CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A family member phoned one night, rather late, and said he was coming by to drop off some things. My first impulse was to unlock the door and continue reading my engrossing book, but on second thought, I decided that wasn't a good idea.
What if a stranger decided to walk in?
Oh, how times have changed! When I was growing up, we never would have worried about such a thing. We didn't even lock our doors.
In the summertime, at night, we used the little latch on the screen door and left the big door open all night. We had to. It was hot and we had no air conditioning. Besides, there was nothing to fear. We lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone else and we took care of each other.
Imagine leaving your doors unlocked now. Mine are usually locked, even in the daytime. My children have their own keys. I wish we didn't live in such an untrustworthy world.
As a child, I walked quite a distance to school, sometimes alone. In those days, no one ever thought a child from an ordinary family, like mine, would be kidnapped or harmed in any way. In a small town, like the one I lived in, everyone looked out for all of the children not just their own. It was a much safer world then.
My friend and I used to spend Saturday afternoons at the movies eating popcorn, watching a movie, sometimes more than once, and interacting with other school friends, who spent their Saturdays the same. It was great; something to look forward to every week.