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My Blog

Playing House

Good afternoon.  I am a little late on the blog today.   So many things on my plate at the moment.  I have been working on things to submit for jury for the Grove craft show.  Working on some brand new ideas for some of the themes that will be highlighted this year.  Always a challenge. 
Today it is so sunny and lovely outdoors...I really am having a bit of a time concentrating.  I just want to go out and play.  Boy, that statement sure takes me back in time. I started to think about how different it was when we were children.  There wasn't a worry in the world...all we needed to remember was to go home when we were hungry and be in before the street lights turned on.  Every day was such an adventure.
I started thinking about those times and tried to remember what might have been considered my favorite thing to do.  There never seemed to be a time when I was growing up that I can remember ever being bored or at a loss for something to do...so the more I tried to narrow this idea down, the harder it became.  I finally decided that the one thing that I probably enjoyed the most was having the opportunity to go across the alley to play in my neighbors garage.  Now, for most playing in a garage might not seem to be the most exciting thing to do...but you see, she had a garage that was made over by her patents as playhouse.  It even had ruffled curtains on the windows.  They actually made rooms inside the garage for her and each room had a different theme.  It really was the coolest thing ever!!  Funny how when we are young...playing house was such a fun thing to do.  I can remember mimicking washing clothes and ironing....ironing...really??? as I grew up this was not something I enjoyed,.  I can remember having a basket of clothes waiting to be ironed and would use a chair and lower the ironing board down so I could sit and do it, but as a kid, I loved it.  I loved playing mommy the most...but of course the doll always did exactly as I asked it to do...not at all like real life...really??/ a child doing everything that they are asked to do??  I remember the joy of dusting and washing the windows.  But it sure did keep us busy!  We used our imaginations because all the things we had didn't really DO anything!  The dolls didn't talk, walk, cry or pee.  I remember, the biggest gimmicky item I had was a baby bottle that looked like it was filled with milk and while you tipped it to feed your baby doll...it looked as though it was being emptied!  We burped the baby after we feed it and then made a pretend burping sound.    We sat and played tea party with imaginary tea and cookies...the most real it ever got was if we played kitchen and made cookies and pies with our play doh.  We played school often.  There was a great big black board in the room and chalk and erasers.  We would take turns being teacher and the others were the students. We actually did spelling bees and math work.  Spelling bees were a really big thing back when I was young.  We would practice spelling all kinds of words and actually ask our parent to ask us to spell.  We competed just for the fun of it...and no one cared about whether the other person won...it was all just the fun found in the challenge.  Back when I was young...there weren't any real dreams about being much more than a wife and mom...that was something to aspire to...mostly because most of us wanted to be just like our mothers.  I was the odd girl out, because my mother was a working mom.  You didn't have that back in my day...that was a real rarity. 
In that garage...we learned a real taste of what life was like being a housewife and a mom in real surroundings.  I remember our other neighbors.  One was a boy named David.  Of course he was always rooked into being our husband.  Not sure how much he enjoyed it...I know he would have rather been playing super heroes, but when you were surrounded by girls...the girls RULED!!  Looking back on that...I would hope that he learned about being a considerate husband and father....which he probably turned out to be since I saw recently that he just celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary.  Funny how at the time, we never thought of any of it as anything more than just playing, but I suppose it really did mentor us into the adults that we are now. 
Watching how the new generation of children play.  Noses into the electronic games...I have to wonder.  The may be a whole lot faster on the keyboard than we are...but our minds might just be a little sharper...we can add and subtract and multiply and divide in our heads with out using a machine.  We know how to clean with old cleaning products like soap and water and the main ingredient...elbow grease.  We know how to read and remember stories like those from Mother Goose and the Grimm tales.  We grew up jumping rope and play hopscotch to learn co-ordination and motor skills...and never worried about politically correct songs...because they were just that....SONGS. 
That may have been a garage, but what her parents gave us was a life lesson in adulthood with it.  Years went by, and they eventually sold their home and moved and the new owners tore apart those rooms and returned it to the standard garage.  It was a sad day in the neighborhood...Even Mr. Rogers would have had nothing to sing about that day!

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