there is a decided sense of empty……there is no toybox as a reward for the drive anymore.
“We’re goin’ to Gramma Locke’s!” Best 5 words a boy could hear! She had a toy box, full of different kind of toys. including an assortment of John Deere tractors,rubber rabbits, and a pink and blue Iron, though a girl’s toy, it had an element of adventure….it MIGHT just burn you.
Gramma had a toy ROOM! 2 beds with big rectangle pillow/jousting spears, tape scissors, some brown glue in a bottle that looked like a thumb with a horrible cut in it, and an endless supply of construction paper!!!! There were MARKERs! Real Markers, with caps! A kid could do anything from that room. We could even cut out a thousand foot prints and tape them to the walls so it looked like some one had walked on the walls and ceiling!!! And NOT get yelled at!. Gramma would giggle, shake her head and say-“you’re goofy kid!”
Gramma Locke’s whole HOUSE was a toy box! A goofy kid could run and sliiiiiiide on her kitchen floor—not with permission mind you. FOr that matter, he could jump on the trammampoline her ad Grandpa called a bed, till Grandpa came in and growled his terrible growl at the goofy kid.(then the kid had to sit on the amazing tramampoline and watch the Walton’s…brought to you by Nabisco…) If a boy was quiet, he could sneak into a special drawer in Gramma’s kitchen, that had SUGAR!!!! A BOX-O-SUGAR in bite sized CUBES!!! OH MY! Glorious SUGAR!!! And when a boy got caught—-he was sentenced to the BIG toy box—–the OUTDOORS!!!!!
Gramma had a whole ACRE of OUTDOORS! ! With skate boards, and a patio with a private sidewalk with a bend in it to match the highway 77 bend by aunt Bill’s house. There was a horse trough with water, and 147 perch 37 blue gill, and 12 catfish in it. That’s right, a boy could go FISHING in Gramma’s BACK YARD!!!!!! And there were horses to ride, and sometimes calves to ride if no one was lookin’. In june there were strawberries to eat!!!..and if a boy was quiet enough, he might have stopped by the special glorious drawer of sugar on the way TO the straw berries! Oh My! Boyish brilliance!
“Gramma, can we go to the Kreller’s and ride their mini bike up and down the gravel road with no helmet as fast as it will go on this fine scorching summer afternoon!!!?” If a boy asked her that for 45 minutes straight, he could get permission to go next door, and sporting his best puppy dog eyes , ask Mrs. Kreller that same innocent question……….and WALLLLLAH!!!!! Gasoline,dust,gravel and the wind in his hair as fast as that purple mini bike would go!!!! YEEHAW! GRAMma had a toy box!
OH!…and one week a summer, Gramma would come and pick a Goofy Kid up and take him to her toy box for a whole WEEK! with out the pesky sibblings! and once a summer, Gramma would come and pick a Goofy Kid up and bring him over to her toybox with his COUSIN! And sometimes , a special weekend toybox trip with a BEST FRIEND!
AND IT GETS EVEN B E T T E R !
The toybox expanded across the afore mentioned highway 77, to a working farm/ranch with multiple barns, horses, cows, a silo (which when climbed, one could see El Dorado from…..yeah, i said it…all the way to EL DORADO!!!) ANd it gets B E T T E R STILL! ! ! !! Out past the farm/ranch, there was a CRICK! The toy box had a CRICK, with fresh fish that wanted to come over and play in the horse trough! ( when worms were scarce, Gramma’s fridge voluntarily surrendered velveta cheese and balogna to be used for bait! ) A John Deere tractor/mower/tractor with a wagon carried all the tools a boy couldn’t carry.
Gramma’s toybox extended all the way into the next pasture somedays. Best to saddle up a horse if a boy was to venture that far west. The boundaries of this wondrous toybox extended as far as the ”BONG’-BONG” from the big black cast iron dinner bell ring could be heard. If the dinner bell rang, all toys and tractors, fish and horses were required to return, fish and horses to the barn and trough, boys to the wash room. Lava soap awaited boys fish-n-balogna smellin’ hands in the wash room sink, next to the assortment of chrome suringes, and other mysterious Grandpa Locke implements. (no touchy!) A quick slide across the kitchen floor, plop down at the table and wait for the biscuits, beef, a bottle of ketchup so big it took two hands to operate, and towering glasses of ice tea, no sugar. Grandpa would say grace, and commence to refueling. Hopefully Grandpa would not ask if there was water in his rubber work boots.
Don’t know if i ever told you this……….
Gramma Locke had a TOYBOX.