Growing up I played to the point of exhaustion on a daily basis, usually with my sister and cousin in tow. Spring still brings a thrill for me. Daylight Savings always meant a bonus hour of outdoor play. I rarely wore shoes and constantly skinned my knees. Here’s just a sampling of my best play memories, in no particular order:
- Sliding down a grassy hill on homemade cardboard sleds or playing at the school playground on the weekends when we didn’t have to wait for our turn on the rings.
- Decorating a refrigerator box with crayons and spending the whole day playing house in it with our Golden Retriever.
- Climbing an oak tree to belt out a solo rendition of Shenandoah. (The neighbors can thank my inspirational public school music teacher.)
- Playing grocery checker with the toy cash register while helping Mom put the groceries away.
- Spending every holiday producing “shows” for the grown-ups. Most of our performances consisted of lip-syncing and free-form dance, but we managed to do a magic show once dressed as elves (why?).
- Taking cover in our mysterious willow tree which served as the prime location for the spooky game of the moment. We could see out, but imagined no one could see us hiding behind its thick curtain of branches.
- Making mud pies in real pie tins – and garnishing them with weeds. Then washing up to pick a colander full of blackberries for Mom to make real pie.
- Racing down our steep driveway on Big Wheels. We wore holes in our socks, using our feet as brakes. Our high-speed journey sent us crashing through the avocado grove across the street until we stopped by ramming into the chain-link fence.
- Making a batch of Sourgrass Soup (weeds, water, and ice cubes) in the back of Dad’s pickup. He would back it halfway out of the garage so we could drape a sheet off the garage door to make the truck bed a two-room fort.
- Blaring Emotion by Samantha Sang and the Bee Gees from our kid-sized cassette player, skating in our makeshift roller rink.
Have fun, play often!