Can you remember yesterday?

Do you remember a time when a child was never just yours but he/she was loved and cared for by the entire community? Where walking down the road and not saying “good afternoon”  or ” good morning” would result in you getting some licks from a guava tree branch and getting another when you reached home?

A time when only one person had a television and “Saturday nightmares” was an event of big pot of fish broth, squash and all the neighbors on the floor.
People cared about each other despite what was said yesterday, no one kept anything against each other, love reigned and brotherhood was essential. We knew the whereabouts of each other; a box of groceries meant the entire neighborhood ate and river limes were an every Friday afternoon necessity for the week’s laundry.

We were each other’s keeper. We looked out to see if Mr. Mark window was open every morning, and anticipated “Ma. John” cocoa tea. We could buy $.25 bread and sugar and coconut was “it”.

Do you remember when life was simpler… where Blackberries and laptops were not even a thought? Where we walked to each other’s house before “IM-ing”….

What do you remember about yesterday? Can you even remember?

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51 Comments

  1. Corinne
    June 4, 2011

    @Hmmm I just came across this post and I reflected I smiled and sighed at those memories with pleasure I am glad I grew up in that era and I won’t trade it for all the laptops, flat screen tv cell phones in the world. Being poor never bothered the poor or so we thought and everyone wanted to “improve” and we all started competing and badmouthing each other we lost the trust and sincerity and everything went haywire. Now our children have their own laptops cell phones, we drive fancy cars, we live in Europe and America and our homes are filled with state of the art this and that but we wring our hands in despair because we are very unhappy. The new toys brought new and big problems that never existed before when our lives were simple and basis Its like someone gave you $100 but took back $300 from you. Happiness, bliss and contentment can never be bought. I remember I used to go to St Martin’s School and when my parents bought me new school shoes and bag I would use them for a week and after that I threw them aside I wanted to wear pushin slippers and plastic bags for my books. We raided peoples mango and kenip trees, they set their dogs after us that was so much fun and I did enjoy walking to school versus a ride you got to bond with other kids we went through short cuts, we bought tamarind balls, tablet, sticky tablet omg I cherish those precious memories we had very little to worry about :)

  2. la plaine girl in england
    October 26, 2010

    I remember when we had to go in the bush and dodo all you heard was “cho lo lo , and pure worms coming out of our bottom, then wiping it on the cleaniest and biggest stone.
    Those were the days

  3. Truth, Justice and Peace
    October 16, 2010

    @Yep!:

    I like this, including being overweight. It made me laugh. :-)
    Today we reside in a different era. In those days we did a lot of walking. Children played hop-scotch and other games.Those who were old enough also went to parties and dances. It is said that these keep the weight down.
    We ate natural foods of the land. They are called root vegetables, the best we could eat and nutritious.
    Walking is good exercise. Today many people reside out of town, not as it used to be in those days. They have vehicles and consistently drive. Some of them lack exercise.
    What with fast food outlets. Eating fast foods and fatty foods, too much of them, contribute to weight gain.
    Another matter which contributes to weight gain, sitting too much at work and in front of the TV and computer. These serve a good purpose. However, many people spend a lot of time viewing TV and in front of the computer.
    I recently read that staying up late can cause obesity. The later we stay up, the more we may eat. We can say today, what else is new, eh?
    Some of those who consistently view television are called “couch potatoes” because they spend too much time in front of the TV and with a bag of potato chips, etc.
    As people grow older they tend to slow down and gain weight. These are the problems of modern-day era – obesity which could contribute to heart attacks and other ailments of the body. There is a price to pay for progress. Some of these can be prevented and others not. Come what may.

  4. Bring Em Young
    October 16, 2010

    I remember when only women and effeminate men wore EARRINGS
    Young men wore their trousers just below the navel
    Underwear was not exposed for all to see and only one pair was sufficient
    Young girls did not carry on those profane conversations for all to hear
    Girls under 19 did not have someone called MY MAN
    School children could not be seen on the streets after 9pm
    The usual street greeting was either GOOD MORNING GOOD AFTER NOON or GOOD NIGHT
    Adults were addressed as either SIR or MADAM
    And finally Children did not go to school decked out DOCKERS , SEBAGO and BLACK BERRY phones
    Parents take back your authority or you will regret it later on

  5. Thinking of the good old days.
    October 16, 2010

    oh those Good old days. I remember when my mother use to raise two pigs And always have one for christmas For Pork and Black pudding. she use to sell some of the pork and black pudding And the rest was for our house. We smoke some on the galta and roasted a piece on the coal pot to eat with five cents bread in the morning.
    i remember every Christmas my mother use to buy Some Artifical Flowers for her vase and a couple yards of carpet for her house and made a nice broth with smoke meat,dasheen Caplahow(yam) on Christmas eve nightsThis was great.
    I remember mango Season. eating Mangoes for Breakfast and lunch.
    I remember we bought our Sunday best shoes from Batta And footland in roseau. And we walked on mondays to saturdays without shoes.These were all fun memories That will never forget.
    I remember it was judbox for adult entainment.
    for carnival was sensay, our music was steelband And lapo carbrit. this was alot of fun.this were the good old days.

  6. arri
    October 15, 2010

    @……… I got up this morning and thought I should post that too! Man I remember eating nuff Klim and sugar! Wat a sell out!

    I remember when razad and toyota was the shoe boy!
    When you would have to comb each other hair for fun ’cause you had no dolls.
    Caco tea and hot bread and butter was breakfast

  7. .................
    October 15, 2010

    @Oh yes: ha ha ha, lol, lol that is so funny. i remember when klim and sugar was the thing to eat and the klim would stick at the ‘roof’ of ur mouth ,

  8. Dominican
    October 15, 2010

    I remember so much…we couldn’t wait for moonlight nights to play out door games, tell short stories.
    I remember playing marble holes in the yard.
    I remember the “seks”
    I remember playing “chub” (with cashews) on afternoons after school and on weekends.
    I remember our long walks to the river for our Saturday laundry and searching for mangoes, guavas and other delicious fruits
    I remember our Sunday beach times after worship services.
    I remember calling my seniors aunty or uncle even if we were not related.
    I remember so much…..

  9. Hmmm
    October 15, 2010

    I remember on monday morning they used to cut the pencils in two; the older one gets the part with the eraser and the piece was tied to a string through your shirt button hole

    Campad exercise books were cut in two

    When Chinese shoe was for high schoo

    Batta red or blue slippers (and later benjashoe toeless) were for primary school

    School bags were plastic shopping bags from Astaphan or Nassief.

    Sundays we looked forward to Mr Dash coming to sell stuff from his car, and bringing us slices of sandwich bread as a treat

    When we used to cut out Nido milk tin, make ovens to bake bread.

    When you could count on one hand the number of times you missed mass

    When we used to roll pennies (the brown ones) in foil paper and give it to the “old” ladies to buy tablet

    When our christmas gifts were church clothes

    When we used to only get a shoot of sorrel because it have so much ginger in it.

    When all of us in the neighborhood used to gather round the one tv to watch Statsky and Hutch.

    When the matinee screen was a white sheet………….lol

    When Saturday morning breakfast was cocoa tea and bakes, and Sunday lunch was a white soup with macaroni or vermicelli in it…lol

    We have come a long way, but not all for the better though.

  10. Yep!
    October 15, 2010

    I remember on Saturday mornings, my cousins and I would go and ‘pong zamman’ for hours. Then climb a coconut tree and drink ‘jelly’, then go and pick peas, kennip and mangoe after.

    We spent a whole day in the sea and never felt hungry, tell we got home and were were ‘hungry like a horse’.

    Saturday mornings also meant market days, just walking around smelling the different aromas of the fresh fruits and veggies and buying from the list your mother gave you to buy, then walking 5 miles home with 20 oranges and a heavy bag of food and not thinking twice about it.

    We walked miles to school~ Fatima Church in Newtown to Convent High School or SMA! No wonder barely any of us were overweight!

  11. hahahaha
    October 15, 2010

    @arri: OMG! That is so true! My father told me ‘boyz are bad’ I was like why? Cause they are! They get you trouble! I had no idea what the mad was talking about because I was still running around naked in the sea and didn’t think twice about it!

  12. hahahaha
    October 15, 2010

    @ macoshat~ That is so true! We used to poopoo in pail and throw it in the sea in Newtown!

  13. responsible
    October 15, 2010

    Technology is very important to all of us but as a Dominican growing up in those days without technology was a blast. The whole television, cellphone, computers has corrupted our youth. They do not know how to have clean fun like we had growing up. I enjoyed playing hide an sick, listening to old conte ( folk stories). having our own local pargents, busting a braff on a coal pot or on 3 big stones with wood, and lighting the wood with fiber or coconut husk. Nothing can replace those days that has formed and made gentlemen and women of us who lived those times.Just check the lifestyle of the younger generation

  14. prissy
    October 15, 2010

    @NatureIslander.NC: You got it. These are the things i like reading about. They bring back all the yester years and yesterdays. maybe if we concentrate on our own culture instead of trying to Americanize maybe then we will see all what we are throwing away.
    in

  15. possie
    October 14, 2010

    oh what good days thinking off it if it was yesterday that guy in scots head wld not be killed by
    his family but loved and helped by them love the topic

  16. No Name 2
    October 14, 2010

    Funny thing is as good as those days were, they were also days where parents hardly told their children how much they loved them, molestation was going on in many families and it was not talked about to the point where children just kept it a secret, I enjoyed my childhood thoroughly Imagine children now don’t kn ow what is fatpoke…. I used to go garden and play teacher and look blows when them plants didnt get the answer….leaves all on de ground…when school let out ..everyone going beach…carnival time was souse and punch….good times for real….

    we can have that today still…if we have such good recollection of those times, then its as simple as us applying those same principles in our lives.

  17. No Name 2
    October 14, 2010

    @DD: what I checking is me alone dat does roast kenip seed eh…doesnt the inside taste like dasheen???lol….good stuf

  18. NatureIslander.NC
    October 14, 2010

    Those were the days when all children (of catholic upbringing) attended Sunday mass and catechism.
    Fr. Vanacre made sure that we all got bread and butter and a cup of Milo after catechism.
    There was the pre First Communion day (Witwet) when we donned our pretty white dresses. On First Communion day we looked little princesses and princes but the following day we had to face reality all over again. Walk one mile to and from school with only the privileged ones wearing “toeless”. The boys rolled their “sec” all the way to school with a “Canpad” exercise book rolled up in their back pocket. Apart from a kokeyoko that we got at Christmas, most of our toys were self made. Yet, I would not trade the yesterdays for a life of champagne and caviar.

  19. sunshine
    October 14, 2010

    I noticed the young people of today do not know who they are. Since technology is here to stay the older people should continue telling them their stories just as my great grand mother told me.
    Yes I remember the good old days!!!
    The best thing that any one who lived in those days can give to the youth is keep telling them the old stories or better yet with technology those who can, write or tape their life stories and their mother’s stories. Hopefully, someday a book can be written with all those biographies.
    Start right now people, get that tape from your elderly uncle, aunt, or cousin. Don’t bury the history of Dominica. Make an effort and good luck.!

  20. spy
    October 14, 2010

    @macoshat, WHAT? A STONE! HOW CLEAN DID IT GET? ,AT LEAST ANTS DIDNT BITE.
    GREAT MEMORIES.

  21. NatureIslander.NC
    October 14, 2010

    @DD: What television you talking about? You hearing people talking about boozye and kaia plate you talking about television?

  22. LawieBawie
    October 14, 2010

    @Oh yes: People around me must think that I have gone mad…you have me cracking up!!

  23. macoshat
    October 14, 2010

    @Fairplay: What happen to you pal…are you a 2000 baby.

  24. macoshat
    October 14, 2010

    What about when I spend the weekend in Newtown and I had to go us the bay as my toilet and the stone was toilet paper.

  25. arri
    October 14, 2010

    Those were the dayz:
    when you had to take your shower under the stand pipe
    when skinny deeping was considered a child thing – bathing in the sea with no swimsuits,pants -but naked
    when you had to wait for the bread bus – love bread just come in style and when u get zachari u mad
    when a books, pencils and eraser were cut in two to curb on family expenses
    when talking back at your momther means a burst mouth
    when granny would give you a piece of roasted dasheen or plantain from the coal pot
    when granny would shield you from extra scolding
    when “jou jou jou mabel” and hop scotchwas the thing at 6pm if mommy allowed you to play friday night
    having good manners was an overstatement – u had to know it before you born
    meeting white people was like meeting President Obama
    when you had a little color u wanted to walk on egg shells – fired is the new word for coloreds
    When mommy and daddy was in the room discussing (shame to say sex)
    when you were not educated on boys – “don’t talk to boyz.” why? “don’t ask questions”
    When uncle so and so always came home – “call him uncle so and so” – can’t tell ur kids its your man! ouch !

  26. macoshat
    October 14, 2010

    i remember those day at we had to pee in those tensils…lord..and those pit toilet with those cockroaches not touching our buttock or getting to close to our private parts…

  27. macoshat
    October 14, 2010

    I also remember when those nassief enamel cups would fall and they ring “ting, ting, ting, ting” calesh!

  28. macoshat
    October 14, 2010

    I remember those day when we did not have to think about aids and condoms and playing cowboy and police and mammy and daddy..

  29. hell hath no furry!!!!!
    October 14, 2010

    @Oh yes: you have me holding my sides and rolling with laughter.man those were the days as i remembered it.

  30. Fairplay
    October 14, 2010

    RUBBISH!!! Why don’t you go back to ‘Master and Slave’ days?

  31. Loved the good old days
    October 14, 2010

    i remember Very well ,These we the best days of my life as a child growing up in Dominica. These days you could have ask your neighbour for a dasheen or a hand of banana in exchange for what your neighbour don’t have like salt or season or cocoa and spices this was great. everyone used to leave their doors wide open and no one stoled anything from you. Everyone were so honest .everyone look out for each other. kids used to play games like hopscott Ect. together. Some People didn’t have much but was very contented .We all had fun. these where the good old days,Oh i wish it could come back. These were the best days of my life.

  32. Far East
    October 14, 2010

    those days dont sound all that…would you go back to them now if you had a chance? throw ur laptops out and kick ur plasma TV’s and sit with a candle and see how fast u run back to technology…

  33. mystery
    October 14, 2010

    that ‘s right my friend in God ‘s new world

  34. Dominicans!!!!!
    October 14, 2010

    Yes those days when having 11 – 13 -15 children did not mean that the family would starve!!! because the amount of bags of food and smoke meat and fresh meat and vegetables that would come from relatives from the country was more than enough.

    When you could have a party every weekend and not spend so much? because everybody would bring a bottle or a dish and we would all have a great old time with no fighting.

  35. NatureIslander.NC
    October 14, 2010

    @Justice 4 all: You’re so right! I remember Ma—- would report me and my siblings if we walked by and didn’t give her a personal greeting; needless to say, we got a scolding when we got home.

  36. DD
    October 14, 2010

    I certainly remember and miss those days. I remember when we were only allowed to watch television on weekends. I remember during holidays playing ciricket, rounders, hopskotch, I Declare a certain piece of land, moral, tag etc. If we did not have a wind ball for the rounders, no problem. We would put plastic bags into one plastic bag and form it into a ball. Also, not one mangoe store would be spared when is mangoe season, you remember mango salad. Fishing on your pee-pee-re and roasting the catch by the bay one time, no seasoning necessary, it was already seasoned with sea salt. Roasing breadfruit and hitting each other with the hot ‘che’. Good times good times. Also, roasting kenip seeds. We had so much to do during the holidays that we hardly ever watched Television. Don’t even talk about bathing in the sea every day for the entire summer holidays until your hair turned red. hahahaha We had children back in those days. Nobody was anxious to grow up.

  37. Oh yes
    October 14, 2010

    I do remember those days:
    1 Having to pick you own lyan zing zing for the teacher to beat you with.
    2 The dirt yard shining like mirror in the morning time, after the neighbourhood kids played ring games all night before
    3. Having to wash dishes under “boozye” at the stand pipes and next morning go and pick up all the spoons and forks that go down in the swamp dasheen
    4. When everyone would tell you your mother said to walk with you whip (because you were late from school or brownie meeting) and you would put broom seeds under your tongue and between your toes to maway (tie) your mom for you not to get blows.
    5. When you go and buy bread and you would get an extra one on it and you would not dare to eat it.
    6. When a tin of vienna sausage used to share for the whole family.
    7, When the milk was so clear (no chocolate) that you could see “Made in China” written at the bottom.
    8. When your parents used to block the holes in your plate with dasheen and if you eat the dasheen by mistake, all the sauce dirtying your clothes.

    Woy…those were really the days.

  38. sad state, now smiling...
    October 14, 2010

    I am smiling as I certainly do remember those days, fond memories.
    Every time I hear children cursing, as if they are saying ‘this’ and ‘that’, I remember with a smile, the day my mum washed, yes, actually washed my mouth with soap for calling my brother the ‘n’ word during an argument, I was about 12 at the time. Can you imagine what life will be like when our older generation is gone and the youth of today, who will not have that upbringing and no memories of what life was like…… and should be like…… filled with happiness, family, friendship, love, sense of community, respect, tolerance, humility, aversion to violence, pride…….we are getting an insight into what life will be like for the future. That is why we all have to play an integral part in change, to change the course of life here in what was paradise. Let us work to bringing community back, love and respect and all the values. Lets us stamp out violence by bringing wrongdoers to justice, so young people understand, “crime does not pay”…….. lets us not just remember those days of past, let us work to making today similar.

  39. Mystelics
    October 14, 2010

    I had the same message in my song called , ‘Watching Over Me’. The way I see it? the only way these days can come back, is when the technologies we have don’t take precedence in our lives anymore.

  40. Jewel
    October 14, 2010

    As a child growing up on the North, I do remember those days and like someone said, “we need those days back.” Children back them were appreciative of the little they had. We never complained or begged anyone for anything. We had respect and manners, lots of it. We were helpful, caring, and empathetic towards the elderly and the less fortunate. We were our neighbors keeper, so to speak.

    Children back then did everything…cook, garden, clean, wash clothes by hand, and take care of their younger siblings. It was our duty and we never complained or ask why this or why that. We just did it with excellence and diligence!

    Today, it’s a whole different ball game. Many of the youths today have no ambition or pride in themselves. They are lazy, disrespectful, unappreciative, and cruel. They take life for granted and their family and friends. They don’t know about their history or culture and really don’t care;It’s really sad but it is true. They have no sense of direction and no dreams!

  41. lisad
    October 14, 2010

    Sadly, not everyone of us has good memories of growing up as children in our villages. Some of us were stigmatized because of the family we were born into. WE were called harsh names and looked upon as outcast or children of belial. Oh how these negative words destroyed kids!!!. i hope these things are not happening today because knowledge has improved.nevertheless, river bathing, catching titiwee, skipping, collecting mangoes, gwen bwa marie , fatpoke, etc ,calling all elderly people soucouyant….. that was fun.

  42. A Girl
    October 14, 2010

    Oh yes… those were the days. I remember those days. Gone are the days when you’d be sent to church looking speck with your collection money, but you change it along the way to buy some candy on the way home. Those were the days when home made frozen joyce or ice cream was a treat after lunch; or it was customary to go on the beach or in the gardens. I loved those days when school was on holiday and we’d go up to the country. Gone are the days when young folks were conscious of their elders and payed respect in their presence. Where have those days gone???

  43. .
    October 14, 2010

    Yes I remember yesterday. What a nice time it was.

  44. Lizavier4Jesus
    October 14, 2010

    Oh yes I do. I grow with the must, to say the good mornings and good afternoons to everyone who looked like an older adult. There was also those misters and meyehs before saying the name of that adult. Never got the beating from no one, because I was well conformed to the habit

    I remember the time when only my uncle had a radio in his house, and the rest of his relatives, who lived in the neighborhood, all depend on that radio, especially when the cricket season was on. I would listen for the screaming of my cousin–his name is Clem Harve–to know that someone, like Irving Shillingford had hit a four or six runs. Not to mention when the game was finally over and Dominica had won.

    I remember during the summer holidays, on the afternoons when all the adults of my relatives and friends would join us children, to play rounders in our yard. If not, we had a very large and shady branches of a pear tree in our yard. Everyone would gather under that tree to talk and joke together until some of us would fall asleep through the fresh breeze and the music of the birds singing in the pear tree.

    Yes, yes indeed, I remember yesterday, the days when people used to demonstrate the Life of Love–the blessing of God. But today, I wonder! Whatever happened to yesterday?

  45. SASSY
    October 14, 2010

    We need those days back, seriously

  46. watching you watching me
    October 14, 2010

    Yes, I definitely do remember those days. Happy, simple days. Not a care in the world or thought about or effect from other countries. Aaah, bless!! But as the world moves on so should we and I’m glad Dominica is moving on albeit slowly. What we should have uphold at all cost – while on our journey to move on – is where we came from, our history, our struggles. All these spells out DISCIPLINE!! Discipline has gone missing. Unfortunately we forgot it in our rush to change. Discipline was thrown out the window by us all from the grown man/woman who sexually abuse the young to the young who has no respect for their elders as no respect has been given.

    Now, what we have to do is hold on tight and hope that the next generation will find and bring back DISCIPLINE.

  47. only
    October 14, 2010

    Those were the days and we need to get back to them to survive as a culture and a country.

    The electronic devices have only served to divide people. Yes, cell phones are handy and so are computers, in moderation. But look at how long we did without them. The younger generation is being raised with them as though they are a necessity of life. This is not so.

    Remember the saying “divide and conquer” and put it in a global perspective. Who really benefits from the destruction of the family and degradation of society? It won’t be you, it will be the corporate globalists.

    You wonder why there is so much violence and why the children seem to be “lost.”
    It is fairly obvious. Too many distractions in the form of electronics and too little community and coming together as human beings.
    Get back to a simpler life before your life and those around you is forever destroyed.
    Wake up before it is too late.
    Time to start the monthly neighborhood barbeques and discussion sessions. Begin to know your neighbors again.

  48. agreed
    October 14, 2010

    Yes Yes I remember those yesterdays- those were fun yesterdays, safe yesterdays; better yesterdays. I would not be afraid to walk from Gutter to Kennedy Avenue at night alone as a female. I would go to church and know I’d have to spend the entire hour and a half because everyone was looking and my mother would be sure to know before I reach home and I’d have nothing to say but accept the discipline from mother and Ma Rose. Wish our youth of today had that kind of yesterday; these were great yesterdays.

  49. Yes I remember
    October 14, 2010

    Yes i remember,

    Can you remember? when you would not fear leaving your house open on a sunday and go to church or the shop and not be worried of being robbed?

    Can you remember? school holidays when the relatives from the city would come up to the country and have family get togethers?

    Can you remember? being around the older ones and to exclude you for the talk they would begin to speak in patois?

    Can you remember? that if my parents had an issue with your parents, that does not give me the right to pass Ma so and so on the road with out greeting her?

    Can you remember? that after school if we were caught misbehaving on the street, before we reach home we would have gotten about three beatings from your elders? and if we dear told mommie /daddy we would get more beatings!?

    All i can say now is we have lost it somewhere…. one day i was walking through the city and heard young school children cursing and getting on, i stop and corrected them and the language that came from their mouths i would not repeat! we are so lost! JAH HELP US

  50. Justice 4 all
    October 14, 2010

    I remember all right. I was sent to the shop. I said good morning to everybody, but a particular person wanted me to say good morning personally to him which I didn’t. Now cell and house phones were non-existent. But before I reached home, my aunt got the message, and look blows on me like old clothes. I shall never forget that day.

  51. sweetness
    October 14, 2010

    boi i can remember all that and more……when there were times wen u better be inside by 6 pm well sponge and powdered,if caught outside is licks. and wen is a moonlight nite all neighbours come together playing ring games and so on. Man look good times in the yesterdays…..i wish it will one day come bac to dat but is probably in God’s new world

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