So, today's list is a few things I miss. As with all of the Friday lists, this is not complete, there is no particular order and I reserve the right to add to, take away or amend items at any time. Check out my list and then make your own. You could even use some time this weekend to bore your children or some friends with your list. I'm hoping to use mine for a couple of pleasant day dreams (and then I'll go over it again with my kids).
THINGS I MISS:
- Screen doors on houses (that are missing the paint right around the handle) and squeak a little bit and make a loud bang when they are let go.
- Cabooses. Apparently they held no real importance, but they meant a lot to me. They helped make sense of things and helped us all know that things were in order.
- Footies with balls on the back and white Adidas with royal blue stripes.
- Eating fruit at the 'right' times. I liked it when it was special to eat a watermelon, a peach or a tomato and you had to eat them when they were grown. I know in my heart that I haven't tasted as good a piece of fruit in my adulthood as I tasted in my childhood. It has been suggested that perhaps I am remembering it with fondness, recalling other feelings that went along with the eating of the fruit. No way - they tasted better. I hate to sound like Andy Rooney, but I'm just right about this.
- The little corner booths in the front of Pizza Huts. If you don't know what I'm talking about, my thoughts are with you. I'm sorry, but you haven't truly lived. I can think of nothing that feels quite like getting to the Pizza Hut and realizing that one of the two booths was open and you and your sister were going to get it - nothing. There wasn't a ton of wiggle room, but the pizza definitely tasted better in that spot. It did.
- Strumming a tennis racket and singing along, while performing a rousing rendition of "Crazy Horses" by the Osmond Brothers. Guitar Hero? Whatever.
- Going to people's houses and looking up on top of their refrigerator and seeing that shiny cool Charles Chips tin. What happened to those?
- Those nice men (usually there was one in each church or sitting by the door at a gas station) who gave you a nickel or a dime or a quarter. I think some of them gave away a piece of hard candy. They were nice and said, "Here, get you something nice with this." Somehow, they weren't creepy and everybody loved them. They were always prepared; and lots of times, you could hear the coins jingling when they reached into the pocket. Some of them had side talents to go along with the gift, like talking like a duck or pulling the coin out of your ear or repeating long tongue twisters.
- The slide at "Wheeler Park" in Douglas, Georgia (where my grandparents lived). It was at least five million four thousand two hundred and thirty six feet high and was undoubtedly the coolest piece of play equipment ever invented. I count myself among the few, the proud, the privileged ones that got to spend afternoons on that skyscraping edifice before sensibility came into play. If there was a slide like that today, I'm afraid I would see children harnessed to their mothers and being brought down slowly, one child per two minute period. Never will there be a cooler thing. If I knew where that slide was, I believe I'd buy it and put it in my yard as art. And if it has been melted down for the metal, I hope I never find out about it.
- Walking home from school. I did not walk home from school uphill both ways in the snow. I did not carry a tuba. I just headed out of the back of Gaines School, loitered a bit on the playground, met with other kids, cut through the woods that went from the road behind the school to our neighborhood and meandered along home. Ponderosa Drive was a long, winding hill and what started as a loose gang of twenty or so kids, eventually wound down to just a few. Sometimes we laughed and talked. Sometimes one person was mad at another. One time we saw a dog get hit in front of the Tumlin's and helped wait with the injured dog until a vet arrived. Sometimes we might stop at someone else's house to look at something or have a snack or watch tv and sometimes we might just walk straight home. No parents were involved. No worried grown ups watched us from behind trees; we just walked along. We were learning about what to do on our own. I guess we must have had to hurry some times, but I can't remember that. It all seemed kind of slow. I'm thankful, and I wish my kids got to do it, too.