Have you ever heard this song? I heard it somewhere, and it's always stuck in my bank of songs. It goes something like:
I don't want to play in your yard, I don't love you anymore,
you'll be sorry when you see me, sliding down our cellar door.
You can't holler down our rain barrel, you can't climb our apple tree,
I don't want to play in your yard, if you won't be good to me.
There's more, but that song always reminds me of one of my best friends as a child. She lived right across the street from me, and it was heaven! We'd play ALL the time, when we couldn't play, we'd stand out in our yards and yell back and forth to each other over the road.
We were so close; like sisters. So close, that we often fought like sisters, and that's why this song reminds me so much of my own sweet friend. We used to each take one of our shoes and trade it with the other, so that we'd go around with mismatched shoes. I'd always hear her mother say we were "ragamuffins". I had no idea what a ragamuffin is, but I took it as a huge compliment.
One thing that stands out in my memories of her, is that her room was always messy. Really messy. I loved it! My mom never let me have my room a mess like she got to have hers. I would sometimes try to hide some of my messes in my closet, or under my bed, but I don't know why I never caught on that my mom would look there. Linda got to have her messes right out for all the world to see. She taught me about ABC gum. I had no idea about gum until she informed me that is was called ABC for "Already Been Chewed". She also showed me how she put her ABC gum on her headboard of her bed. I can't tell you how surprised I was that people would actually do that! I knew I may as well forgo trying that at my house. I think my mom had some kind of phobia about gum anyway, that she passed onto me. I would hear her say to my dad, "Did you see that kid playing with his gum that way?" Meaning the kid was pulling it out of his mouth at arm's length, he was popping bubbles that landed on his face, fun stuff like that. When I would chew gum, she would say, "Would you chew your gum the right way?" I can remember slowly chewing, concentrating hard on how to chew gum. To this day, I can't stand gum. I'm ruined for it. It reminds me of someone chewing on their dental floss. I can't stand it when I find gum on something. My kids may be ruined, too lol. And no, our family wasn't what I'd call disfunctional, we were just trained to not like gum.
Back to Linda. And picnics. We would pack up a lunch in our basket and go out in the pasture, and have ourselves one of many wonderful picnics. We'd of course bring our dolls. We would play house, we would be friends as moms, just like our own moms were best friends. We'd pack our babies around, and powder them, and change them.
The doll box above is way older than the kind we had. Ours were shiny plastic, from the 1960s. I've got this one listed in my Etsy shop, my own that I played with is in storage. What kind of stories and memories are contained in this little case? Makes me wonder.