Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Watching the World Wars series on the History Channel, and being reminded of our troubles here and far away, I reminisced about my childhood.  I thought I had troubles then.  Ah, how easy it was, how carefree.

We went up North every weekend to visit the relatives, the grandparents my favorite.  The days before lugging car seats around, I sat on my mom's lap as we traveled Highway 10 before the interstate, through every little one-horse town.

Hot fudge sundaes at the Dairy Queen in Moorhead, where even now it is still a walk-up counter and not a walk-in restaurant.  The place that never changes, even when my parents were young.

I played with my favorite toys, Barbie.  I had tons of them, my sister giving me hers.  Tons of clothes and accessories, two houses and a motor home.  I was the envy of every girl in town.  My cat was envious too, as she dragged my doll clothes down the stairs in a futile attempt to get my attention. 

I played with paper dolls as well.  I had a whole box full of them, hidden away in the attic when I grew too old.  Again, in an attempt to get my attention, my cat pounced on them and chewed holes through their heads.  Sadly, my mom threw them away.

But she saved my Barbies, my train set, my Little People sets.  I had the school, house, village, and parking garage.  The garage was my favorite as I woke up at the crack of dawn every morning to turn the clakety crank of the elevator up and down, watching the cars go barreling down the ramp.

Ah, those carefree days of Spaghettios and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Eating all the cookies and bars I wanted.  Watching my favorite TV shows: Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman.  I wanted to be powerful like them.

Playing fetch and tug-of-war with the dogs, riding my bike up and down the street, skating around and around in my garage, pretending I was Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.

It saddens me, how kids nowadays don't have these simple pleasures.  They could, but peers speak louder than parents.  I know, I cared too much what they thought, while I saw my parents as uncool. 

How dumb I was, but I think we all go through this.  Our parents don't know anything.  We think we know everything.

Now I know better.  My parents were cool.  They were fun.  They were definitely unique.  And that made it OK for me to be unique.

If you would like to reminisce about old toys, go to the exhibit at the MN History Center in St. Paul.  They have a plethora of old toys from the 50s to the 70s.  So fun to see the life size Barbie houses I played with, the Little People sets, and all the other fun toys before they disappeared into the dumpster of yesteryear. 

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.

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