Posted tagged ‘new toys’

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

The weather doesn’t look much different being grey and overcast, and I slept away the morning having stayed up way too late last night, but I feel a bit different, a little more excited for each new day. I have no expectations so whatever happens will be a surprise. I know I’m hoping to go back to Ghana in the fall with my friends, my friends from Peace Corps days. We traveled together all the time back when, and we lived in a duplex on school grounds. They are funny and are great travelers, and they love Ghana. It feels like home to them as well. How lucky we are!

When I was a kid, New Year’s Day wasn’t especially significant to me. It meant the end of vacation so it had a pall about it. I’d had a whole week of no bedtime and playing as long as I wanted with my new toys. I’d read my new books well into the night without being told to turn off the light. One week just wasn’t enough.

It really didn’t take long for routine to grab us right back into it. Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, walk to school, sit there all day with just lunch and recess to break up the monotony, sit back down after lunch then with great hoopla run home at the end of the day hoping for some outside play time before it got dark.

The funny thing is I never thought of that as a routine. I just thought of it as the lot of every kid. Weekends also followed a pattern. On most winter Saturdays we walked uptown for a movie. The sun was always low in the sky when we’d walk home. I remember that for some reason. When I was older, we’d often skate on a Saturday. We would walk to Rec Park and skate on the temporary rink the town put up every year. It was circular, and we always skated one way.

Sundays were seldom exciting. They were masses in the morning and family dinners in the afternoon before we were free. Bedtime came early on a Sunday. My mother always used the excuse we needed our sleep for school the next day. We never bought it.

“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”

December 27, 2013

Yesterday was an odd day. I never did get dressed, but I wasn’t a sloth either. I did a variety of chores. Al the bird feeders were filled, the laundry was brought up, folded and put away, the camel’s head was glued back as was the zebra’s ear. Paw prints were cleaned off the kitchen floor, and the litter boxes were emptied and refilled. It was a banner day. The funny event was when I pulled out the barrel with the bird seed in it from underneath the grill cover on the deck. A chipmunk jumped out and ran by me as if his life depended on it. The chipmunk scared me as much as I had scared him.

Last night the house was ablaze with color. The tree lights were on in both rooms as was the wooden star, a plastic Santa, shell lights, the red pepper clump in the kitchen and the snowflake night-light in the bathroom. The house looked so lovely.

I remember the tree after Christmas with the toys still underneath it. My brother and I would sit by it and play one of our new games while my sisters played dolls. New sleds had to wait for snow but new bikes could be ridden despite the cold. The excitement of counting the days and waiting and hoping was gone, but we had all these new toys, and I always had new books so we were glad. I remember sitting in bed and being cozy and warm and reading a new Trixie Belden. The day passed almost unnoticed.

If we had snow, we’d be outside sledding on the hill behind our house or making snow forts. We older kids would sled down our street if it still had a layer of snow. That was the best ride of them all. It was a huge hill. From the top, you could barely see the bottom. I’d be wearing snow pants, my winter jacket, boots, a hat and mittens. When I walked, my snow pants made a swishing noise. My mittens would get clumps of ice attached to them, and snow found its way into my boots.

I was always freezing when I finally went into the house. I had to go through the cellar and hang up my wet clothes on the laundry lines. My skin was always beet red from the cold. I’d run upstairs to my room and put on warm pajamas and my slippers then I’d sit in front of the radiator to get warm. It was always the best day.

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