Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Join me for Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane!

Isn’t it funny how vivid children’s imaginations are? When they are playing “make believe” they sometimes actually think it is really happening, because they get so wrapped up in the characters they are playing.

When I was little, my brother and I would go in the backyard and make a tent and pretend that we were in the jungle, and we were surrounded by natives. We said his name was John and my name was Mary. Sometimes Mary would get captured by the natives and was tied to a stake,(which was really our clothesline pole), and then John would take his toy rifle and sneak into the enemy territory and cut Mary free from the stake and they would run to safety. Many times he would say that they were on our trail and he would shoot at them, or act like he was fist fighting, our wrestling with them. In those times of play my little brother was my protector.

When we were safe in our little tent I would use my play dishes and serve him food. He would go hunting for food for me to cook! And we would play for hours as we thought up all of those adventures of “John and Mary”.

At other times we would play like we were “Sky King and Penny”. It was one of our favorite TV shows. We’d get into our mom’s big 1956 Buick Roadmaster and pretend it was an airplane. We’d act like we were flying high in the sky. Take off and landings were always exciting as we’d have many near death experiences! Ha!

Sometimes he would play like he was "Superman". He would take my mama’s red lipstick and draw a big S on his bare chest and then he would safety pin a towel around him and pretend it was his cape. I remember him getting the ladder from the garage and climbing up on our roof and jumping off trying to fly like "Superman"! (Thank the Lord it was a one story house we lived in, and he never got hurt doing it). I was scared to death,…but once he even talked me into going up there too. But I never did jump off,…I was barely able to move because I was so petrified of heights! (:>)

Once we got some neighborhood kids together and decided we would have a circus. I was the “Fat Lady”. I strapped on two fluffy pillows with my mama’s belt, and slipped on one of her dresses and a pair of her shoes and a hat! I think we had a strong man, and a clown, and a trapeze girl, (who did tricks on the swing set), and my brother did magic tricks. We made signs to advertise our circus and we carried them down the street in a “circus parade”. We charged a nickel to get in to the circus. People actually came!

We also had puppet shows in our garage and charged money too. And also sold lemonade and kool-aid out in our front yard under our tree. We were kind of poor kids, but I guess we were always thinking of ways to make money. I remember pulling a wagon to the store to cash in pop bottles for the deposit return. And then we’d walk to the “Dime Store”, (as we called it), and get a whole bag of candy with our hard earned money! Ha!

We made go carts and had races, and made rubber band guns and shot them to see whose rubber band would go further. We played with cap guns and made all kinds of noise. Sometimes my brother would hit the whole roll of caps at once with a hammer to make an even louder noise.

We’d have competitions to see who could jump the most jumps on our pogo stick, or who could hit the paddle ball the most without missing. Or do the hula hoops and see who could go the longest. I loved to play jacks on my front porch and I thought I was an expert,… and I was quite good at it,… if I do say so myself! (:>)
My brother and the neighborhood boys would go across the street to a vacant lot and dig trenches and holes to hide in, and they would play “Army”. I would be the nurse with my little toy doctor’s kit and I would bandage their war wounds, and give them the candy pills to make them better! We would come home absolutely filthy and need a bath after spending time in the trenches!

There weren’t many girls my age on our street, and my little brother was my very best friend, so I’d catch tadpoles with him, and watch them turn into frogs, or we’d Indian wrestle on the living room rug and try to flip each other over. Or just chase each other in a game of tag or play hide and seek outside until it got dark, and them we’d try to catch fireflies and put them in a jar.

I often played baseball with the boys too. We lived across the street and just around the corner from the school yard and the baseball diamonds, so we played baseball a lot. I loved it! It was close enough that my mama could step out on the front porch and yell “Kids,…. Supper!”,…and we could hear her and come running home!

But on occasion I would make my little brother play girlie games, or school with me and I would be the teacher and he would have to be the student. But he didn’t like me telling him what to do, and so that wouldn’t last long.

We’d often act out things we saw on “The Little Rascals”. My brother looked a lot like “Spanky” back then, but of course I wanted to be “Darla”, so sometimes we’d give him freckles and twist his hair up in the back so that he could be “Alfalfa”. We’d sing and tap dance like they would. My mama had bought me some tap shoes at the thrift store, so I loved to go out on the porch or patio and make up dances in my tap shoes. And I also loved to sing so I would sit on the swing in the backyard and make up songs and sing my little heart out.

Oh the memories of my childhood! I cherish them. There were so many care free hours back then. (:>)

When I had my kids they loved playing make believe too. I loved playing with them. We played “Mother May I?”, and “Red Light Green Light” Or I’d chase them with my scary voice from the “Wizard of Oz Witch” and say,…“I’ll get you my pretty,…and your little dog too!” They would squeal with delight until I would catch up to them and find them hiding behind the bathroom door. They’d feel trapped and start to cry,…so I would smile and say,…“it’s ok,…it’s only mommy!” And we’d move on to play something less threatening.

Over the years that I have been a grandma, I have also played with my grandkids and we have let our imaginations run wild. We would line up the kitchen chairs and make believe it was a train and I would take their tickets and say “All Aboard!”,… in a loud voice and we would chug along to make believe lands.

In the future I hope I will have opportunity to play like this with my great grandkids, and share with them the delights of being a child!


Abigail Kraft said...

Great post Grandma! I've told you a thousand times, but I love hearing stories about your childhood. Your stories have become a permanent memory of my childhood.

You certainly have played a lot of interesting games with us in the past! :) Jared and I were just remembering the other day when we used to play "Patricia". I was Patricia and you were "Grandmama"--Jared switched between being the evil king who always threw us in his dungeon and the courageous prince who saved us from captivity. heehee. :)

Thanks for giving me some amazing childhood memories!
Love you bunches,

Lucy said...

What lovely memories! Isn't imagination a wonderful thing?

Lynnette Kraft said...

What a delight childhood. I love to hear stories over and over again. I am surprised you didn't mention getting a dart thrown (and stuck) in your backside! hee hee...

Thanks so much for joining us and sharing such sweet and fun memories. You ARE a fun person and I'm grateful for all the times you've played with me and my children. We all love you so much.


Julie said...

That reminds me of all the stories my brother and I use to act out. It makes me look forward to playing those with my boys!

Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

What great memories! Thanks for sharing.

Mindy said...

Imagination is so wonderful!! The world would be a sad and boring place without it =)

Thanks so much for sharing!!

GrandmaKathleen said...

I love your childhood stories. It is sad today when you see children watching too much TV and not using their imagination to play.
I loved playing jump rope, jacks, hide and seek and red light and always playing school. Of course I wanted to be teacher.
I wish my grandsons lived closer I would love to play your chair train. I will need to play it when I see them hopefully this summer. They both love trains.

happylittleprince said...

What a nice and talented family!

Kristin said...

I love the hula hoop picture! I loved reading about all of the fun things you did as a child. I found myself wishing to be a part of the fun as I was reading! It's true that kids these days just don't play like that much anymore....there are too many other distractions. You've made me determined to make sure my girls play these kinds of games more often.

Thank you for your post on my blog today. I look forward to hearing about more of your memories in the weeks to come!

Nutty mom-- said...

I LOVE the stories about you and your brother. My brother was older than me, and I SO cherished the times he would acutally want me to play with him. Hah, now that I think about it, I still do.

Sarah said...

Dear Linda, Wow, you have such wonderfully vivid memories of your childhood. I loved reading of all the games you played, immersed in a world of dreams and imagination.

You are giving your grandchildren the best gift of all in sharing your rich ability to enter a world of imaginary play, where a simple stick can be the prop in a multitude of ways, and sharing with them your rich memories.

Have fun!

P.S. Thanks for visiting me!