“Play is the work of the child.”

The air is so thick with humidity nothing is moving. The house is dark. Rain is predicted for this evening. Yesterday the rain was torrential. The dogs wouldn’t go out. Nala poked her head out the dog door then walked backwards into the kitchen. Her head was soaked. They did go out before the three of us went to bed. They had no choice.

I went to the dump yesterday during the lightest part of the rain storm. I also got a few groceries, mostly pet food. Today I have nothing planned.

When I was a kid, I used to eat sardines, those gross headless fish packed tightly in oil in an oval can. I ate them on Saltines. To open the can you had to detach a metal key stuck to the bottom of the can. The key had a hole in the top. The can had a tab you put through the hole then you rolled off the top. I was a bad roller. Most times I never managed to remove the whole top. I’d have to use a fork to get at the fish under the top. Now, I find the whole idea disgusting, gag producing.

We played the best outside games in the street in front of my house. Hide and Seek was the first game we learned. You didn’t want to be it. I always wondered if Stephen King’s It started when he played hide and seek. Red Rover was another game. Picking was the key. The strongest got picked first. You always hated to be among the last picked because you knew you’d be the target, the place to break the hold of the human chain held together with hands. Red light, Green light was also called statues. A kid was chosen to yell out the commands. He’d yell green light, and we’d all run toward him hoping to be the first to get to him. He’d then yell red light and try to catch kids still moving who’d be out. Simon Says was fun. The player who was Simon had to be clever to catch players who did what was asked without hearing Simon Says. We had so many kids in my neighborhood there were always plenty of games and plenty of players.

It didn’t matter the season. We always had the best times. My bike was used all year except in the snow. I loved being able to ride it to school and on Saturdays when I biked all over, including towns around where I lived. We roamed the woods around my house. We played Hopscotch. We sometimes played board games inside on the cold or rainy days, but if I was by myself, I’d spend the inside days reading. I’d get so engrossed in my book, I’d lose the world. That was the best part.

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6 Comments on ““Play is the work of the child.””

  1. Christer. Says:

    Sardines in oil was never a hit in my family, the ones in tomato sauce however never stayed for long, we loved them and I still do. My morfar always tried to remove every single bone he could find and it took forever for him to have his sandwich 🙂 🙂 🙂
    We managed to take our walk before the rain arrived but after we had come home it has rained on and off all day, thankfully not as much as they guessed.

    • katry Says:

      I don’t remember if the ones I ate had tomato sauce. I can’t even look at them now. I still almost can’t believe I ate them willingly. I did eat smelt which are small fish but my water used to catch them. They run in the winter in moving water. It didn’t rain today but it may rain again tomorrow.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    In our house those Sardine cans were a staple. They made a quick lunch eaten on crackers as you described. When I was a teenager in New York City, my aunt bought the kippered ones in the red sauce for my uncle. He loved very strange Eastern European foods such as calf’s foot jelly which contained enough garlic to ward off an entire team of vampires. 🙂 My aunt called it, “Pecha” in Russian or Yiddish. He also liked a cold lemon grass soup, but I can’t remember what it was called. It also smelled terrible.

    Today was another scorcher of a 108°. Unfortunately, the water in my pool was close to 100°. I don’t have a water thermometer in the pool because I don’t really want to know the actual water temperature. 🙂

    The last NFL preseason game is being played tonight between the Cowboys and the Las Vegas Raiders in AT&T stadium in Arlington Texas. A sure sign that cooler weather can’t be far off. 🙂 Next week the highs are forecasted to only be in the high 90s.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      My father always loved those sardines. I used to buy him an expensive can for his Christmas shopping. He’d grab the Sardines and snack in front of the TV. I don’t think I have had Eastern European food. I know I have never even seen calf’s foot jelly. I guess it isn’t big around here. I have also never heard of cold lemon grass soup though I have cooked with lemon grass a few times

      I was complaining about it being so humid today, and there you were with 108°. It would get that high during the dry season in Ghana, but it has never gotten that hot here. That pool water is hotter than most baths!

      I watched a bit of the Pats last night. They were not good!

    • Bob Says:

      Oops, we hit 110° again. 🙁

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