Playtime in Perry, Iowa

When we were little, my sisters and brother had a big sandbox in the backyard. We used to play “Store” together, and would steal items from my Mom’s garden such as utilizing her rhubarb leaves as filet mignon, and cut the stalks to look like peppermint candies. She never seemed to notice or get upset with us!

We also “made” a graveyard along the side of the garage. We would collect dead birds or other such creatures that had expired and passed on to the next quadrant, find their appropriate sized box and bury them in the ground. While covering them with dirt, we would be singing hymns and religious songs we had learned from attending Sunday school.

We also enjoyed spending our summers together walking to the local swimming pool which was only three blocks away. I think my Mom sent us there to get out of her hair. We would sometimes go 2 times a day! I learned how to swim so well that I took the Lifesaving and life guard tests! I did not like getting water in my ears, because it hurt! My Lifesaving teacher said if I did not put my head under water I would not pass! So, to my surprise, she took and grabbed me and pushed my whole body completely under water! After a complete underwater soak, she stated to me, “Now, Elsie, you have passed!”

We also enjoyed playing all year in the school playground across the street from our house on 411 West Willis, Perry, Iowa! All the other neighborhood children joined in… pumping up high to the sky on the swings, slipping down the slide, but most of all pushing each other on the merry-go-round! There were a few tears when it got going so fast that we had to jump off, scraping our knees and elbows in the gravel and dirt, and making sure our stories on how we got the scrapes, were all the same story! Afterwards, comparing bandages and band aids!

Our sidewalks were full of chalk drawings… (See, Lisa, I started “art” at an early age!) We mostly liked to draw and play hopscotch, which I got to be quite skilled at. I was one of the best jumpers and hoppers int he neighborhood!

At 94, I thought I still had it in me… when I attempted to “jump over” some sidewalk ice here at Pomperaug. It was such a beautiful day, on Super Bowl Sunday… I thought I would go out for a Pre-Game Promenade, just before filling my large bowl of Popcorn from Wilson Hall to watch the BIG GAME this past year on February 7th 2016! Needless to say, I learned my lesson and can share I have the wisdom and experience to be a bit more cautious as to what I choose to STEP over instead of jumping over!

Life in Perry, Iowa was never a dull moment. I am delighted that I am able to share these memories with you all today!

Elsie Johnson © 2016
Southbury, CT

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