“No matter how old you are, if a little kid hands you a toy phone… you answer it.”

I apologize for the lateness of the hour. I attended a birthday party for my grandnephew. It started at eleven, and I stayed later than I thought I would. I just got home.

Today is a chilly day. It is cloudy, damp and humid. Not even the smallest breeze is blowing. When I went by a couple of ponds, I was struck by the stillness. Today is a day best spent indoors.

I finished a book last night and have yet to start another. I have stacks of books upstairs by my bed and some more books down here on the table. I’ll hunt through to find my next read.

Some toys transcend time. Bicycles come to mind first. I remember my first bike. I remember seeing it by the Christmas tree. The kickstand was down. The bike took up one whole side of the tree. There was a ribbon on the handle bars. My sled was wooden. It was a Radio Flyer with metal runners and a super-steering mechanism at the front which had one hole on each side where the rope was so we could haul the sled back up the hill. My brother had a Radio Flyer wagon, a red classic wagon with a handle you used to pull it. I had a Ginny doll. It came with beautiful clothes and some furniture including a bed and wardrobe. Most of my friends also had Ginny dolls. Our first board games were Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land. I think they were everyone’s first games.

Kids still get bicycles only now the bikes come in heights. Many of the bikes have training wheels. Our bikes were one size, tall, and had no training wheels. Wooden sleds have been crowded out by saucers, plastic toboggans and snow tubes. Red Flyer wagons, though, look the same even now and are still part of the childhoods of kids today. I gave my grandnephew his first Red Flyer wagon today.

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14 Comments on ““No matter how old you are, if a little kid hands you a toy phone… you answer it.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    A Red Flyer Wagon is practically a requirement for childhood, I think. We had one. Just one for the three of us. We didn’t fight over it, though, because it was mostly used to pull my little brother around. My main memory of the wagon was pulling him home in a bad thunderstorm because he had seriously cut the bottom of his foot a few days before and couldn’t walk on it. We’d been at my cousin’s house around the block and when it started thundering my aunt told us to go home. I never did understand that logic.

    My bikes didn’t come in sizes either. Usually I got boy’s bikes because they had to be handed down to my brothers. The bikes were always previously owned and way too big. Blocks on the pedals too big. But one day my father presented me with a secondhand woman’s Raleigh that was not too big. Oh, frabjous day!

    Today is chilly and dreary for sure. Nothing much is happening in the neighborhood at least as far as the humans are concerned. There’s an unusual amount of bird activity outside though.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      My brother had a Red Flyer Wagon which was handed down to my sisters. They mostly pulled their dolls.

      I don’t understand your aunt’s logic either. It was a thunderstorm and probably lightning. There you were pulling a metal wagon.

      My four year old grandniece has started with a small bike. She didn’t have training wheels and managed to learn to ride quickly. Declan, my six year old grandnephew, started with training wheels. He now rides without them, but the training wheels meant it took longer for him to ride without them.

      We all got new bikes. My brother got one with turn signals. Mine had no bells and whistles, but it did have a wonderful basket on the front.

      I am wearing a sweatshirt as my house is chilly. All the windows and doors are closed but the cold just hangs around.

  2. Birgit Says:

    I had to look up and read more about Radio Flyer wagons, looks like a great gift!

    Cold and rainy here, my clothes were soaked twice and even the inside of my backpack was wet so I had to dry my music scores. I already miss summer.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      They are a wonderful toy. Kids use the wagons for years and then pass them on to younger siblings. I figured Jaxon needed a traditional gift for his first birthday.

      It never rained here but it stayed damp and chilly all day.

      How about a waterproof backpack?

      • Birgit Says:

        I have different backpacks for different occasions so I don’t have to repack them, some are waterproof. I just like my chorus backpack, it’s multi-colored with lots of flowers. I will try to make it more water-resistant with a spray I used for shoes, a plastic bag inside should help too. I hate to use an umbrella.

      • katry Says:

        I never use an umbrella either, but I also get soaked on occasion. I have a couple of different backpacks. My favorite is black leather. It keeps the rain out.

  3. Bob Says:

    Instead of the metal wagon our kids had a plastic version with removable high side rails. We hauled both our kids and their stuff in that wagon until the plastic wheels wore out.

    When I was a kid I had a set of Lionel electric trains. The cast iron steam locomotive had little pills that you inserted in the smoke stack and the train made smoke as it ran around the oval. The tender contained a whistle that was operated from the transformer.Each year my dad would by me an additional car for my birthday. When I was a kid bikes came in sizes. My first bike was a 20 inch with training wheels and when I grew it was replaced by a three speed 26 inch bike. My son learned how to ride a unicycle at age nine or so and once he mastered it he lost interest.

    Of course as I got older the cost of my toys increased exponentially. 🙂

    A cloudy dreary 75 degree day but no rain yet.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      They actually have a Radio Flyer with removable wooden side rails, but it was too expensive. I didn’t even think about any other wagon so I went right to Radio Flyer. A plastic one would have worked just fine.

      I never saw bikes in anything but regular sizes, and when I was a kid, nobody had training wheels. We just got on our bikes and hoped for the best with my mother holding on to the back of the seat.

      I always wanted trains.

      All of our toys now cost far too much money.

      It was in the low 60’s today but felt colder because of the dampness.

      • Bob Says:

        Until the day my father passed away I never let him forget how much money my old train set, which he threw out when he sold our house, would be worth today. 🙂 In reality they were not that valuable but he didn’t ask me if I wanted them.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        Yup, your Lionel set would be worth big money today as antique trains are really popular.

  4. Hedley Says:

    It’s 3 am in Jerusalem and the Lions are playing those rascally Pats I didn’t drown in the Dead Sea, but I did of course manage to find a gigantic hole by the waters edge and fall in to it.

    Tomorrow shall be a day of deep emotion as we visit the Holy Sepelcre and then progress to the wall where I shall place the names of my family swept away in the Holocaust.

    Ok, enough being serious, Lions 28-10

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      The Lions are well ahead: 13-0 in the 2nd quarter. I keep switching from the Pats to the Sox who are trying to set a new franchise record in number of wins. They are playing Cleveland and the score is 3-3 at the top of the 7th.

      Nix on your prediction.

      I totally understand how deeply emotional tomorrow will be for you.

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, thanks for writing about your trip and please continue to do so, I love to hear about it. Have a good journey!

      Unfortunately no good news from my little part of the world. Supported by parts of politics and society we are driven into dark times again as if our terrible past never happened.
      Babylon Berlin on TV starts next week.


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