Things that Make Me Smile


As I age I discover that seeing or remembering  things from my youth makes me smile. Here is a list of things that you don’t see that much anymore that either have or would  make me smile. If you are  old enough they may make you smile too!

An ugly mis-shapen snowmen obviously made completely by children. Grass and mud sticking to the haphazardly rolled balls of snow. Decidedly not a snow sculpture

A snow fort stockpiled with a galvanized washtub full of  well packed icy snowballs

Having my car hit by a snowball lobbed over a fence for from behind a house.  Oh the adventure and daring it required

Any kid climbing a real tree instead of the fake artificial trees that most modern playgrounds emulate.

Kids looking out of the windows of cars instead of talking on a phone or playing a video game

Mittens on a string

Real rubber boots the thin black ones called galoshes, with metal buckles on them and plastic bread bags inside of them.. N0 zippers or velcro

A cat and dog standing stock still in the yard just looking at each other.  This used to be common site in the neighborhood when  dogs ran loose and cats only came in at night.

Any little girl riding a pink bike… Think about it how many kids do you see riding a bike anywhere but in their driveway. They used to represent freedom.

Sling shots… there are still three hiding in the rafters of our garage in Minnesota… ineffective, weak, almost useless but mentally very powerful

A bag of marbles, shooters, aggies, and cats eyes…. and if you were really lucky at least one steely….. another name for a ball bearing.  There was a lot to learn playing for “Keepsies”

A marshmallow or hotdog on the end of a green( so it wouldnt burn) real stick sharpened with a pocket knife.

A  wood burning fireplace with a hearth-rug, noisy, smelly, and smoky

A freshly flashed flashbulb still warm and   all bubbly and foggy

The handle that was used  to open the lid of a wood burning stove and the feeling of absolute ecstasy that came from  warming one side of your body while the other was still freezing cold and then turning like a pancake to finish the job.

Any pond with a now unused warming shack still sitting by it…. they almost always had one of those stoves from above and wooden benches marred by the blades of a thousand ice skates

An orchard with the branches of  huge old  sprawling old apple trees propped up by a forest of  two by fours.

A dog sprawled out at the end of the gravel driveway silently soaking in the suns rays on even the hottest of days waiting for their master to come home.

A fishbowl.. no light, no heat just one lonely goldfish living above a bed of blue gravel

Aluminum screen doors… real aluminum with the screen bowed out from being pushed on by a generation of children
A mottled light green thinly grassed yard mottled with dark green spots that used to indicate  dog ownership

The baseball game called 500   line drives were 100, fly’s were 50 and grounders were 25

White picket fences made of  the wood from old packing cases and covered by peeling  paint.

Single car garages that  were so narrow that you couldn’t open the doors of a car once you actually got it in the garage.

Bridle wreath and hydrangea bushes ( snowball )bushes

Rabbit ears with tin foil flags on top of a TV. The ones that you had to keep holding onto if you wanted to watch one of the three channels that were available without snow.

The rattle of car chains in the wheel wells, the cursing of your father as they were put on and  icy snowy roads they were used for,  that  you could sled down oh so fast  on a flexible flyer

A Barber Pole even better if it was rotating

Wooden indians and nickels

Gas that was  cheaper than milk

A full bag of groceries in a paper sack carried to your car for less than $5 a bag

The circular glass case with pie in it and flies buzzing around it on the diner counter

Signs that said, “Come On In…. It’s Cool Inside”

Plastic fly swatters and curly fly paper

Any kid who thought a hammer, some nails and a piece of wood were great entertainment

A shelf with a set of encyclopedias on it

Elm tree lined streets, no other tree does it anywhere near as well.

Flicka, Sky King, and The Buster Brown Show

A yellow Formica topped metal table and chairs  sitting on a linoleum floor

Kids playing any sport in a too small space with its own special rules and  without an adult nearby

Getting ice from the milk delivery truck in the summer time. If you were really lucky he might give a bottle of chocolate milk that everyone would share, germs be damned.

Marveling at the cardboard top sitting on top of a pillar of frozen milk in the winter time when you opened the milkbox on the front porch
Summer time water not from a bottle but from the garden hose

A rusty tin communal  cup hanging from baling wire on the side of the cast iron water pump.

Additions From Comments!

clothespins and playing cards in the spokes of my bike wheels

work-ie-up

kick soccer

a properly folded newspaper on the front porch (which was thrown perfectly from the front sidewalk or street,) a properly folded newspaper on the roof (which wasn’t thrown perfectly)

a newspaper boy carrying his huge, yellow bag of newspapers

drug store “soda fountains,”

the marble ring – a worn dirt circle in the yard, my personalized corduroy marble bag which contained all my marbles (ha, ha) and a long piece of string to make a circle just in case there wasn’t a dirt ring to play on or in case we had to play inside

Movies at the Varsity on Saturday afternoons.

5 cent cones at the Dairy Queen.
Wax Coke bottles filled with colored water.

Painted turtles and purple and green baby chickens.
American Bandstand.

Happy Time ranch that would deliver a Shetland Pony to your house for a party.

Hearing the ice cream truck three blocks away

Roller skates that had keys and wearing the key around your neck on an old shoe string

Always having scabbed up knees and palms.

Swinging so high on the swing set that the swing set legs lifted off the ground.

Ghost in the grave yard

kick the can and flashlight tag.

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
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One Response to Things that Make Me Smile

  1. thelastgasp1 says:

    Thanks for the memories…..

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