“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.”

Huzzah!! Huzzah!! I’m celebrating an accomplishment. Yesterday I did three loads of laundry. The last load, sheets, is still in the dryer, but everything else is put away upstairs. I even changed my bed. This morning I have already had my annual eye doctor’s exam, an 8:30 appointment. I don’t know what I was thinking. I set my alarm, my Alexa, but woke up before she said good morning.

When I went to get the papers, I was surprised how warm it is. Right now it is already 55˚, and without a wind, it feels almost tropical, only maybe not tropical, but it is warm.

When I was a kid, I would have rushed home on a day like today to play outside for awhile. Darkness came early this time of year, and we could only play outside until the street lights came on. I remember playing Red Rover. We’d call to the other team, and our voices sounded loud and seemed to echo in the twilight. Every kid got picked for a team. The strategy was, once called over, to run through the smallest kids as fast and as hard as you could. If you broke through that was how you added to your team. If you didn’t break through, you were now on the other team. The games was over when one team was down to its last man.

Red light, green light was another game we played. It was always controversial. When the caller yelled, “Green light,” we could move toward the caller, but if the caller yelled, “Red light,” we had to stop immediately. Whoever didn’t was out. That where the controversies took place. Kids would yell they hadn’t been moving, and both sides would argue. A lot of times, someone would get really mad and go off in huff. That’s when the game ended.

We had to stay close to home on those afternoons, within hearing distance. The mothers seemed to have plotted together or maybe there were rules only mothers knew because, at about the same time, all the mothers yelled out their front doors for us to come home. It was the front doors because we played in the street on those afternoons. Our back yards were too small. Back then we lived on a cul-de-sac with a tiny rotary. A fence ran around all the backyards so we preferred the street. My neighborhood was filled with kids so we always had somebody to play with every afternoon. I remember all of us running in different directions home. I also remember how warm the house felt and how wonderful supper smelled.

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2 Comments on ““We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today started out beautifully with sunshine when I awakened at almost seven o’clock. The temperature was in the low 50s but warmed up to the low 70s. Of course, now at 5:30 the sun is setting. Sadly, standard time is back again.

    Yesterday we drove through our historic downtown Grapevine and they are already installing the Christmas lights above Main Street. Grapevine calls itself the “Christmas capital of Texas”. 🙂

    I didn’t play any games as a kid growing up in the suburbs of North Dallas. However, when I returned to NYC we would play street games such as punch ball or stoop ball, using a pink rubber ball. Wen I was in Junior High in New York we would flip baseball cards. I wish I had those cards today. They would be worth some real money. Now unfortunately, I’m sounding like my uncle Sam. He worked in the printing and office supply business in the financial district of lower Manhattan. He worked on a Wall Street since he graduated from high school in the 1920s. He always told me he could have bought shares in IBM for almost nothing in those days. He said, who wanted to own shares in an adding machine company. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      It will be warm the next few days, in the high 50’s. If they are anything like today, I am looking forward to the week.

      I’m with you in not liking such an early darkness. I used to be Abe to figure out the time from the sunlight, but not any more for now.

      Because I haven’t been in many stores, I have missed the rush to Christmas. The town doesn’t put up lights because we have no real downtown, just stores here and there. Hyannis does put up lights and has a Christmas walk. My town has had one except for last year. I haven’t seen anything about this year yet.

      I remember visiting my grandparents in the city and playing stoop ball. I also remember using half a pink rubber ball and a broom stick for street baseball.

      My grandfather passed on AT&T shares at the start of it all. He also passed on Polaroid. No excuse!

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