Friday, July 25, 2008

Just thinkin'...

Ain't Facebook grand? The other day, I opened up my page and there was a note from a childhood friend. I have not seen this person in 50 years and I was immediately lost in a sea of flashbacks. Most did not involve her at all but went even further back. I started to think about what we used to do as kids.
I remember making these wonderful mud pies and cakes with my friend, Beverley. We'd decorate them lavishly with dandelion flowers - some looked like yellow furballs - and present them to our younger brothers. We only fooled them the first time, though. At six and seven, we were so much more sophisticated but those little guys caught on pretty quick.

Once, Beverley went to a wedding and we played brides for days afterwards. And we loved to make parades. We'd decorate our tricycles with paper and whatever else we could find. Lots of greenery and field flowers were available so I think that they must have been used in abundance. Then we'd ride solemnly down our country road - all two of us. Sometimes, Bev decided to be the Queen of the parade and wore a crown and carried a sheaf of gladioli. This sounds very posh but these flowers grew thickly along her both sides of her long drive. We thought nothing of them except that they looked like something a queen would carry.

We played school which I loved. And store which I didn't. I guess I was never much of a merchant. I do like to shop but selling is painful. The money part was always fun, though. We would make our own paper money - this was before anybody had a Monopoly game - and share it amongst the kids playing that day. School was good because I could be the teacher. Since, we'd only just started school, our notions of how it really worked were kind of hazy. But I do remember 'teaching' spelling to the kids. My own kids will agree that I never really stopped doing that.

Dress-up was an occasional game but it wasn't shared with my friends. It must have been a rainy day activity and I think my mother was part of it. She would provide me with a party dress of hers and a pair of dressy shoes to stumble about in. I guess the thinking was that I was inside the house and couldn't hurt them as long as she was supervising. There was a navy dress with sheer sleeves and overskirt that I remember. And open-toed pumps in a dark red. It was just the clothes, though. No lipstick or hairdo's. Definitely NO nailpolish. Of course, when pretending to be 'a lady', I had to have a hat, gloves and a handbag. I have a vague memory of the hat having a little veil.

But, I don't actually remember any rainy days when I was a child. All the games were played outside in glorious sunshine. Even the winter time was sunny. Funny, that. Given our climate, there must have been a lot of wet days but I really can't even imagine them. Sunny days and hours of freedom to play whatever we could dream up. We had very little in the way of toys but we had a lot of creativity and our parents expected us to use it.

*photo is of my mother and her cousins.

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