Monday, November 12, 2012

Childhood toys

As a child growing up the youngest of a family of five kids, I didn't have a lot of toys. The oldest one I can remember was a bedraggled stuffed dog named Fluffy. He was white with black ears. Even in my earliest memories, his name no longer suited him, because he fit perfectly under my arm and I carried him around with me everywhere - all the fluff was long gone from constant doses of hugging and snuggling. I can vaguely remember when he still had one brown plastic eye. And then there were Marcie and Ellen (pictured above - I've had her for more than 45 years now). My baby dolls didn't come in a box that said, "Drinks, Wets, Walks, Talks!" - but they could do anything I wanted them to, thanks to my imagination. Of course, in those days, all good little girls grew up to be nurses, teachers, secretaries, or mommies - or a combination of a couple of those titles - or maybe all of those rolled into one. I played house in an area drawn in the dirt with a stick. Or on those wonderful occasions when I could find string, I made walls by tying the string to nearby bushes, sticks pounded into the ground, nails that were working their way loose from the packhouse, or lawn mower handles. Marcie and Ellen were my children, and they sat quietly and obediently while I made spaghetti from the little "flowers" from the pine tree, or their favorite - chocolate mud pies. On weekends, sometimes my cousin (and best friend) would come home with me from church, and of course I shared my dolls with her. One particular Sunday, she had the nerve to spank MY doll. I can't remember why... just that I chased her all over the yard. Don't remember whether I caught her, and if I did, what I did next. I remember only that I was tremendously upset that she had punished my child. My brothers had different toys, of course - no dolls for them! Bro #2 had a toy rifle. In fact I think we all had cap guns and water pistols, and we often played cowboys-and-Indians or cops-and-robbers. There were lots of places to hide, lots of trees and bushes and outbuildings. Once I remember Bro #2 chasing me around the house with his rifle. Round and round we ran... and as I was making my way around the back of the house for the second or third time, with Bro #2 in hot pursuit, someone yelled that our aunt had arrived. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to go back, and when I did, Bro #2 slammed into my face with that toy rifle. My left eyebrow still has the scar. In those days, life was so different. We didn't have much in the way of material things, but, oh, the things we could imagine! These days, I have my computer to "play" with. It gives me freecell, spider solitaire, and lots of other ways to waste time. I generally choose the computer over television - here we have five channels; no cable or satellite reception. And my computer links me to the world - including 360. What kinds of toys did you play with as a child?

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