fish lakes and streams with my rod and lures in a backpack. Ran a trap line in winter. My best buddy and I would skip out of school in January on a zero degree day and check our traps. One day we had no food and were starving. The only thing in our traps was a muskrat, so we made a fire and roasted it. We were 13 years old. I built a motocross track behind my parents place with a skid steer and chain saw, it had a double jump and a supercross jump. I did wear every piece of safety equipment I could, because my Huskavarna 250 could do 70 mph and then my Maico 500 could do 90 mph. Had some legendary crashes. But I was without a doubt wimpier than my mom.
My boys are good men, one is a commercial electrician locally and the other lives the free life on an island chain off Panama, supporting his wife and two daughters, working construction and fishing the sea . But they are definitely wimpier than me.
What about you? Do you think everyone is inexorably becoming wimpier and wimpier?