This Sunday I'm feeling a gentle sadness in my heart for the days that were and will never be again. Those hot summer days in Bedford, Massachusetts were full of adventure, especially when you're 5 years old. When I close my eyes I can picture the woods behind the house. There was cool, soft moss growing around the big trees, Lilly of the Valley scattered in bunches and blueberry bushes by the cabillions! My friend Cece and I would venture behind our duplex to the creek in search of tadpoles, there were so many you could just scoop them up in a jar. With a child's imagination the woods are a wonderful place to pretend in. I think they were much like where Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men may have lived. Or possibly where Sleeping Beauty may have slept waiting for Prince Charming to kiss her and save her from the Evil Step-Mother's spell.
When we moved to our new home on Hanscom Air Force Base, there was a playground with swings! Oh those glorious swings how I loved them. We would sing and swing, higher, higher and higher, until we were high enough to go over the top, sometimes more than once. (Don't tell Mom!) One time, some of us kids got the idea it would be fun to put on a show, just like they did in Spanky and Our Gang. We each came up with our own little parts, thinking back I'm sure it was just silliness, but, oh we had so much fun. We would dress up in clothes and high heels, borrowed from our Mom's closet. I don't remember if we asked first, maybe better keep that quiet. We would pool our nickels and pennies and go to the PX and buy “Fizzies” and candy for our audience. I don't recall if we charged for them, but really what's a play without snacks?
Do you remember “Fizzies”?
If I could pick just one year from my youth it would be the year I was 5. By the time you're five you're really too big for naps any more. You also know that a tuna fish sandwich tastes much better when the crust is cut off and the bread is cut in triangles. You know that milk is more fun to drink through a straw, especially if you know how to blow bubbles with it, and Mom doesn't catch you. You're not to big to be carried to bed on Dad's shoulders. And best of all – next year you get to go to school, just like your big brothers! Yep, I'd sure love to spend the day in 1957.
Thanks for indulging my little trip back to the olden days........