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What were your favorite toys as a child?
When I was growing up we didn’t have all the fancy toys that children have today. I think my imagination was my favorite toy. Our back yard had a well placed slope that coordinated with Mom’s clothesline, which made for a natural stage, curtain and all, when a sheet was hung on the clothesline. I organized plays for the neighborhood kids, mostly well known fairy tales. I remember one particular play, acting out the standard story and then improvising a comedy version of the same tale.
We would roller skate in the road and had a lot of fun jumping rope with creative rhymes.
A few years ago, God reminded me of an event as a child: Joanne McCoy lived across the street from me and she challenged me to a roller skate race. Joanne was older than I, had longer legs and she had real shoe skates. I had old skates that clamped onto my sneakers and tightened with a key, and I have always been shorter than others my age. I knew she would beat me with those odds stacked against me. I needed help! So I went over to the bushes by the road, got down on my knees and asked God to help me win. We then began our race. Lo and behold, I won! Joanne was quite affronted so she challenged me to a second race. Back to the bushes I went to pray! She yelled, ‘What are you doing over there?’ I mumbled, ‘Oh, nothing.’ And went on to win again.
It seems I have been praying all my life!
As a child, I remember having a great idea for an invention to help mankind. This invention would allow people to feel the pain of others. Someone could bear an older person’s pain and give them a reprieve to garner strength to continue to fight his or her illness. This invention would help us to be more compassionate as we better understood the struggles of others. Quite a thought for a child, it seems. Now, as an adult, God has given me the ‘gift’ of feeling others’ emotional pain, which gives me a greater understanding to minister and pray for the hurting.
Since I was closer in age with my brothers I would play baseball with them or swing on vines in the local woods. Ice skating was a winter favorite. I had double bladed skates that strapped onto my boots. Sledding was also an exhilarating sport in the cold months. Winter never stopped our activity.
I played alone easily with a little kitchen set that was left in the house we moved into in Colonie, NY. My younger brother Dave would play house with me if I let him be the horse. Imaginations! We would play cops and robbers or cowboys with toy guns or pointing fingers. Hide and seek or climbing trees were also favorites.
I remember one Christmas telling Daddy I was probably too old for dolls anymore and he said, ‘You wouldn’t want just one more?’ which meant they had already purchased one for me.
And what a doll she was! She had earrings, nylon stockings and high heels. I spent a good many hours with her, making clothes for her out of my dad’s old socks. I even found a piece of felt and made her a 50’s ‘poodle skirt.’
A child’s imagination is a special gift.
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