Youth in a Barrel, Who Knew?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eyes puffy and swollen from lack of sleep, she searched her mind for clarity. But her mind kept returning to the kitchen table where a small barrel full of wooden shapes now resided. What on earth had possessed her to purchase it and why had it kept her up all night?

Yesterday she was strolling the aisles of her local Peddlers Mall when a lonely barrel had caught her eye. Sitting there tucked away on the floor, partially hidden by a pair of gaudy drapes, she had seen the bottom rim. Without hesitating she placed the small barrel in her cart to purchase, three dollars was deal and so she took her barrel home.

Dinner over, the remnants cleaned and put away, she finally sat down to relax. Closing, then slowly opening her eyes she gazed upon the barrel. There it was, just sitting on the floor in front of her, as if to say, “Pick me up, explore the treasure you now own,”  “Why not?” She thought.

For hours she explored the wooden contents of the barrel, affording herself the privilege of letting her imagination run wild. Creating, arranging, then un-arranging; the exploration took way longer than she had anticipated.

As she awoke the next morning, reliving the night before and all the pleasures of the barrel, nagging questions crossed her mind. “At what age does complexity replace simplicity, at what age do possessions replace childhood toys and at what age do we forget to play?” No answers raised their hands.

The barrel she had purchase was a simple set of tinker toys and if only for one night the simplicity had returned. The new possession she had purchased was a child’s toy and the reason for her lack of sleep? She had spent the night playing.
What ever our age, what ever our journey, whether you are in a valley or on a high; I urge you afford yourself the luxury to play. This weekend make yourself seek out one simple, non-adult toy and play. You might be surprised at the simplicity you find when play turns a frown upside down.

Now, I’m off to find that taboo game of “Lawn Darts.” They caught my thieves and I want to invite them to a friendly game of Lawn Darts; of course I’ll be competing without my glasses.



I told my husband earlier this summer that we should buy some games to play! He didn't go for it... :-(

July 30, 2010 at 11:34 AM  
Tammy said, 

I love this! Of course we're never old until we forget how to play!

July 30, 2010 at 1:52 PM  
Gail said, 

Great read!

It became a tradition our later years in high school to buy each other toys instead of a "sensible gift", we never regretted it.

July 30, 2010 at 2:11 PM  
welcome to my world of poetry said, 

My children despair of me when we all go to the park with the grandchildren why you may ask I love to go down the children's slide. I also remember when my husband was alive he always bought a toy so he and my son could play with after Christmas lunch.
Age is nothing it is only a number if you think you're old then old you'll become. Some people feel old at thirty.

Loved your post,


July 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM  
Jules said, 

I'm so glad we all agree we need to play. Thanks for agreeing with me.

Yvonne, I'd love so see go down the slide. :)

July 30, 2010 at 9:49 PM  
Wander to the Wayside said, 

Tinker Toys! Do they still make them? My grandsons have those knex, and I've bought them Lincoln Logs, but forgot all about TTs! The seven year old grandson and I go to garage sales, our 'thing' on Saturday mornings after he spends Friday nights, and not long ago I found a box of jacks and pick-up sticks...they had never seen or heard of them! We had, he and I and the four year old, even though they didn't really get the total concept of each or follow the rules. I enjoyed watching them as much as I enjoyed just being a kid again. And they were very impressed with Mawmaw for being able to pick up all those jacks at one time while bouncing a little ball!

July 31, 2010 at 9:05 AM  
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