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> Rites Of Passage
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Swanny 
Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 08:43 PM
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As we walk the trail of life many different rites of passage mark the milestones. Which ones do you most remember, and why?

- The first time my adopted adopted uncle took me fishing. He didn't go fishing with "little kids".

- "Making" the old-timer's league baseball team. I was the only the right fielder, but what the heck, at least I made the team. Not every kid did back then.

- Finishing my first hunter safety course, because I was then allowed to go hunting on my own rather than being under the direct supervision of an adult. (My Mom was a divorce'. Finding someone to take a kid into the woods back then was often difficult.)

- My adopted uncle telling me to "saddle up" the first day of round-up and receiving my pay-check at the end. That was a really big deal. Everyone worked come roundup time, but this was a major graduation from the "fetch and carry" chores of a kid. Those of you raised out west during the '60s when many small-scale ranchers pooled their resources to lease large tracts of BLM grazing land probably understand better than the younger "city folks".

- Being seated at the formal dining table instead of the card table in the basement with the little kids on Thanksgiving. Oh yeah. That was a big one.

- Earning my driver's license and receiving a set of keys to the family car. I was usually stuck driving a half-wrecked old truck, but nonetheless I had the keys to car and free reign to take it.

- Legally buying my first beer in a local tavern. 18 was the age in Colorado at the time. 3.2 beer never tasted so good (and never will again - yuk).

- Marrying my ex. What a mistake that was. She was not a Wiccan, but she was damned sure a witch.

- My daughter's birth. Now THAT was a milestone. Probably the most important on the list.

- Graduating from paramedic school was another big one. So was graduating from the law enforcement academy four years later.

- Surviving a couple of really nasty calls relatively unscathed. This is a "guy thing". You don't really know whether or not you've 'the stuff' until you're tested. Trust me folks, it's GOOD to be alive.

- Divorcing my ex. (Yes ladies, I paid every dime of child support that was due every single month, on time and in full and never regretted a penny of it. It was a fair chunk of change but a cheap price to pay. Besides, it was well spent. You'll learn why a bit further down the list).

- Marrying my wife a few years later. That was proof that hope can indeed conquer experience.

- Attending my daughter's high-school graduation counts for both of us, as does her graduation from the University of Missouri's Engineering program, which she attended on a full academic scholarship funded by her current employer, a little equipment manufacturer in Peori known to every red-blood male in America (Caterpillar). I'll admit it, I'm a proud pappy.

There are others that are too personal to share on a public board, but those are certainly among the most important.

How 'bout you?

Swanny


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Shadows 
Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 09:07 PM
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All societies have what is concidered rights of passage, some are cruel and abusive, some are just plain fun!

What amazes me is that the rights to adulthood grow older every decade!!!

It used to be that at age 15 you were either a failure if male or old maid if female!
Now we are well in our mid tweenties or early 30's before we even think about leaving home.

We have become a pampered and complacent society that needs to get back to reality!

The rights of passage need to take a step or two back in my opinion!


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Elspeth 
Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (Swanny @ Nov 3 2003, 08:43 PM)
- Being seated at the formal dining table instead of the card table in the basement with the little kids on Thanksgiving. Oh yeah. That was a big one.


Lots of good ones there Swanny, but I have to confess as I read the question, this is the first thing that popped into my mind. Did we all have a 'kids' table? biggrin.gif

E


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marius 
Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 09:27 PM
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funny--i never thought how many rites of passage there are in one's life. i could really put some thought into this--but dinner's soon.

too old for the kiddee menus (when my brothers weren't).

a large one at the time (but not so important in retrospect) was sitting w/ the adults instead of being the oldest person at the kids' table--i'm the oldest of any of my extended family's children, and most of the people we had over. I didn't really say anything for my first couple of years at the adults' table, and they took my wine glass away, but i was there and loving it.

going from double to single water skis. going up my first T-bar.

another happened sometime around my graduation from high school--i had a couple of very influential teachers tell me they were proud of me. there was one, my speech/debate-history teacher, who had worked my class extremely hard, always pushing us...it's a great feeling to know that you finished a race well.

sitting on the edge of a football field under the stars talking to a girl until 3am.

last year i lived in england--my first extended independence. i don't know that it was that overt of a milestone, but there are definite changes. for example, i talk w/ my parents more as friends would now--we're more on an equal footing.

spiritual rites of passage are many--but the major one for me was last year. things weren't going so well in england, so i yelled at God for an hour or so in the grey rain...and i found out that he was ok with that, and that we could actually talk to each other. i think that's the first time i'd really realized that.

this is a pretty cool idea! i might come back to this. dinner first.

cheers
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Aaediwen 
  Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 09:55 PM
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let's see... so much happened so gradually. When I start thinking of major leaps, I don't consider all of them as rites of passage per se, just significant milestones.

Walking without 'the sticks' and not having to hang onto something to stop (1988)

no more trips to a hospital or PT about my legs (~1990)

HS graduation (1998)

When I realized I had a financial obligation in *My* name (school loan I'm about to pay off) (1998)

being able to buy something on my own that cost over $50 (my VCR as I recall) (1999)

Last Saturday's night out (2003)

Obtaining employment and not trying on someone else to get to and from (although I'd rather not drive, actually) (2002)

Until this last couple of years, I've made due with what I had. I didn't really have many friends, and it didn't bother me. I learned, however, a very trite lesson. I never did or had much, because I never felt comfortable doing it myself. My parents are quite supportive, but much of what I find myself interested in, they have no clue about in order to be able to help. Everything I have now, everything I know, and what little I have; I have because I went out myself and got it, I know because I dug it up myself, and I've done because I did it alone. Most of the time, when I get ready to do something, it's not likely I'm going to find someone who has a clue how, and the ability to help me. I can find people to cheer me on all over the place, but noone who can help me. Maybe this is why I'm 'Sociologically Anal' and having to fight with the braggard within me all the time. If you're going to do something, do it right the first time, and do it yourself.


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sheronjessie 
Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 10:55 PM
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rites of passages

I think my first one is when my father walked out on our family 1967

The next one would be when my mom got cancer for the first time, she was only 38 years old. Raising six children all on her own. This showed me how strong a person can be for their children.


The next milestone was the day I married my wonderful husband. A love that will last forever, because my mom showed all of us that all marriages do not fail, especially if you always keep the lines of communications open. And never go to bed mad at each other.


When I had my twins, and then God blessed our home with another child when the twins turned two years old.

When my husband was hurt at his job, and was out of work for almost ten years. All that work my mom showed me really paid off. I went and created myself my own job after being a stay at home mom for about 13 years, and now I was the one making a living for my family. A humbling experence.

My largest milestone yet was two years ago November 20, 2001. When I and my two other sisters, and two brothers had to relie on the strength of each other and let our mother go off of her life support. Hardest thing I have ever been faced with. Also the closest I have ever been to God. And now I try to live my life pleasing God and my mother who I belive is at the right hand of God now.

If everyone good just remember to endure the things we go through, there will be the best rewards for us when we leave this place. God always knows what he is doing even when we don't.
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andylucy 
Posted: 04-Nov-2003, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE (Swanny @ Nov 3 2003, 07:43 PM)
-  Being seated at the formal dining table instead of the card table in the basement with the little kids on Thanksgiving.  Oh yeah.  That was a big one.



Yep, I remember it well. biggrin.gif

My most intense rite of passage was the first time I responded to a working structure fire as a firefighter. All of the macho talk beforehand went out the window as we pulled up to the burning house. It was almost totally involved, with fire coming out of the windows. As we pulled the hose off the truck, I felt like my insides had turned into water, and I fought an intense desire to either find a toilet or heave into my mask. sad.gif As we entered the house, the heat was incredible and we couldn't see a bloody thing. Somewhere along the way, I lost my abject fear, and concentrated on doing the building search for the resident who was supposed to still be inside (it turned out that he was at a neighbors house, and safe). As Swanny said, maybe it's a "guy thing", but facing physical danger does make you appreciate being alive all the more. biggrin.gif

I guess another major rite was the birth of my first child. It forced me to realize that there were other things more important in life than my job.

And then there was graduating from college. That was the first thing, academically, that I really had to work for.


Just my tuppence.

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Richard Bercot 
Posted: 04-Nov-2003, 03:14 AM
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Rites of Passage

I think we all have our own Rites of Passages.

I remember Grandpa walking me to my first day of kindergarten.

When Mom & Dad got their divorce. I became the Man of the House at the ripe old age of 7 with two brothers and two sisters.

Getting my First Trophy for Conservation in the field of Entomology at the County Fair at 10

Having the Government Truck pull up to the House to deliver our Free food. How many of ever eat eggs, bread, meats (if that is what you called it), powdered milk, all from surplus food cans?

Getting my first job working every day for a Farmer in order to pay the rent at 12.

Leaving Mom and my Brothers and Sisters to live with my Dad at 15.

Being told I would never be able to walk again at 15.

Being able to Run a Mile at 16.

After moving back with Mom being kick out of the House with two weeks before Graduation because I refuse to quit my $25 a week job in order for Mom to keep her Welfare on me.

Renting my first House, Financed a car, paid all my bills with 1 week's check. I even had something new to the area, CABLE TV, which cost me 11.95 every 2 months. 1975

Yes, getting to sit at the Adults Table at Grandma's for Thanksgiving.

Getting Married to a Wonderful Girl, Still married to her too, 1976.

Taking Training from the Sheriff Department. 1979

Making my first arrest. Scarred the Hell out of me. Plaintiff dropped the charges 1979.

Being told I have no more than two years to live 2000.

Well Folks, I am still here and planning on it for a long time.

There are too many others but that is for me alone. Each one of us are not alone as I use to think. We all have had our rough time. But I am sure there were plenty of good times in there too.



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birddog20002001 
Posted: 04-Nov-2003, 09:23 AM
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My major milestones were

Buying a bicycle at age 15 and getting good enough to ride several hundred miles a month, an obsession that plagues me still.

Moving from costal Texas to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina at 16 to my Grandfathers home, he was a great man and I will always stand for him.

The first time I ever jumped out of a plane Ft. Benning GA, Nov 94 until you have done it don't ask why I love it so much.

My Grandfather dying of cancer.

My little brother getting back from Iraq in one piece.

Getting married.

Having friends to share with.



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RavenWing 
Posted: 04-Nov-2003, 01:14 PM
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Here are my rites of passage:

1) Being able to tear off plastic wrap without bunching it up



2) Getting up with the women in the family to wash the dishes at family functions instead of sitting around doing nothing with the other cousins my age.


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Celeste of the Stars1 
Posted: 05-Nov-2003, 04:02 AM
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I'm still looking forward to many more, but here are some of my milestones:

Finally being able to come home from the hospital after my birth (age 2)

Finding out my stepdad wasn't my real dad, meeting my real dad and being taken away from my mom to live in Ireland all in the same day (age 6)

Seeing my mom for the first time in a year (age 7)

My little sister being born (age 11)

Watching my little brothers birth first hand (age 13)

Being the first girl on the varsity wrestling and football team in high school (I even started!) (age 15)

Winning first place at our county rodeo in bareback bronc riding (age 17)


Graduating high school (age 18)

Moving out of my moms house the first time (age 18)

Moving out of my moms house for good (age 20) biggrin.gif

Marrying my wonderful husband (age 22)

Meeting my four beautiful step children for the first time (age 23)




There are any more that are too personal to mention, plus I think I've stated plenty! biggrin.gif
The one I'm really looking forward to is the birth of my first child. Just have to get knocked up first! biggrin.gif


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maryellen 
Posted: 08-Nov-2003, 09:25 PM
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Mary Ellen's Milestones:

Little Sisters born (age 2)
Little sister born (age 10)
Little sister born (age 13)
and forever babysitting them. :-)

Also,
Graduating with my BA
Graduating with my MAE
My first crappy job at a restaurant
Quitting my first crappy job
Getting married to a wonderful guy
deciding not to have kids :-) ...for now


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Arianrhod 
Posted: 16-Nov-2003, 12:24 PM
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Life changing mile posts......

My father asking me what I thought...

Qualifying for the "indoors"

Getting into the College of my choice..

Leaving school, and finding a feild I loved ..

Losing my Da at 23 ...

A few job changes.. these do change your life a bit ..

Getting a Dog !

Buying my hoose ..

Meeting Michale..
And all those firsts, First Xmas together .. all that

2000, I lost both of my Aunts , who were like second mothers to me.. watched my mom go thru the pain of losing her sisters..
Then losing my Mother , later that year... then my dog too..

Those things changed me forever ...

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freekenny 
Posted: 18-Aug-2004, 02:44 PM
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O'siyo,
As I was reading this forum and came across this thread I saw this posting and quote;
'As we walk the trail of life many different rites of passage mark the milestones. Which ones do you most remember, and why?'
Swanny Posted: 03-Nov-2003, 08:43 PM
I would have to say one that is most memorable is realizing that, 'There truly are no doors open back home'~~ frusty.gif and well, guess it is a milestone in more ways than one because, now I realize it has molded me into the person I am today be it for the better or the worse rolleyes.gif
~~Sty-U red_bandana.gif


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deckers 
Posted: 13-Sep-2004, 01:58 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 03-Nov-2003, 09:07 PM)
All societies have what is concidered rights of passage, some are cruel and abusive, some are just plain fun!

What amazes me is that the rights to adulthood grow older every decade!!!

It used to be that at age 15 you were either a failure if male or old maid if female!
Now we are well in our mid tweenties or early 30's before we even think about leaving home.

We have become a pampered and complacent society that needs to get back to reality!

The rights of passage need to take a step or two back in my opinion!

Actually, post-Industrial Western society is the first society that doesn't have an "official" rite of passage into manhood for boys. Women have it, and it's the same the world over.

Most of us have our own milestones in our life, which we can look back and say, "THAT is when I became an adult." Things like "the first time I had sex," "the day I got my driver's license," "when I got married," "when I got drunk," "when my first child was born," etc. are all different examples.

But as far as there being a defining moment, such as a ritual, from boyhood to manhood for ALL (or nearly all) American males, there just isn't one. Writers like Robert Bly point to this as being one of our big problems with American society, and the whole mytho-poetic men's movement -- of which I was a part in the early 90s -- was based on this idea. And men sought to provide that ritual for each other with some pretty good success.

Unfortunately, the idea still hasn't trickled down to the mainstream society, and so the problem remains.


Erik Deckers


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