Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Washtub, Bench and a Few Old Chairs

When you put a washtub, bench, and a few old chairs together, you get just that unless you're a little kid like my older brother playing outside on a sunny afternoon. From the look on his face it's obvious he's quite content. After all, the opportunities to inspire such a young imagination at that very moment are endless and they don't cost a penny. Put those chairs together-throw an old blanket over them and he has a tent. Put those chairs in a half circle and he can play musical chairs when someone comes along ready to partake in such an adventure. To make it even more fun they could march around the chairs singing all the way-until the singing stops and the scramble begins! And if no one comes along-he could pretend someone did. Or, he could put the chairs in a straight line and play train-All aboard and off he could go around the fields and back again or over the moon and beyond. Or he could jump off the train and hitch a ride with his grandfather passing by behind him on his old Ford tractor on his way to the barn. When my brother gets back to his washtub, bench, and a few old chairs, he could grab the broom standing behind him against the tree and use it as a horse to ride or turn himself into a witch and fly away.

Point is a kid can have lots of fun just being a kid. We always did back then. Chairs really were much more than chairs and secret cabins were most anywhere-in a cornfield or a hayfield or a grain shed or hay mow. In the fall, leaves became piles to jump in and hide in and houses to play in. In the winter, the frozen creek turned into our own olympic stadium and in the spring the stream that ran beside the farmhouse became a source for racing twigs and getting soaking wet and not even noticing it and wondering why we were being dragged inside for fear of catching a cold when catching our twigs as they hurried about was all we cared about. Getting wet was part of the experience.

Pure play is the best play. There are no buttons to push or batteries to change or directions to read. The sky's the limit, but then if pure play is the best play-there is no limit!

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