1. Raspberries. I grew up on a raspberry farm. They are so friggin delicious. My brothers and I would pick them on warm summer nights. I remember saying, "One for me, one for the basket...one for me..." To this day, it is my favorite flavor!
2. Fairies (thanks, Jennster, for reminding me about that!) -- I used to be obsessed with them as a kid. I made my mom read bedtime stories about them. I would go outside and build fairy houses. I thought fairies were both real and homeless. I'd use sticks, bark, moss, etc to make the houses. Then I would nestle them in the roots of trees. Sometimes I would even go back to look for evidence that they were inhabited. I was a weird kid.
3. Crayola Crayons. Another obsession. No other brand would do, and my parents knew this. I would create ordering systems for my Crayola Box of 64. It really irked me that the Crayola people never had an assigned spot for any of the colors. I was appalled that the box of 100 didn't come out until I was too old for crayons. I always stayed in the lines. I would take a lot of time and care selecting the exact shade to use for whatever I was drawing/coloring. If I were coloring a woman, she would have makeup on because I added it. I never broke or ate any of my crayons. Eventually, I would treat the crayons like dolls, complete with story lines--for example, Mr. Red and Mrs. Yellow got married. Their children were Orange and Yellow-Orange. Mrs. White cheated on Mr. Black with Mr. Blue, and their love child was Periwinkle. More evidence of weirdness. Or too much tv.
4. Old houses. I grew up in an old farmhouse, built in 1840. I think that is why I love hardwood floors, plaster walls and big windows to this day.
5. My Little Ponies. Thank you, Becky, for reminding me of these. There is not a word in the English language for how much I adored these hunks of molded plastic. I had approximately 20 of them. None of my friends understood why I liked them better than my Barbies. I would brush their hair and put Barbie hats and my grandmother's costume jewelry on them as outfits. Then the Barbies would be the horse farm owners. The horses escaped every time. Drama ensued. Stupid Barbies! If it hadn't been for Ken, they would've lost all their ponies every time.
6. Books. Books in general. The ones I read as a child, and also my father's books. I would "hang out" with him while he wrote and read in his office. I'd sit next to his desk, coloring. He would show me his books and talk to me about Thomas Jefferson and stuff like that. I spent many long afternoons in WLF's office, surrounded by his books.
7. Pink kleenex -- My Grandma, Ga-Ga, always had these. She had them everywhere--in her purse, stuffed up her sleeves, in her pockets. She died when I was ten, but I still think of her anytime I see pink kleenex.
8. The candy at the grocery store check-out counter--Every time we would go to the store, we would beg and beg and beg for a candy bar as if our life depended on it. I laugh when I see other kids begging their parents. Of course, we would only get a treat if we behaved during the shopping trip. I still get a rush when I buy something in the check-out line. Ah, the power of having one's own spending money!
9. Big trees -- There were these huge oak trees all around our house. To this day, I have never seen trees this big. I would guess they are at least 100 years old, if they are still standing. They were so beautiful. Behind them was a deep forest. We would play in the woods all day long in the summer, catching crawdads, picking flowers, playing in hidden creeks....I had a love affair with nature as a kid. I was crazy about the farm animals and the wildlife, too. Hmmm...I wonder what happened...
10. The smell of Ivory Snow, the laundry detergent for babies. As the oldest of 5, it seems there were always babies in our house. This is what their little blankets and baby clothes smelled like. I hope they still make this stuff, because it smells awesome. I want my babies to smell like that, too.
11. Motown music-- My parents would dance in the kitchen to The Four Seasons, The Temptations, The Supremes, and other Motown legends. It always puts a smile on my face to hear these songs. That and the Beach Boys.
12. Monopoly -- Somehow, I have never tired of playing this game. If it were possible, my brothers and I would be Certified Monopoly Experts. I think we have played around 3.6 billion games. And had 3.6 billion arguments about who got to be the car.
13. Legos. We had tons of them and we would always leave them spread out over the floor, which meant that Czarina would step on them with her bare feet, and then she would yell at us. Understandably! Have you ever stepped on one of those buggers?
14. Popsicles--A summer staple in our house, whether homemade or store bought. We probably ate about 6 per day. The Czarina hated the ones that are liquid when you buy them. You know, the ones you freeze yourself. They are in plastic tubes that you'd have to cut open. Anyway, we would leave the plastic wrappers all over the place when we were done. Each time, she would swear she wouldn't buy that kind again. She always did. At school, we had Nutty Buddies and those ice cream bars shaped like Mickey Mouse. Gah, I lived for those. But I think they are gone forever.
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